Being rejected can be very tough, especially when you are given the silent treatment by companies. Some companies won’t even inform you that your application was unsuccessful – so it may be a case of no news is bad news.
Have you ever thought of asking when you should expect a feedback on the status of your application at the end of an interview? This gives you an idea of when it is appropriate to ask for feedback if you are not offered the job.
You didn’t get the job. Now what?
Individual companies will have a unique culture that may not be obvious to outsiders. One employer may welcome what another rejects. It could simply be a matter of ‘fit’, whether your personality and approach to work fit with how they do things. However, repeated rejections probably indicate a flaw that you should address.
Interview feedback is about ensuring your future success. It is not about dwelling on the past. Use feedback to make sure you are better prepared for future opportunities.
How should I ask them?
It never hurts to ask. Many hiring managers and recruiters are willing to offer advice. If you had contact with more than one person, contact the individual you had greater rapport with. You can use either email or phone but don’t send a text message!
Also, don’t leave it too long. Approach them within a week of hearing the news. Persistence is not always rewarded. Accept that the interviewer might not be willing to give feedback. In this case, don’t pester them. Move on.
What exactly should I say?
Email: The advantage of email is that it gives the interviewer a chance to think.
Firstly, thank them for taking the time to consider you for the position.
State that you would like to improve your interview skills, and ask if they could give you any feedback and advice.
Finally request that they keep you in mind for future opportunities.
Phone: Ensure that your tone remains positive and professional.
Keep it brief: Ask one or two questions.
Listen carefully and make notes.
Avoid negative questions such as “What did I do wrong?” or “Why didn’t I get the job?” that put the interviewer on the spot. Don’t make it an awkward experience for the interviewer by being defensive.
“Were there any weak areas I could improve?”
“Do you have any specific advice for me?”
Don’t forget to thank them for their time! Every interaction you have is an opportunity to showcase your professionalism. They may keep you in mind for a future vacancy if you create a favourable impression.
When you get feedback on your interview performance, use it! Go over the questions you were asked and prepare better answers using the advice you have received.
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald