Attending a job interview can be a stressful enough affair but so too is the period afterwards whilst you wait to hear the outcome. When you finally do get that call, letter or email and hear the news that you have been unsuccessful it can be pretty disheartening to say the least. It should be a little consolation though to discover that it will happen to most of us at one time or another. However, that being said, it is still possible to turn what is a somewhat negative situation into something positive and the best way of doing just that is by getting interview feedback.
Our basic tips on how to get interview feedback should hopefully help.
Pre-empt it at interview
At some point in the interview you will generally be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. Whilst you may have specific questions about the job role, company or training on offer, you could also perhaps ask about interview feedback. We are not suggesting of course that you get immediate critique on how you are doing but that you make the interviewer aware that you would like to get some feedback on your interview performance in due course. Explain that you would like to get constructive feedback which you could learn from. As long as you convey just that to the interviewer, they would generally regard it as an appropriate and indeed valid question to ask.
All contacts can help
Often in your quest to get interview feedback you may get speaking to someone in a HR department who had no direct contact with you previously and who was not part of the interviewing panel. You should not assume that they will not be able to get feedback for you. The reality is that you may not get speaking directly to a member of the interviewing panel again. You should therefore ensure that you provide them with as much information as possible about the interview – the role, the date you were interviewed etc and of course who you were interviewed by. By having this information at hand, they will be in a much better position to get you the feedback you need. This is especially true if you are chasing feedback in a particularly large organisation or in a company where there is extensive ongoing recruitment. If you have applied for a role via a recruitment agency, ask the consultant to chase feedback on your behalf.
Whilst it can be frustrating to be chasing interview feedback and to effectively be ignored, that should still not give you cause to be rude or disrespectful. There is no point in harassing a receptionist simply because a HR Manager has not been responding to your emails or calls. Be polite and courteous in all your correspondence and communication. You may have to send reminder emails and perhaps try repeatedly before hearing anything but you should not use this as an excuse to get angry. There may after all be a justifiable reason why your interview feedback is delayed. If, however, in spite of all your best efforts you are still unable to source any interview feedback, it is perhaps unfortunately simply time to move on. On the other hand, if you do receive feedback and it is overly critical or you feel wholly unfair, be mindful of how you react. Be respectful of what you are told – no matter how hard it may be to take on board.
Get things clarified
The most important point of getting interview feedback is so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve for the future. If you receive feedback which you cannot fully understand or if an interviewer compares you to another candidate who ‘ticked more of the boxes’, then you should always ask for a little clarification. You could perhaps ask for example of how you could have improved in certain answers or ask for some more detail on why their preferred candidate got the job. Was it down to qualifications or was it experience in a particular area? Or was it simply how they sold themselves at interview. If your feedback is to have real constructive value, you need to ensure that you understand it fully and therefore can use it to improve things in the future.
We hope that these basic tips on getting interview feedback should help. Got any others that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below.