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

Updated September 14, 2022

Asking for feedback after an interview helps highlight both your strengths and weaknesses. Asking for feedback will also present a unique opportunity to hone your interviewing skills and broaden your professional network. Only by reaching out and asking for feedback will you have access to the interviewer's unique perspective on your qualifications. In this article, we discuss why it's essential to ask for feedback and how to approach it for professional growth.

How to ask for feedback after an interview

Here are six steps you can follow to send an email requesting feedback professionally:

1. Be clear and polite

Before starting your email, it's crucial to remember that you're asking for a favour from the interviewer, so being polite increases your chances of them responding. Being clear is another important step as it further increases your chances of feedback and makes reading your email easier for the interviewer.

Related: 20 Best Practices for Professional Email Etiquette

2. Thank the interviewer

Begin by showing appreciation for the time they spent reviewing your application and seeing you. This is a formal and polite way to continue the professional relationship established throughout the interview process. Gracefully accepting a rejection creates a friendly tone for the rest of the conversation.

Related: Job Interview Thank-You Letters

3. Express your disappointment

Maturely express your disappointment in not getting the job. Include enough information to demonstrate your genuine excitement for the job and interest in the organization. You can let them know you understand and hope there may be another opportunity in the future.

Related: What To Do After a Bad Interview

4. Clarify why you're writing

Follow-ups after a job rejection are common, although not everyone requests feedback. Express your desire to keep looking for chances and to strengthen your candidacy. The more focused your email is, the more likely the interviewer will respond.

Related: Follow-Up Email Examples For After the Interview

5. Request feedback

Be explicit about why you're sending this email, and explain what feedback you're looking for. This will prompt the interviewer to provide specific examples when responding. For example, if you're curious about your ability to communicate your key points clearly, you can request feedback on that.

Related: Constructive Feedback Meaning (With Benefits and Tips)

6. Show appreciation

Show gratitude for the interviewer's time and skills at the end of your request for feedback. For example, consider mentioning a favourite portion of the interview or a project that piqued your attention. This can assist you in leaving a good impression on the interviewer and their company. If the interviewer responds, thank them for taking the time to provide feedback.

Related: How to Draft a "Thank You for the Feedback" Message

Tips on asking for feedback

Here are some tips to follow to increase your chances of getting a response when asking for feedback:

  • Use email: It allows the HR employee to answer when they have the time, which increases the likelihood of a response and improves the input you receive.

  • Send it within 24 hours: If you wait longer than 24 hours to write a response to a rejection, the chances of getting back a response will be diminished.

  • Be as respectful as possible: Always be courteous and kind in requesting feedback, and be grateful when you receive it.

  • Proofread: Make sure everything is in order, and your email is free of errors. Consider having someone else review it to ensure you're on the right track.

It's okay if you don't get a response. In many circumstances, your hiring manager may be too busy to respond to your request. It's nothing personal, so don't be discouraged. Your only chance of receiving feedback is if you ask, so it's worth requesting.

Related: 17 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job

Why is it essential to ask for feedback?

Following up on an interview with a request for feedback has several benefits, ranging from better self-awareness to increased future opportunities. We need input to bridge the gap between how we view ourselves and how others see us, and feedback is that bridge.

Here are some reasons to consider sending that email that may persuade you otherwise:

You gain more knowledge you can use for future interviews

Interviewers have a unique point of view that you'll find valuable. Through them, you can find out what you were missing, which gives you a greater chance of success in your following interview. Allowing your interviewer to share their knowledge could return sound interviewing advice from someone actively hiring in your sector of interest. You can improve and promote such traits during future interviews if you know what the hiring manager was searching for and why they chose another candidate.

You learn something new about yourself

Following a rejection, seeking advice and opinions may reveal something you didn't realize. Unlike friends and mentors, the interviewer will be unbiased and honest with you. As a result, this is most likely where you'll get the most helpful input. An interviewer may point out an area that didn't sit well with them, so you have the opportunity to take positive and improve on it.

You prove you're willing to learn and grow

Constructive criticism is an admirable trait that many people desire to have. Asking for feedback after an interview is a way to achieve this. Doing so shows that you can put any hard feelings aside and positively learn from a negative experience, such as a rejection from a job interview. This works for you in terms of personal development and, as a bonus, shows the interviewer that you're willing to learn and grow.

Asking for feedback may lead to being considered for future opportunities in the same organization

Showing you're willing to grow from the interview you just had may lead to many other opportunities. For example, showing the job recruiter may put you in a solid position to be considered for a job opportunity at that company or within the interviewer's network in the future.

Related: How To Ace Your Next Job Interview

You can move on from the interview experience

Asking for feedback after an interview may feel outside your comfort zone, but you can move on from that experience knowing you tried your best. Doing so can leave you feeling better and at ease. This is especially true if you were unsure about how the interview went.

It gives you a chance to understand your competitors

When you get feedback, you might find out how you stack up against other applicants. You may decide to improve your professional skills for a similar position based on the interviewer's reasons for hiring another candidate. Perhaps there was a specific skill that you lacked that another candidate had, or they answered one of those critical interview questions differently and thus had an added advantage.

You can use this to your advantage and work on the skills that the interviewer pointed out that you missed and, as a result, have more success with your following interview. For example, suppose a particular qualification was not an absolute requirement of the position but was an important component of the successful job seeker's application. In that case, you can begin working toward earning the qualification to perform better in your next interview.

Related: A Complete Guide to Getting Hired Fast (With Valuable Tips)

You learn more about hiring priorities

Knowing what the hiring manager or team was looking for in a candidate is crucial information in the job search experience. This knowledge might help you fill in the blanks in job descriptions so you know where and how to apply for jobs in the future. Asking for feedback increases your chances of being successful in your next interview.

It offers you an opportunity to expand your network

It's never a bad idea to expand your network (particularly with hiring managers). Even if they don't have any openings, they might connect you with someone or point you on the right path for career advancement. If they respond positively, you can consider joining them and being part of their business networking platform.

Related: A Guide to Constructive Criticism with Tips and Examples

Frequently asked questions

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

Should I request feedback even if I got the job?

If you get a job offer following an interview, you can still ask the interviewer for their thoughts on your performance and why they chose you for the job. Positive feedback might demonstrate what you're doing well and what your employer values in their team.

Who should I call to ask for feedback?

In most circumstances, contact the recruiter or person who conducted your interview. You could address the team or the person who wrote the rejection letter if you interviewed with a panel of people.

Is it necessary for me to follow up on my request for feedback?

If the interviewer does not react to your request, you do not need to send a follow-up message. Instead of expecting a response, you can focus on feedback you gather in other circumstances, like from colleagues, friends and family.

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