Have you ever been turned down after a job interview? It’s a gut punch. Reading that rejection email is one of the worst feelings out there. Most of us have unfortunately experienced this, and it can seriously discourage you during your job search. However, after receiving a job rejection, do you request feedback from the interviewer or HR professional? If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your candidacy in the future. Here’s how to request feedback after a job rejection.
Why ask for feedback after a job rejection
Instead of just reading that rejection email, taking a moment to compose yourself, and then moving on to the next, you should request feedback on your interview performance and candidacy. How can you expect to improve your interviewing skills or bolster your application if you don’t know what went wrong? You should always ask for feedback after a job rejection if the interviewer did not provide any. Did you mess up answering an interview question? Did you lack a skill set or qualification? Or did you fail to demonstrate a skill set that is actually in your wheelhouse? If you don’t ask for feedback, you may never know what you can do to improve in the future.
Sometimes it can be challenging to request feedback
It can be challenging to ask an interview for feedback. After a job rejection, you probably feel a little vulnerable and unsure of your talents—rejection stings, especially if you have been unemployed for months or even longer. But if you don’t use rejection as an opportunity to better yourself and hone your interviewing skills, how can you expect a different outcome in the future?
In the words of Barack Obama, “You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.”
How to ask for feedback after a job rejection
While it can be difficult, it is necessary to ask for feedback in order to improve. Each company has a different hiring process, and thus, will reject candidates differently. The way you receive your rejection will also depend on the stage of the interviewing process. For example, if you are passed on after just submitting your application, you will probably get a generic, auto-generated email (if you hear back at all). But if you have an interview or two, you can expect a more personal response.
More than likely, you will receive an email thanking you for your time and that although you were a great candidate, “the company decided to move forward in the process with other candidates at this time.” If you receive this email, you can quickly respond and ask for feedback.
Example response to a rejection email
“Hi [Hiring Manager/HR Name]
Thank you for following up about [position name] and informing me about your decision.
As I continue my job search, I am always looking for ways to improve my interviewing skills and bolster my candidacy. Was there an area you felt like I was lacking or part of the interview you think that I can perform better in the future?
Any feedback you can share would be greatly appreciated and help me enhance my job search, and ultimately, my career.
Thank you for your time and feedback,
When requesting feedback, you want to keep it short and sweet. Start it off with expressing your gratitude for the interviewer’s time and then asking them to share how you can improve. Thank them again and fire it off. Don’t try to change their mind, argue about your candidacy, or accuse them of anything. They made their decision, and you will just put a bad taste in their mouth if you are bitter about their decision.
You can facilitate this feedback the same way if the interviewer calls you to inform you of their response. If you request feedback in your rejection phone call, their response and advice may even be more specific if it’s fresh in their minds, so please don’t hesitate to ask over the phone!
It can feel awkward to ask for advice after being rejected from a job, but if you don’t ask for input, it will be challenging to know how to improve as a candidate. If you are ready to move on and put your interviewing skills to the test, review our job board today!