How To Ask for Feedback After an Interview (With Tips)

Asking for feedback requires humility and a willingness to learn from others, especially in a professional environment. Although getting rejected after a promising interview can be disappointing, the interviewer will have a unique perspective on your qualifications that you can only access by reaching out and asking for feedback.In this article, we discuss the benefits of asking for feedback after an interview, as well as how to reach out to the interviewer or recruiter to request feedback.

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

There are several benefits to asking for feedback after an interview, ranging from developing self-awareness to creating opportunities for the future. During your job search, gathering input from others can increase your chances of being hired at a later date. Implementing feedback effectively takes practice, and asking for advice after being rejected for a position offers you an opportunity to be humble and open to growth. The benefits of asking for feedback after an interview include:

  • Personal development
  • Gaining insight from recruiters
  • Understanding competitors
  • Creating opportunities
  • Expanding your network

Personal development

Asking for feedback after an interview can show you which aspects of your application were most successful and where you could improve. Because interviews can be nerve-wracking, you may not notice every detail of your interview. Having an outside perspective from someone who observed and evaluated your interview can allow you to better understand how others perceive you during an interview. Feedback enables you to improve yourself, which is especially useful during a job search where you have multiple opportunities to refine and adjust your application materials and interview style.

Gaining insight from recruiters

Interviewers and recruiters have a valuable point of view and may look for certain attributes in applicants. Offering your interviewer a chance to share their expertise may provide useful interviewing tips from the perspective of someone who is actively hiring in your field of interest. By learning what the hiring manager was looking for and why you were not selected, you can make adjustments and highlight those attributes during future interviews.

Understanding competitors

When receiving feedback, you could learn about how you compare to other applicants. Depending on the interviewer’s reasons for hiring another candidate, you may decide to pursue more professional development before applying to a similar position. For example, if the interviewer explains that the candidate they hired had a desirable certification, you can then decide on methods to make your application more competitive or even pursue certification yourself.

Creating opportunities

If you were a top applicant for one position at a company but did not get the job, there is a chance that another position could suit you better in the future. By connecting with an interviewer even after being rejected for a position, you are demonstrating professionalism, a growth mindset and an interest in the company. Asking for genuine feedback can make a good impression on hiring managers and make your name memorable when additional positions become available.

Expanding your network

By connecting with the interviewer beyond the transaction of applying for a position, you can expand your professional network and connect with additional opportunities. The interviewer will likely be familiar with various positions in their field and may also recommend other companies or positions to you. If you ask for feedback and they respond positively, you can also consider connecting with them on a business networking platform.

How to ask for feedback after an interview

Though there are many benefits to asking for feedback after an interview, some applicants may feel intimidated by asking their interviewer for advice. Use these steps to professionally and gracefully respond to rejection and request the interviewer’s feedback:

1. Thank the interviewer

When responding to the rejection email or phone call, begin by thanking the interviewer for the time they spent reviewing your application and interviewing you. This is both a formal courtesy and a way to build upon the professional relationship formed during the interview process. Accepting a rejection with grace can set a positive tone for the conversation.

2. Be polite

Remember that you are asking a favor of the interviewer to take extra time to give you feedback, so being polite can increase your chances of receiving a thoughtful response.

3. Explain your motivation

Many applicants will not reply to a rejection notice, so clearly state your reasoning for reaching out. Explain that you are continuously looking for opportunities to learn and that you would appreciate feedback on your interview. Explaining your motivation for requesting feedback gives the interviewer an idea of the type of advice that would benefit you the most.

4. Request advice

When asking for feedback from the interviewer, request help or advice instead of demanding a reply. The interviewer may be hesitant to share their honest opinion with a rejected applicant. Asking politely for advice or help lets them feel more comfortable.

5. Show appreciation

At the end of your request for feedback, show appreciation for the interviewer’s expertise. Consider referencing a part of the interview that you enjoyed or a project that interested you. This will help support your positive reputation with the interviewer and their company. If the interviewer replies, thank them again for taking the time to share feedback.

6. Apply the interviewer’s suggestions

Take the interviewer’s feedback seriously and apply the most useful advice to future interviews. Consider what you could do to improve a particular aspect of the interview. For example, if the interviewer referred to company culture as a reason for choosing another candidate, consider researching companies that share your values.

Frequently asked questions on interview feedback

Here are answers to these frequently asked questions about asking for feedback after an interview:

When should I ask for feedback?

Plan to reply to their rejection notice within 24 hours to ask for feedback. The interviewer will be able to give the best feedback when your interview happened recently. A prompt reply also exhibits a professional and proactive attitude.

Should I email or call?

If possible, respond to the interviewer through the same method they contacted you. If you are speaking over the phone, consider asking to arrange a time to discuss their feedback instead of requesting it right away. This will allow the interviewer to give you a more thoughtful reply.

Who should I ask?

In most cases, you should reach out to the recruiter or the person who interviewed you. If you interviewed with a panel of people, you can address the team or the person who sent the rejection letter.

Should I follow up on my request for feedback?

You do not need to send a follow-up message if the interviewer does not respond to your request. You should not expect a reply and instead, focus on advice from people who are invested in your success.

Should I ask for feedback if I was offered the job?

If you receive a job offer after an interview, you can still ask for the interviewer’s input on your performance and the reasons they selected you for the position. Positive feedback can show what you are doing well and what the employer considers valuable to their team.

Video: “What Persuaded You to Interview Me?”
Jenn explains the strategy behind asking the question “What Persuaded You to Interview Me?” including what you could learn and what it tells the interviewer about you.