Why Didn’t I Get The Job How To Ask For Interview Feedback
If your confidence has been knocked, asking for feedback can be a valuable learning experience
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The pre-performance adrenalin that kicks in when you go for an interview can all too quickly slide into a wretched post-match analysis if you don’t get the job. Especially if it’s one you really wanted. What went wrong? Why didn’t they want you? Will you ever get a job you want?
Self-doubts are never helpful when you need to present yourself confidently at your next interview. Could asking for some interview feedback help? Well it depends.
Here are some tips for thinking about if, how and when you should ask for that post-interview feedback.
Is it worth asking for?
HR consultant Terry Coode always advises candidates whose confidence may have been knocked by a rejection to seek feedback. It’s a learning process, he says. Equally Tim Pointer, HR director, believes employers should offer it because in a brand-conscious job market, candidate feedback provides an opportunity to “gain, or lose, a brand champion for the future”.
However, this doesn’t always mean feedback is easy to obtain, or always useful when you get it.
How to ask for feedback
Handling the feedback
It’s useful to end the conversation by asking them if they think there is anything you could do to improve your chances another time. Then thank them for their time and send a nice thank you email.
It’s not all lost
How To Write An Email Asking For Interview Feedback Template
It was great to meet you as one of my interviewers for the . Thank you kindly for giving me the opportunity to meet with your team.
During our meeting, I learned a lot about how your company does things! I also felt like we connected on some important points, especially in regards to the operations of the business and trajectories of future career growth at .
I was wondering if you could provide me with some feedback on how I did in the interview. What were my strong points and what could I improve on? Also, any advice you might have on how to better prepare for interviews would be much appreciated.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration!
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Consult A Career Coach/career Counselor
If you have trouble getting honest feedback from interviewers, it may be a good idea to consult a career coach or career counselor.
If you have had several interviews and no offers, its very possible that you are making some common interview mistakes and dont even know it. A career coach can help you identify problems and work with you to improve your interview techniques.
Most career coaches and career counselors have been trained to help clients with interview best practices. They can conduct mock interviews with you and provide honest, constructive feedback. They can also coach you on how to improve. Mock interviews also allow you to practice answering all types of questions.
Most career coaches offer the option to meet in-person or by phone or video. For job interview coaching, its generally best to meet in person or via video-conference so that the coach can evaluate your physical presence and body language.
If you get the call for a big interview opportunity, you might want to schedule a preparation session with a coach so you can practice and get expert coaching on how to best highlight your strengths.
And if you cant meet with a coach, contact us about getting an exclusive invitation to try Big Interview, which allows you to practice your interview technique with your webcam and evaluate yourself or share the clip with a coach or trusted friend to get feedback.
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Ask For Advice On Training Courses
If you didnt get the job and this is an area that you really want to get into, then you could ask if the rejection was due to a lack of experience. If this was the case, ask what training you should be looking at doing, or how you can go about getting work experience in that sector in order to be more qualified. For instance, if the candidate the client had selected had a particular certification that is desirable for the role, then you may wish to consider pursuing that certification yourself. You could also look for other ways to make your future applications more competitive.
Learn From Your Mistakes
The most obvious benefit of asking for feedback is gaining information you can use to make sure youre not making the same mistakes at your next interview. You will be able to use the information to pinpoint specific points of action you can work on.
There are a number of reasons why you may be rejected, and identifying them becomes especially important after participating in an interview. Many points of improvement may not be things you ever thought about before. For example, you may have conducted yourself well from a verbal perspective, but annoyed the interviewer by constantly tapping a pen against the desk.
Whatever behaviors or skill set deficiencies resulted in a job rejection, you need to know about them. The only way to do so is to ask for feedback directly.
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Craft A Strong Follow
Email subject lines are important because they determine whether your email gets opened, and how quickly.
I recommend following up with whoever said theyd been in touch after your interview, or if youre not sure, follow up with whoever you were emailing to scheduling the interview.
The person who scheduled your interview is a good person to follow up with to check the status of interview feedback.
The best way to write a subject line for a follow-up email is to simply reply to the latest email thread and leave the previous subject line.
For example, lets say that this was the previous email subject line:
Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
You should hit reply in your email program and then the subject line will look like this:
Re: Interview on Thursday at 10:00 AM
Continuing with the existing email thread and leaving the subject line as-is will boost your emails chances of getting opened faster.
