I had an interview a few days back for a grant for graduate studies. The interview panel consisted of various judges including some of the most renowned and well known researchers/professors in my field(s) of interest. Some of them almost have a celebrity status given the kind of respect they command.

Now comes the bad part. My interview was going good for most of it, I was answering a question when I was told that none of what I said made sense. I was completely caught off-guard. To the best of my knowledge, my answers were correct, but the committee did not share my enthusiasm. I came across to them as an impostor who was simply winging things/saying random rubbish.

The interview went downhill from there. I was so flustered that even the questions which I could have answered in my sleep went wrong. I tried putting some things down on the whiteboard and tried explaining my answers but by then the committee had lost interest. The overall experience was very bitter with me almost coming across as undeserving to even has been shortlisted for the interview. Post the interview, I felt extremely guilty not for torpedoing my interview, but because I felt that I had wasted the time of such esteemed academicians.

My question is regarding, what if any action should I take at this point? I know for a fact that the grant will not be awarded to me, but that is not my concern. Some of the members on the committee are at the forefront of research and work in their field (which heavily aligns with mine). I do not intend to spoil my relation and any chance of a future collaboration with them because of this one interview. Some of the possible actions that came to my mind were:

  1. Sending an email to one or more members of the committee, apologizing for the interview.
  2. Sending an email to one or more members of the committee, asking for feedback.
  3. Sending an email to one or more members of the committee, trying to explain my answers and why they were not completely wrong given the context.

Are any of these too far fetched? Any alternative action that you would recommend? Or should I just let it go?

PS. In case you find any details of my question to be fuzzy, please ask for clarification. Any sort of help/feedback will be appreciated.

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