Ask A Job Coach: I Didn’t Get The Job! How Do I Request Feedback?

BummedDear Job Coach:

I recently interviewed for a position I was really interested in.  I mean I prepped, I immersed myself, and I researched the company inside and out.  I just received my rejection letter.  I am so bummed out and angry because I know I did a great job.  I wasn’t sure I made a connection with the interviewer, however, and that may be the reason I wasn’t selected.

Can I ask the interviewer for feedback?  I really want to know why I wasn’t selected for the position.

Bummed in Brooklyn

Dear Bummed:

Of course you can ask your interviewer for feedback. What an excellent question!  I really wish more people thought of this.  I hate to burst bubbles but many people are NOT as great as interviewing as they think they are.  Its kind of like when you think you are funny and you can sing……and you go on American Idol and all the world  sees that, even your shower, hates your singing voice.  You never really know your weak spots, until someone points them out to you.  So, here are a few quick tips!

  1. Ask Nicely - if you are lucky enough to receive your soul- crushing via telephone call, it is perfect timing to say the following: “Thank you for letting me know your decision.  I was very interested in this position and I would like to receive some feeback about my interview.  I am looking to sharpen my interviewing skills and fit for similar positions.  Any advice, feedback, or commentary would be extremely beneficial. “  The above, or similar, can also be asked via email.
  2. Ask the Right Questions: Don’t put the interviewer on the spot by questioning why you weren’t offered the job. Accept you weren’t successful, and ask a constructive question. A better route is to ask how you could improve, what your weak areas were or if the interviewer have any specific interviewing advice for you.
  3. Be Prepared For the Negative – You asked for the cold hard truth, right?  So don’t become defensive when you hear the results. Truly internalize their opinions and resolve to include their suggestions in your job search strategy.  There should be no hint of you wanting to argue a point about your candidacy or that you feel angry or injured.
  4. Do Better Next Time – Instead of kicking the dirt and taking your ball off the playground, engage yourself in improving your interviewing skills.  Try some mock interviewing, record yourself, ask yourself did you really research and prepare for the interview.  There is always room for improvement!

Have you requested feedback from an interviewer? What are your thoughts?



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