How To Get Feedback After An Interview

Getting feedback from a seasoned interviewer is invaluable. Whilst it might not be the first thing on your mind after an interview, it’ll help you refine your technique and increase your chances of being successful next time around.

Employers can be reluctant to give feedback because it's time consuming, however, it's always worth trying. Here's how to go about it.

1. Disguise it as a thank you note

Sneakily hide your request for feedback in a general ‘thank you’ context. Say that you really enjoyed the interview process and thank them for the opportunity - then drop the f-bomb. (Feedback, not the other f-bomb!)

2. Get it ASAP

Seek feedback as soon as you can, while you are still fresh in the interviewer's mind. If are rejected over the phone, strike while the iron is hot and ask then. If you receive the bad news via an email, respond with a polite email within, say, 24 hours.

3. Ask the right person

If you dealt with several people in your application process, speak to the person who you developed the best rapport with; they’ll be more likely to help with your request.

4. Keep the tone positive

Don't put the interviewer on the spot by questioning why you weren't offered the job; questions like ‘Why didn’t you pick me?’ or ‘What did you think of me?’ are too aggressive. Even ‘What were my weaknesses?’ is too assertive. Keep the tone of the request upbeat and positive. A more diplomatic way to broach the topic is with questions like 'Are there a couple of pointers you could give me to refine my interview technique?' or 'Is there anything you'd recommend I practise before my next interview?'.

5. Avoid any awkward questions

Don’t ask the interviewer anything that is going to make them uneasy e.g. ‘Was it what I was wearing?’, ‘Was it because of my age?’, ‘What about my accent, did that put you off?’. All of these questions take an accusatory tone and imply that you believe it was the interviewer’s bias that lost you the job; something that won't go down well and will stop you from gathering any useful feedback.

What do I do with feedback?


Listen to what the interviewer says and don’t be defensive or try to 'explain away' their criticism. You have asked for feedback so accept it graciously, thank the interviewer and reflect on what they have said.

Make notes

Write bullet points of the interviewer’s feedback. Next to each bullet point, write an ‘action’. For instance, if an interviewer says that you were too brief with some of your examples, your ‘action’ would be to plan thorough examples of competencies before your next interview. Squirrel these notes away somewhere safe for future use.

So the moral of the story: while there’s no guarantee that you’ll get interview feedback when you ask for it, it doesn't hurt to try; at worst you won’t get a response and at best you’ll get your hands on some really useful information and refine your interview technique!

Don’t take it personally

Feedback may not be entirely pleasant, in fact, ideally it won’t be; you want them to be brutally honest so you know where you are going wrong. Whatever an interviewer’s critique, remember that it’s not an attack on you or your personality - simply your performance.

For example, if an interviewer says that you came across as a little arrogant, this doesn’t mean you necessarily are an arrogant person, it means that in the small snap shot of you that they've seen, that is how you were perceived - and this perception is the thing you have to work on.

Related content - 

How To Beat Interview Bias
4 Reasons You're Failing Your Interviews
Brutally Honest Advice: Applications


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