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How to Ask an Interviewer for Feedback after Being Rejected

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Getting rejection after rejection can be extremely discouraging and you may be wondering where you are going wrong. Getting feedback on your interview performance can be a difficult task. However, it is not impossible if you know how to appropriately approach the subject with your interviewer.

Important Note: Interviewers may be hesitant to give you feedback due to legal risk. Consider if they were to tell you that they were looking for someone with more experience then hire someone with the same level of experience as you, that would put them in a position to be sued. Thus, it is crucial to ask for feedback in a polite, appropriate manner to get actual, useful feedback rather than generic feedback. 

You Should

  • Use Email:

An email gives your interviewer time to carefully think about and respond to your request for feedback. Asking them over a phone call or even directly after an interview puts them on the spot; so they are less likely to give you a detailed response and you may receive a very general, unhelpful response. Emailing shows that you respect their time and their choice to respond.

  • Thank Your Interviewer:

At the beginning of your email, you should thank your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to interview for the position. Then, again, at the end of the email, you should thank them in advance for providing their insight. Keeping an appreciative tone gives you a greater chance they will respond. 

  • Make What You Want Clear:

When asking for feedback on how your interview could have gone better, make sure you emphasize that you are looking for specific feedback. Tell them that you are trying to improve yourself so you can do better for your next interviews and would appreciate detailed feedback. 

You want to ensure you’re not receiving vague and unhelpful feedback. 

  • Tread Lightly:

As previously mentioned, many interviewers are very hesitant to give feedback for a host of reasons; thus, being polite and keeping your wording light in your email is important for getting a response. Including your motivation behind getting feedback in your email could help. 

Something like “I am looking for advice to improve my interview skills for my job search, I was wondering if there were any specific aspects I was lacking or something that could have improved my chances of landing the job” will make it clear that you are only interested in advice and not taking legal action.

You Shouldn’t

  • Sound Defensive:

Getting a job rejection email can be disheartening, especially if you went through multiple rounds of interviews with a company; nevertheless, be sure that you are not coming off as defensive in your follow-up email. This will only hurt your chances of getting advice and may even get you blacklisted from a company.

  • Wait to Send:

The sooner after the rejection email that you follow up asking for feedback, the better. Sending it within 24 hours of receiving the rejection email is the best timeframe as your interview is still fresh in their minds. They can give you more specific advice than they would later down the line. If you wait a while before responding, there is a greater chance that you will get no response or at the least, a very generalized one. 

  • Send a Follow-Up:

If it has been a week and the interviewer has yet to answer your email, do not send a follow-up. At this point, you are very unlikely to get a response. Your energy will be better spent seeking out advice from other individuals or simply moving onto the next opportunity that comes your way rather than sending a follow-up. Not every interviewer will be willing to or be allowed to give you feedback regarding your interview performance.

  • Ask them to Reconsider:

Asking them to reconsider you will not be beneficial to you in the slightest. Once the employer has made their decision, they are not going to change their mind easily. Also, asking them to reconsider will drastically lower your chances of getting any type of feedback. If you still want to work for the company and be considered for future positions with the company, your focus should be on appearing professional and polite. 

  • Write a Novel:

Keep your email short. The interviewer is less likely to respond to your email if it is an extremely long one that they do not feel like reading. Get straight to the point. All that is needed is a thank you, the inquiry, an explainer, and another thank you to end the email with. Any more than that is excessive.

You can do all you can to make an employer want to respond but they still may not. Remember what you are asking of your interviewer while sending out a feedback email–potential legal action and to put their time into something that is not part of their job. Keeping an overall polite and professional tone will go a long way with these emails. Good luck!

Erica started as a Content Writer Intern with Forage in January 2021; previously, she interned with The Borgen Project and wrote for HerCampus.