Can asking for interview feedback prove invaluable for future job applications?

It’s awful hearing that you haven’t been chosen for a job – especially if it’s one you really wanted. As well as being disappointed that you didn’t get what you thought was your dream role, all sorts of questions start to go around your head. What did you do wrong? Why don’t they want you? Will you ever get a job?

Although it’s natural to feel disappointed, unfortunately this isn’t the time for self doubt because you need to present yourself confidently at your next interview. To help better yourself for the next round however, is it worth asking for interview feedback from your unsuccessful application?

Should you ask for feedback?

If your confidence has been knocked by the rejection then asking for feedback can prove very useful because you will be able to learn from it and adapt your interview technique accordingly.

It’s worth bearing in mind however that obtaining this feedback isn’t always easy. Recruiters are not only incredibly busy but a quick poll will reveal that telling candidates they’ve been unsuccessful is one of the hardest parts of the job.

When weighing up whether or not you want to know why you didn’t get the job, ask yourself a few questions. Did you genuinely want the job? Were you a suitable candidate? Did you feel you gave a good interview? If you can answer yes to these then it is well worth asking for feedback because understandably you’re probably confused. If you knew from the minute you walked into the interview that it wasn’t for you however, spend your time preparing for your next interview instead.

How to ask for feedback

Asking someone why they didn’t want you can feel embarrassing. Additionally, it also needs to be done in a way that lets the recruiter know that whilst you’re disappointed, you’re not bitter because you may want to work with them again in the future.

When asking for feedback thank them for their time and help, express your disappointment that you weren’t selected and mention that you would be very appreciative if they could provide some honest feedback as you would be interested in working with them in the future. Not only can this prove to be invaluable for other interviews but if you ever get another meeting with this company again, you’ll know exactly what they’re looking for next time round.

How to handle the feedback

When someone is giving you feedback, it’s important to listen more than you’re talking. It can be hard to hear someone’s assumptions about you especially if you know you were just nervous or having an off day but don’t get defensive.

A good question to ask is how you compare to the candidates who were successful because this will give you a better understanding of what companies are looking for. A nice way to finish off the conversation is to ask if there’s anything you can do to improve your chances should you get an interview with them in the future. Remember, this feedback will be far more useful if you take it constructively rather than personally.

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