How to get feedback from an unsuccessful interview

When you don’t hear back for a while after an interview, or are informed that you were unsuccessful, is it worth asking them why?

100% yes.

Feedback is essential to ensure you are better prepared to go into future interviews. Sometimes the feedback doesn’t revolve around any particular mistakes you made during the interview. Many times, it’s about needing a qualification or more experience. In this case, this will help you narrow down the jobs you could be applicable for or what you need to do to get the job you want.

However, asking for feedback isn’t always easy. Hiring managers are busy people, not to mention, it’s just as hard to give feedback sometimes as it is to hear it. In saying that, there are ways to get feedback and help you improve your interview skills!

  • When applying through a recruitment company, the recruiter will likely pass on feedback from the potential employer if you ask. Listen to them, they know what they’re doing and what their clients like.
  • Respond to a rejection email after a few hours. Say something like: ‘Thank you for your time and consideration during this hiring process and for letting me know of your decision. I’d like to improve myself for future interviews in hopes to land a new role. I would appreciate any feedback you could give me.’ You can guide the feedback as well, adding anything you might suspect would have been the issue. For example, did you have the right experience? Were you unprepared? Did you run late? Were you clearly nervous? Is this the right kind of job for your skill set?

  • You can also call the relevant contact and ask for feedback in a similar manner as above.
  • Don’t be bitter on your call or email. Have the proper tone. This ensures people are more likely to want to give you feedback.

  • Don’t try to fight against the feedback. This is a task is to help you improve, no one was dying to call you to give you slack about your interview performance. See it as them doing you a favour.
  • If someone doesn’t respond or answer your calls, it’s a good idea to let feedback from that person go. If you are too persistent it may come off desperate. That person can also, without thinking, complain about your incessant calls. You never know how far those complaints could travel.
  • Outside of asking for feedback from the company, do some self-reflection. Write down what you think you can improve on and start working on those items.

  • Ask friends and family who you trust to be honest about your interview experiences and the jobs you are applying for. They will also be able to give you feedback from a different perspective!