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After Interview Feedback: Part One

There is a growing trend around asking for post-interview feedback. While this is a wonderful way for candidates to obtain information around their strengths and opportunities in interviewing and apply that feedback to their next interview, I have noticed a handful of candidates become defensive when feedback is provided. Believe me, I get it. No one likes to walk out of an interview, feeling they nailed it, just to be told a few days later that they are not being moved forward in the consideration process. But asking for feedback is not an appropriate time to air greiveances re: the interview and argue about the feedback as it's given. So for part one of this blog, I'll share my 5 best tips on obtaining post-interview feedback.


1. How to ask the recruiter: I would recommend sending an email to the recruiter asking for feedback as opposed to calling. The recruiter doesn't always have the feedback from the hiring manager readily available and may have to gather that information for you so to avoid a back and forth and awkward phone conversation, email is probably best. Here's a sample:

"Thank you, Recruiter Name, for getting back to me about my interview with Interviewer Name. While I am disappointed that I will not be joining Company Name, I am hopeful that with the appropriate feedback I am able to interview better in the future. I would love the opportunity to discuss the interview feedback with you over the phone. I am available at Phone Number when you have a moment this week or next or feel free to schedule some time to chat. Thank you! 
Your First AND LAST Name"

You would not believe how many people ask for feedback like this:

"Why wasn't I picked? - Erika Sent from my iPhone"

"What did I do wrong. I perfect for job."

"I don't understand why you didn't choose me. I am overqualified for this job so I should have gotten it. Call me ASAP to explain. THX."


"Nah." -Me (in my head of course, as I proceed to move forward with sharing feedback with them 🙄)


2. Take notes: When you get a call about feedback, be prepared to take notes. While the recruiter may not have a ton to say because they were likely not in the interview with you, what they will share with you is important to take note. They will likely share opportunities of where you can improve and they should highlight some of the things you did well in the interview. These notes will come in handy for tip #5!


3. Whatever you do, do NOT argue: Cut and dry, this is not a discussion. Coming across receptive, gracious, and understanding will better align you for future opportunities than being combative and difficult. When you have a particularly bad reaction to feedback or to hearing that you were not selected to move forward, that does nothing more than reinforce that the decision made was the right one. What you can do instead is ask questions you may have in a respectful manner. Ask questions with a purpose like "When would you recommend I reapply?" not "What more could I have done to get the job?"


4. Thank the recruiter for their time: We know you're disappointed. We're disappointed too!

We chose to move your resume forward and in many cases, we spoke with you before scheduling the interview with the hiring manager! We were also hoping for a different outcome. Thank the recruiter for their time. If you haven't already, send a note to the hiring manager thanking them for an interview and let everyone know about the pleasant process (assuming it was a pleasant process) and how you would like to be considered again in the future. This provides you some points for subsequent interviews and makes you memorable. True story - I have definitely provided feedback to candidates and then circled back with them in the future to try another interview - and they've gone on to get the job! A little kindness goes a long way!


5. Apply the feedback: Really and truly, review the feedback provided. Spend time reflecting on the interview from an unbiased perspective as you consider the feedback provided. Did you get wordy when asked a simple question? Were you concise and clear in your responses? Did you badmouth a previous position or employer? Did you rush through your answers? Did you answer a question without actually answering the question? The feedback you receive provides additional data points to get you thinking about your interview and how well or poorly you interviewed. With this information, you are armed with tangible data to improve upon your interview skills. You can use this feedback to practice on your own, with others, or share with an interview coach (I am one!) to help you in subsequent interviews!


Being turned down for a job that you were daydreaming of can be a huge disappointment. But with some feedback and practice, you will land the next one!


If you need help preparing for your next interview, I'm happy to help.

Send me a message here to get started!


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