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Why didn't I get the job? How to ask for feedback that will help you get ahead

If you've ever walked out of a job interview confident that it went well, only to receive a phone call with feedback that you were unsuccessful - you know how disheartening it can be. While news that you have been unsuccessful can be difficult to hear, you can take it as an opportunity to learn - and use it your advantage. Speaking to a recruiter or HR professional who has taken the time to read your application, screen and interview you will help you gain insight into how you can improve. Ensuring you gain as much feedback as you can about your interview style, your strengths, and areas for improvement is imperative - to give you the best chance of getting your dream job the second time around.

How to ask for feedback

Even though you might be disappointed with the outcome, it is important to remain professional throughout the conversation, and avoid taking any frustration out on the Hiring Manager or Recruiter. The hiring process can be demanding, so make a point of acknowledging that the Hiring Manager and Recruiter's time is valuable, and thank them for their consideration and the opportunity to be interviewed. Most recruiters are more than happy to provide you with some constructive feedback – and you should feel confident asking them directly, saying for example “If you have any feedback from my interview or from the Hiring Manager, I'd really appreciate it. I am keen to improve so I can be a stronger candidate in the future”. Your recruiter might also choose to email you with some feedback and pointers at a later date. If they don't email you straight away, they will likely want to ensure they have time to provide you with useful feedback. Similarly, if you are uncomfortable or short of time, you can also politely email them within a few days of your phone conversation to follow up.

Constructive criticism

Constructive criticism is intended to be just that; constructive. While it might be tough to hear, particularly in relation to areas you could improve, resist the urge to become defensive or upset. After all, the advice is intended to help, so take the feedback on board so you can work out what you need to improve. Moreover, don't use the conversation as a catalyst to change the recruiter's mind about offering you the job. If they have called you to decline, they have already made their decision - trying to persuade them otherwise is unprofessional. Asking for feedback is an opportunity for you to learn and improve, not to convince the recruiter to hire you.

Make a good impression

In addition to enhancing your interview skills, asking for feedback is also a great opportunity to position yourself for future roles. Taking on board a recruiter's advice shows them that you care about the role and that you are interested in advancing your career. Furthermore, it demonstrates that you are able to receive and action constructive criticism – a skill sought by many employers, and a sign of high emotional intelligence. While you were unsuccessful in vying for this particular position, you can ask your recruiter to keep you in mind for similar roles in the future. If that doesn't happen, you have still gained valuable insight into how to improve as a candidate – which will help get you one step closer to landing your dream role.

How we can help

If you are searching for your next tech role – Paxus can help you find it! With access to some of the most exciting roles in the industry, your next interview could be just around the corner. Contact your local Paxus branch to find out how we can help find you your perfect career match.

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