Have you ever been rejected from a job you really thought you completely nailed? Welcome to the club. Job rejections are probably one of the toughest forms of rejection you could receive. And the more interviews you go on to, the tougher it is to hear the sad news that a company "went with another candidate."
While your first reaction would be to rant in front of the computer (or roll on the floor and cry), remember that this is also a great opportunity to get feedback on why you didn't make the cut, and perhaps gain valuable insights to improve your interview skills as you continue your search.
But when should you ask for feedback?
The best time to get the most meaningful feedback is when you've gotten to the second or third round of interviews, and then get the rejection letter. Because if you've passed the first round (phone interview, initial screening), it means your skills and experiences were qualified for the job, and the reason for not getting it could be interesting, and a lot more helpful the next time you are interviewing for a similar role.
Here are 3 reasons why you should swallow up your pride and ask for feedback after being rejected:
1. It will give you insights on how to improve your job search.
Asking feedback from people who didn't hire you can definitely help improve and polish the way you approach an interview.
Both you and the recruiter might think that you were super qualified for the job, but your habit of not making enough eye contact every time you spoke made the recruiter doubt your honesty. Or maybe there was a certain skill the recruiter thought you still needed to develop. Or it could be they thought you weren't a culture fit. The reasons could be anything, and asking for feedback is the only way to know why, and be armed with knowledge to better yourself for the next interview.
2. You will learn something new about yourself.
When you ask for advice and opinions after getting rejected, you are also actually discovering something about yourself that you might not be aware of. Did the recruiter point out that you had an unpleasant habit of completing other people's sentences? Or that you we're too talkative and didn't even go straight to the point? Did you know those things about yourself?
Asking feedback can make you aware of habits you weren't conscious of, even if they are the kind of habits with good intentions, and make you more mindful in the next interview.
So ask. The interviewer really has nothing to lose by being brutally honest with you.
3. You'll prove that you're willing to learn.
Even if you didn't get the position, this is now your chance to actually show that you are able to take constructive criticism well, and that you're moving forward and look for ways to develop yourself, learn, and grow.
By reaching out to the recruiter or almost employer, you're subtly telling them that you can and will definitely improve yourself. That is even a surefire way to impress them, or any company for that matter, and hopefully, keep the doors open for future opportunities.
Now that you know the benefits of asking for feedback, it's time to know how to actually do it.
First, thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Then give them the option of providing feedback (without demanding it). Maybe you could say “If you do have any feedback for me, I’d love to use it to make myself a stronger candidate for the future,” that's a good way to approach it.
Have a hard time drafting the email? Use this template and start your journey to improvement.