How To Ask for Feedback After an Interview

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

During your search for a new job, it's not uncommon to attend multiple interviews before finding the right position. While receiving a rejection can be disappointing, it provides an opportunity to understand where you need to improve your interview technique. The interviewer can offer you a unique insight into your qualifications, experience and skills from the perspective of potential employers. In this article, we discuss the importance of requesting feedback after an interview and explain how you can reach out to recruiters.

Related: Follow-Up Email Examples For After The Interview

Why is it important to know how to ask for feedback after an interview?

Requesting feedback can be incredibly valuable during your job search. The benefits range from developing your self-awareness to potentially creating new opportunities for the future. Applying the feedback you receive effectively can take practice, but using the advice you receive after an interview rejection provides an opportunity for growth and development that can lead to success at a later date. Here are some of the benefits of asking for feedback after an interview:

Understand your competition

During your interview, recruiters are looking to understand what sets you apart from other candidates. Before the interview, there's no way of knowing what the other candidates can offer and how they stand out in comparison to you. By requesting feedback, you may be able to find out what skills, abilities or qualifications the successful applicant had that you may be lacking. This provides you with an opportunity to start making the necessary professional developments that could help you stand out in future interviews, as you can gain a better understanding of your potential competition.

Gain insight into recruiter priorities

While you may have prepared yourself by studying the job description and researching the company you are applying to work for, it can still be hard to know exactly what recruiters are looking for. Seeking the advice of your interviewer can provide valuable insight into the particular attributes that recruiters want to see in successful job applicants. By learning exactly what potential employers are looking for in your field, you can begin making adjustments to your interview technique to highlight those desirable attributes in future interviews.

Related: Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

Discover what you're good at

Discovering where you may not have met the interviewers' criteria and requesting feedback is also a great way to learn what you did well. Typically, interviewers provide you with relevant compliments alongside any constructive criticism. Use the positive feedback to learn which strengths to highlight in future interviews.

Personal development

Interviews are often a challenging experience, and it can be difficult to recall every detail of the process when looking back on your performance. Asking for feedback from the outside perspective of the interviewer is a useful tool to help you understand how others perceive you during an interview. The observations and evaluations that the recruiter can pass on to you can help you to refine your interview technique and adjust your application documents to present yourself in a more desirable way.

Find new opportunities

Although you may not have been offered one particular position within a company you have interviewed for, it doesn't mean that there isn't another potential opportunity better suited to your professional attributes. If you were a top candidate for the role, connecting with the recruiter following your interview demonstrates a genuine keen interest in the company.

Asking for feedback shows that you're professional, have a willingness to learn and are open to growth. These are all sought-after traits most recruiters look for in candidates. Considering their feedback can help you when additional positions become available.

Expand your network

Connecting with the recruiter again following your interview is a great way to expand your professional network. While you may not have been the right fit for that position, the interviewer may be aware of additional opportunities within the field that may be suitable for you. They might be able to recommend other companies or positions to you, or you may consider connecting with them on a business networking platform if the interaction was a positive one overall. Building your professional contacts is a great way to keep up to date with professional development and job opportunities within your industry.

Related: Networking Tips for Job Seekers

How to ask for feedback after an interview

Follow these steps to ask for feedback after your next interview:

1. Thank the interviewer

While it's often disappointing to receive a rejection phone call or email, it's important that you remain graceful in accepting the rejection. Begin by thanking the interviewer for the time they spent reviewing your application and the interview itself. Though you can express your disappointment, remaining well-mannered and professional helps build upon the relationship you have formed with both the recruiter and the company if any future opportunities arise.

2. Remain courteous

Remember that the interviewer is not obligated to provide you with feedback following your interview, and you are technically asking them for a favour. To increase your chances of receiving a thoughtful response that provides actual value, it's important that you remain polite when making your request. The tone of your request can influence how much effort the recruiter puts into your feedback. Ensure that you come across as genuinely appreciative of their help towards your professional development.

3. Provide an explanation

While requesting feedback following rejection isn't uncommon, not every applicant responds to a rejection notice. It's important to clearly explain the reasons behind your request to help the interviewer understand the kind of advice that would be most beneficial to you. Explain that you are continuously looking for ways to learn and improve and that you would appreciate any feedback that could be given based on your performance in your interview.

Related: How to Develop Your Skill Set for Career Success

4. Ask for advice

When you ask for feedback following your interview, make sure you're asking for advice and insight. Interviewers may be hesitant to give an honest opinion to a rejected applicant, particularly if the tone of the request is quite insistent. Instead, ask politely for help or advice without being too pressing so that the interviewer feels more comfortable assisting you.

5. Show gratitude

When you've finished making your request for feedback, ensure you express your gratitude towards the interviewer for sharing their time and expertise. It can be beneficial to reference part of the experience that you enjoyed and speak positively about areas of the job role that particularly interested you. You want to ensure that you leave a positive impression on the interviewer and the company so that, if another opportunity arises in the future, you increase your chances of being considered.

Tips for asking for feedback following an interview rejection

As we mentioned above, your interviewer is not obligated to provide you with feedback, so here are a few tips to increase your chances of receiving a response:

  • Use email: HR staff are often very busy, so asking for feedback over the telephone may not be the most effective method. Sending a request via email allows the HR team to reply when they have time and often results in better quality feedback being given.

  • Don't send your request immediately: Sending a request for feedback immediately after receiving your rejection can make you look panicked, and you're more likely to construct a rash response. Give yourself time to craft a well-worded response but ensure you send it within 24 hours.

  • Be concise: Try and keep your request short and to the point since your email is going to take time out of the recruiter's day. A polite and concise message is more likely to receive a response.

  • Proofread: Each email you send makes an impression on the recruiter and, even though you have been rejected for this position, another opportunity might arise in the future. Make sure you proofread your email for errors before sending it.

  • Use positive language**:** As mentioned, the tone of your request is crucial to increasing your chances of receiving valuable feedback. Use positive language and express your gratitude clearly so that the recruiter doesn't feel you disagree with their decision.

If you don't receive a response to your email after five business days, you can send a polite follow-up email to see if the recruiter has had an opportunity to review your request. If you still don't receive a response after following up, they probably won't provide any feedback for that particular interview and it's best to move on from it. Don't take their lack of response personally; HR departments and recruiters often deal with many applicants at a time, and they may not have the time to construct a worthwhile response.

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