So, you’ve attended interview and then the call, letter or email arrives to tell you that you’ve been unsuccessful. It’s never nice to hear especially if it’s a job that you have your heart set on, in a company where you really want to work. The best thing that you can do however is to turn that negative situation into something a lot more positive. How you may ask? Well, it’s simply a matter of asking for feedback and then using that feedback in a positive way going forward with your job search. Here are some basic tips on how to get interview feedback that should help.
Mention it at your interview
At an interview you will generally always be asked if you have some questions for the interviewer. Generally these questions may revolve around training or the specifics of the role or company plans and such like. However, it is also possible to ask about interview feedback – not in the sense that you would like immediate feedback on how you are doing, but in the sense that if you do happen to be unsuccessful for the post, that you would like to receive some feedback that could benefit you in your future career and job search. Not all candidates may feel comfortable in doing this at this stage, but if you are, it’s generally acceptable to ask.
Contact the right person
Often, the details about an interview will have been communicated to you via someone in the organisation’s HR department, even if they are not directly involved in your interview. It’s likely therefore that you would be able to contact this person much easier than you would the manager or person who interviewed you. Make sure that you contact the right person i.e. the person who will take your call or who you have previously corresponded via email with. If you have gone for a role through a recruitment agency, ask the consultant to get feedback on your behalf rather than contacting the company directly.
It’s important to remember that although organisations should ideally always provide interview feedback, often they don’t. If you have asked politely for feedback or sent a courteous email or letter and have heard nothing in return, there is no point in getting angry. Send a gentle reminder email or try calling again and if this fails, it’s unfortunately time to move on regardless. After all, harassing someone to give you feedback won’t really do you any favours! Also, be mindful of how you react when you receive the feedback. It may be hard to accept and you may disagree entirely with the information that you hear, however you simply have to take it on the chin and move on. Don’t get into an argument, don’t be dismissive and don’t get nasty!
Take it on board
Always remember that the reason you are looking for feedback in the first place is to learn how and where you went wrong and how you can learn from that for the future. It’s important therefore to accept the feedback as constructive criticism – something that you can benefit from and something that has value to you and your career. If you receive pointers about your answers to certain questions, how you came across or even the general views as to why you were not right for this particular role, then use those pointers as action points for the future. Improve how you answer certain questions, do more research or whatever is necessary to make improvements. After all, feedback is only worthwhile if you do something with it!
We hope that these basic tips on how to get interview feedback should help. Got any others that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below.