The recipient will open your follow-up email because its clear what the email is about .
If you dont have a previous email to reply to, then choose one of the following subject lines for your interview follow-up email:
- Job interview follow-up
- Following up regarding interview results
How To Succeed In A Job Interview Online Course
In my online course, How to Succeed in a Job Interview, I discuss more common interview mistakes and how to fix them. Many people who take the course find the handouts useful. Participants get a step-by-step Job Interview Preparation checklist to use before every interview. They also get 14-pages of common interview questions and how to answer them. The course is entirely on-demand, which means that you can enroll in the course and learn at your own pace. You can begin the course whenever you like, and there are no deadlines to complete it. Learn more about my 90-minute interview course on my website at www.express-to-impress.com. You can get 15% off any of my courses when you use the promotion code podcast15 at the checkout.
In the next part of the episode, Ill cover the idioms and phrases I used for people looking to build their English vocabulary.
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Ways To Prepare To Receive Feedback
Therapists agree that counseling sessions arent enough for a person to make changes. Their clients need to be ready to:
- Make adjustments to their habits and beliefs
The same can be said for anyone receiving feedback. Without that readiness, feedback is wasted. The following five tips can help you prepare.
The final three come from tenets of the well-known communication theory, Nonviolent Communication , and help create an environment that allows for constructive, efficient communication.
Two Tactics For Asking For Feedback After Job Interviews
Theres no doubt about it: job interviews can feel incredibly transactional, especially if youve had several without getting an offer or finding the right fit for your career goals. But like any other learning process, interviewing is a skill easilyimproved with practice. External feedback after a job interview is important to understand how others perceive your actions and answers. Plus, it helps hone your technique more quickly than by trial and error.
However, asking for feedback is uncomfortable for a lot of people. This is especially true if its not something youve done before or often. These tips can help you to get the feedback youre looking for, either during the interview or after youve received a response .
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Asking For Feedback In Person
Asking for feedback in person isnt something that you will often have the chance to do. Most employers arent going to call in a candidate just to reject them unless they feel there is a chance their number one candidate might not work out. So, when do you reply to a job rejection in person? The most likely scenario for in-person feedback requests is when youre applying for a position at your own company and hear that youve been rejected by a hiring manager you know.
The most important thing to remember is that you should never attempt to ambush a recruiter or hiring manager in person, as it can be extremely off-putting and end up worsening their perception of you. If you really want in-person feedback, request an appointment with the person in question rather than putting them on the spot. If your request is granted, be sure to follow all the same etiquette you would with a phone or email solicitation.
Dont: Demand Answers Straight Away
Remember that your interviewer is under no real obligation to provide you with feedback, so do not immediately jump in and start demanding this. Technically, they are doing you a considerable favor when they provide feedback, so stay polite, positive, and professional.
Frame the request for feedback as an attempt on your part to improve and enhance your professional development, rather than as a criticism of their decision to reject you.
The last thing you want is to infer that they have made a mistake, as this can be perceived as arrogant and pushy. Remain genuinely appreciative, and always thank them for their feedback.
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Ask For Feedback After Every Round
Once you make it past the recruiter screen, youll likely interview with the hiring manager and then potentially numerous people on panel interviews. At the end of your interview with the hiring manager, ask them, How do you think my skills can be leveraged to bring value to your team and the company? The answer will reveal whether your message was clear or you need to hone it further.
After each interview, write thank-you emails, not just to the people you interviewed with, but also to the recruiter, whom you can ask for time to discuss subsequent interviews. During that call, ask, Is there any feedback, specific focus areas, or anything I can do to improve my interviewing technique? Youll receive more feedback when youre in the middle of the interview process than after youre eliminated from it. Recruiters want to keep you fully engaged and interested in the job and they want you to be successful in every round of interviews until theyre informed youre no longer a viable candidate or you receive an offer.
Why Ask For Feedback
Feedback is an important part of the interview process. It can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can work on improving your weaknesses. Additionally, feedback can help to give you a better understanding of the employers perspective and what they are looking for in a candidate.
Asking for feedback also shows that you are proactive and eager to learn. This can make a good impression on potential employers, even if they dont have any constructive criticism to offer. And if you are making obvious mistakes in your interview performance, then youll be easily able to address this issue for your next interview.
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Who Should You Ask For Feedback
This always depends on the situation and who youve interviewed with, but the best person to ask in general would be the recruiter. Not only can they give you feedback from their own interview with you, but they also probably were the one to gather feedback from others.
If you interviewed with one person and it wasnt the recruiter, just ask the person you did interview with.
Keep in mind that you wont always get feedback after an interview.There are various reasons for this, but more often than not, the recruiter or interviewer wont give you anything too meaningful because there are risks in doing so. However, in my experience, Ive been the most likely to give feedback to someone I have built trust and a relationship with so those are always the best people to ask.
Learning How To Receive Feedback Is A Journey
Whether you call it feedback, advice, or criticism, receiving constructive feedback helps us move forward in our careers and lives.
Valuable feedback contains principles like specificity, empathy, and forward-moving statements. To receive the best feedback, be prepared with your task. Identify what you hope to get out of the feedback and whos qualified to give you feedback in the first place.
While most people want to know how to ask for feedback, they rarely think about getting into the right mindset to receive.
To properly receive feedback:
- Keep your defenses down
- Do not take any perceived criticism personally
- Adopt a growth mindset that allows you to prosper from the advice instead of rejecting it
- During remote work, we wont always have the ability to ask for feedback face-to-face. Prepare ahead of time by keeping requests for email feedback succinct. Also, prepare to receive advice that lacks social cues to prevent misunderstandings.
When it comes time to give feedback, put yourself in the shoes of the person asking for the feedback. Deliver it systematically, with all of these goals and principles in mind.
Our intentions and how we say things are often more important than what we say. Focus on being authentic, trying to help, and striving for growth.
Learn how BetterUp can help you drive growth and transformation in your company today.
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Be Willing To Accept Information With A Positive Open Mind
Feedback is about someone elses perception in this case, perception is reality.
Your default may be denial or defensiveness to someone elses views. You should try to understand the situation from the perspective of the feedback provider. Understand that they are most likely giving that feedback with positive intent.
That is, they believe that they are giving helpful feedback that will result in a positive change to your behavior.
Keep in mind that becoming defensive when a professional gives you advice will not work in your favor. Youll be far less likely to receive honest responses in the future.
Remind yourself that feedback on performance isnt personal. Receive the comments pragmatically instead of emotionally.
It Offers You An Opportunity To Expand Your Network
It’s never a bad idea to expand your network . Even if they don’t have any openings, they might connect you with someone or point you on the right path for career advancement. If they respond positively, you can consider joining them and being part of their business networking platform.
Here are answers to questions typically asked about asking for feedback after an interview:
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Communication Mistakes In An Interview
Many native and non-native English speakers make communication mistakes while interviewing. And while we all know that the best talkers do not always make the best employees, organizational psychologist Adam Grant points out, Job interviews favor candidates who are the best talkers.
Here are common communication mistakes in an interview:
- Speaking too fast or too slow
- Telling stories poorly
- Making demeaning remarks about a colleague, client, or past employer, demonstrating poor judgment
- Presenting ideas in a way that is unclear or unconvincing
- Sharing the credit excessively failing to use I enough to show ownership of contributions
In a mock interview setting, I take the time to explain the mistake and what it could lead the interviewer to believe about the candidate. However, if the candidate were to ask an interviewer for feedback in an interview, they would be more likely to get a general response, such as Stronger communication skills are needed for a client-facing role. This feedback is a helpful starting point, but more effort will be required to understand and fix the mistakes that hold them back from getting a job.
If you are working with a friend or professional to prepare for an interview, share this list of communication mistakes with them, and ask them to listen for these mistakes.
Leads To Further Accomplishments
When you get constructive feedback, it can encourage you to achieve your career goals. This can lead to further study, practice or other accomplishments that you can state on your resume. After receiving feedback from the employer, you can write a list of goals that you would like to achieve over the next few months. This can be a great way to improve your application and maintain a positive attitude.
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Demonstrate Your Sincere Interest In Constructive Feedback
After the introduction in your feedback request letter, you can write:
I am writing to request any feedback that you might have for me based on my application and interview. Any suggestions or observations that you are willing to share will be instrumental in my professional development, and will help me determine where to put my focus.
The above statement is genuine, and an HR practitioner will more than likely take the time to craft a genuine response to your request.