Didn’t Get the Job? How (and When) to Ask for Constructive Feedback

You went through the interview, you felt great about how you answered most of the questions, seemed to have a good rapport with the interviewers…and then you didn’t get the job. Instead of going over every interaction and wondering how you could have done it differently or “better,” it might work best for you if you simply ask the interviewers that question. Before doing so, know that, much like planning your interview questions, asking for feedback takes finesse as well.

  • Focus on timing. Let’s say you receive rejection by email. Respond within the next 24 hours — although not immediately because you don’t want to come off as desperate. If you get a phone call, don’t hesitate to ask right then when you have them on the phone (details on how best to do this are below). If they call and you miss it, after you’ve listened to the voicemail, call back to again ask for feedback. They were willing to speak to you on the phone, so call back. Admittedly, some places may not give you any sort of feedback, nor do they have to. In fact, some companies have a policy of not doing so. So, if your efforts yield no results, don’t take it personally.
  • Best results? The further you get along in the interview process, the more thorough feedback you’ll receive because they’ve gotten to know you better. If, for example, you don’t even make it to the first round of interviews, think twice about asking for feedback. You may simply have not met certain criteria. But if you get past the initial interview, you may get a more detailed response: You didn’t seem interested, talked too much, didn’t have enough of a certain background, etc. As for who you should speak with, try the recruiter first, as they will give you a response from their interview with you and feedback from others they spoke with.
  • How to do it. Bear in mind you need to carefully approach this conversation, as it may well make the other person feel uncomfortable — and you’re asking them to take time to speak with someone they’re not hiring. So, no matter how you feel, make sure you remain gracious and grateful throughout. Start by thanking the interviewer for the opportunity, as well as their time and consideration. Tell them if they do have feedback for you, you’d love to have it, so you can make yourself into a stronger candidate for the future. Remember you may get a response you don’t want to hear, but if you can take that to heart, it will only go to your advantage in the future.

Asking for feedback shows you want to improve. Doing something with that feedback ensures you will. For help planning your next career move, work with PrideStaff.