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Why Didn’t I Get the Job? How to Ask for Interview Feedback

Not receiving feedback from interviews is a common complaint from clients and it can be very demotivating when you feel the interview went well to find out you were unsuccessful and not know why.

Below are some suggestions for the best way to approach securing feedback.

Be Professional

You might be feeling let down and even angry following an unsuccessful response but please remember not to take this out on the employer! They may have roles in the future or with different branches of the company you want to apply for and there’s no sense in ruining your chances by reacting badly.
Always thank the employer for getting back to you and find out what their feedback options are:


Be Prepared

In the majority of cases these days, if you are unsuccessful you will find out via email or letter. Most HR departments will end their correspondence advising you how to get in touch for feedback as many recognise it’s valuable in improving yourself ready for your next interview.

However if they don’t, it’s a good idea to have a well written response requesting this so you’re ready to get feedback as quickly as possible. A simple paragraph or two thanking them for the interview opportunity and asking for any constructive feedback should be all you need. Having this prepared and ready to go will help you in the long run, especially if you’re not feeling the best having not secured the role!

See also: How to Prepare for an Entry Level Interview

Don’t Leave it Too Late

On that note, don’t wait a week to request feedback. An unsuccessful response from an interview can be really disheartening but don’t wallow on the negative – use this to find out where you went wrong and make sure you take it on board.

It sounds terrible but leaving it too long to seek feedback will usually mean the hiring managers will have forgotten most of your interview and you’re more likely to get a generic response rather than anything constructive – if you get a response at all!

Waiting for a Reply

When it comes to interviews, it’s in the interest of professional hiring managers to provide feedback, especially when it’s requested in the right way.

If you delivered a great interview but were pipped to the post by someone with more experience, most employers will want to keep you on their books in case any future roles come up so providing feedback to this effect will keep you in their good books as well as making sure they have a list of potential future employees.

If they don’t reply at all, it might well speak volumes about the type of company they are. Busy or not, would that be someone you want to work for in the long run?

See also: How to Make a Good First Impression at a Job Interview

Be Ready for the Answer

Referring back to being professional – make sure you put your thickest skin on for the feedback when you do receive it. Interview feedback can reveal different aspects of your experience, skills and overall appearance/interaction with the interviewers and some of it might not be want you want to hear.

Most feedback will focus on your skills – where they felt you were a strong candidate but also where there were gaps or a lack of relevance. But it could also look at how you presented yourself – your body language, vocabulary, dress and appearance and even how you shake hands all factor into the interview so be prepared for feedback on any of this.

Always keep in mind that none of this is a personal slight against you or the employer looking for an opportunity to make you feel bad – they are trying to be constructive (and you requested this remember!). Make sure that whatever the feedback is you make a note to work on any weaknesses to work on for next time and keep up the good work for any strengths they identify!

Don’t forget to thank the employer for any feedback you receive too.

As always, don’t undersell yourself for having even managed to secure an interview – that in itself is a fantastic achievement in todays job market – and don’t let it stop you for keeping up the hard work or applying for roles. The more interviews you attend, the more confident you’ll be and the better prepared you’ll be for when the right job comes along.

photo by: maxjib info

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