So, you’ve been for interview. Then a few days, weeks or even perhaps hours later, you receive the dreaded “we regret to inform you..” email, letter or phone call telling you that you haven’t got the job. Admittedly, it can be pretty disheartening. After all, none of us like the feeling of rejection, do we? However rather than dwelling on it and getting caught up in the negativity of the “bad news” , it is much better to try and learn and benefit from the experience. And the best way of doing this is by getting proper interview feedback. It’s not always the easiest of things to do though, is it? So in a bid to help, we’ve put together our Top Tips for doing just that.
Contacting the employer
How you choose to contact the employer is really based on the type of communication you had with them prior to the interview. Whilst some employers may welcome a phone call from an unsuccessful candidate, many others may prefer to receive a letter or an email. You may be able to get more detailed feedback via an email or letter as the interviewer will have time to prepare their response, something which a phone call of course won’t give them. The important thing as well is to use the method that you are most comfortable with. If you would feel awkward asking directly on the phone, then use email or letter instead. And remember, good manners prevail! So make sure you thank them in advance for the feedback and of course after receiving it.
What to ask
The question you really want to ask the employer is of course why you weren’t selected. However rather than asking this question directly, it will be much more beneficial to ask the interviewer what you could do to improve. You already know that you have not been successful. What you need to know now is what you need to do to ensure that next time around you will be. Getting constructive interview feedback is critical for your future job search success. You may find out that your answers to certain questions were lacking somewhat, that you misinterpreted the questions or that you did not give good enough examples in competency style questions. You may find out that you seemed to lack confidence or perhaps that you were too forceful. Whatever information you are given by the interviewer will be worthwhile. So use it!
When you ask for interview feedback, you have to remember that you may not get it as quickly as you would like. Whilst good HR managers and recruiters should recognise the importance of giving feedback and endeavour to get back to you promptly, that often sadly does not happen. Other pressures and job duties may get in their way and therefore providing feedback to you, may not be an immediate priority. The key thing to remember is to be patient. If you start harassing and bombarding them with phone calls and emails, they may be less inclined to give feedback or may simply fob you off with pretty useless information. If you don’t get a response straight away, wait a few more days and then try again. If you get no response from the interviewer after a few attempts, then unfortunately you may never do. It is certainly not good practice, but it does indeed happen.
Whilst you are in reality dealing with a negative situation, it is really important that you try and stay positive. By this, I mean that you should take whatever interview feedback you are given politely and on the chin. Don’t attempt to get into an argument or any type of confrontation or disagreement with the employer. They have made their decision. You have to respect it, much as you don’t like it. Also, you never know when another role may come up. Reacting in a negative manner will only serve to leave them with a negative impression of you. Another key factor to remember is to be careful when discussing your lack of success. Many of us these days play out our entire lives on one or more social networks. If you do this and bad-mouth the employer and their decision, it may come back on you in the future. Firstly, it is not professional and secondly, other employers may view it too should they decide to check out your online presence before inviting you for future interviews. Keep your views to yourself!
Use the feedback
If you go to the trouble of actually getting interview feedback, then the most important thing you can do is use it. The information that you get will help you re-assess, improve and re-think your interview performance for the future. There is absolutely no point in asking for feedback and then ignoring it. After all, with the job market being so competitive at present, you really ought to use everything at your disposal to ensure you are successful in your quest to get a job.