Asking for Feedback After a Job Rejection

Asking for Feedback After a Job Rejection

You just found out you did not get that job. It may seem like a risky idea to start asking for feedback about the interview. However, this is actually the perfect time to send an email requesting feedback. Knowing when and how to request interview feedback is key.

When Is the Best Time to Ask

The best time to send an email to request for feedback is right after you find out you did not receive an offer. Your reasons for rejection will still be fresh in the hiring manager’s mind. You can also use this as a chance to thank the person and keep the business relationship strong.

Asking for feedback is a good idea if you had the chance to get to know the employer or recruiter a little bit. If the interview goes to either the 2nd or 3rd round, it is ok to ask. They met you face-to-face and that is worthy of feedback.

If you only had a phone screening and never heard back, asking for feedback may be pointless since they had little chance to remember you. If you had an in-person inerview that seemed to go well, and your request is not answered, other reasons for not getting feedback could be at play.

Do Not Fall Into This Trap - Concerns About Being "Needy"

Every person, at some point in life, wants something so bad they are willing to do anything to get it. Job seekers who are anxious to hear updates on their status in a hiring process get themselves in trouble when two things happen: 

1. They get overly concerned about appearing needy and never follow up.

2. They stop caring about appearing needy. They follow up with emails to a recruiter or hiring manager repeatedly, without considering the last time they followed up or how many times they tried to follow up. 

By falling into this trap, they either become forgotten, do not properly nurture relationships with hiring teams, or simply annoy everyone to a point where they start getting ignored.

It is important to remember the importance of basic guidelines for building business relationships. The most important guideline being a need to focus on "quality" communications; not "quantity".

How to Ask for Feedback

Send an email to request feedback. Asking on the phone or in-person puts the hiring manager on the spot and may come across as socially awkward, desperate, or needy.

Asking for feedback should never read in an email as if you feel entitled to it, or worse, ready to start a defensive argument.

To write a question like, “Why didn’t you hire me?” or “What did I do wrong?”, reads like a person is being set up with a loaded question. Check out these 7 possible reasons you didn’t receive interview feedback.

Good Example of a Feedback Request

When sending an email to request feedback, try an approach that reads like you are always working to improve:

“Dear [insert name],

It was a pleasure to meet you and I appreciate the time spent with me for this interview. If you have any interview feedback for me, I would surely use it to make myself a stronger candidate for future openings.

Thank you for everything,

[insert name]”

There is nothing about the message that reads, “Be careful”. It is straight-forward, appreciative, and to the point.

Bad Example of a Feedback Request

Getting rejected for a job is not easy and made even tougher when you really think you were going to be hired. Do not let your disappointment lead you to send something like this:

“Hi [insert name],

I am at a loss for words. What exactly went wrong? I thought you were going to hire me.

If you have any feedback for me on why I wasn’t hired, I am all ears.


[insert name]”

It would be great to say that email was made up, but unfortunately, it has happened. Being turned down for work can make some feel a need to go on the defensive. Always take the high road when it comes to asking for feedback. People will remember you for being a true professional in spite of bad news, a positive sign you can handle pressure.

For more interviewing tips be sure to check out our career advice blog.

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