After a long and grueling job search and interview process, getting told by an employer that you didn’t get the job is bad enough. But not knowing why they turned you down can be absolutely maddening.
Basically, you’re back in the job search game without having learned one new thing to help. You don’t have a job offer or a clue. But what if you want to find out why they decided to go with another job candidate?
Is it ok to ask for feedback after the interview process?
It’s perfectly fine to ask for constructive criticism from one of your interviewers. Just don’t be disappointed if they don’t answer. Many companies have policies about such things. Also, some people feel uncomfortable doing that, especially if you want it in writing. Still it’s probably worth trying just in case you get feedback or simply connect.
I think the best approach is one that appeals to their kindness and willingness to help someone they like. You also want to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, hopefully decreasing the chance of no response or the standard true but not very helpful “it just wasn’t a good fit.”
In this “hybrid” feedback sample (template), you’re asking the interviewer for one-to-one feedback in a way that includes leaving the door open to that company, but also frames it as a possible short informational interview, should they be more comfortable with that.
Sample interview feedback request letter
Here’s a template you can use to create your own feedback request. Just remember that it’s always best to put it into your own words, adjusting for your particular situation:
[Click on image above to open in new page]
You can create a letter like the one above using our professional Cover Letter Builder.
NOTE: If the person agrees to speak with you, express thanks during and in a note afterward. Remember, they might be someone you can contact in the future for advice/help or if you hear of an opening at the same company.
What if you don't want to request any feedback?
Ok. So let’s say you didn’t get the job and are not particularly interested in getting some constructive criticism from this company. You still might want to contact the employer to keep your connection warm.
This is an after-the-rejection follow-up note that aims at leaving a final impression in their minds of someone they might want to work with at a future time.
A few more thoughts
Although I’m sorry you didn’t get the job, the best thing you can do for yourself is let this one go and move on. Learn from the past, but don’t let it hold you back. Your goal is to find a job that is a great fit for both sides.
Remind yourself that you did your best. I’ve known people who get rejected again and again, but then when the right job eventually comes, so does the offer. By all means look for feedback if possible, but this is also a great time to look for ways to strengthen your job search tool kit and techniques.