After the stress of an interview, the last thing you might want to do is ask for feedback. You already know it went really well or really badly, so why should you get interview feedback? Sometimes, it’s hard to see where you’re going wrong. Getting an honest opinion from your interviewer on how to improve or polish your interview technique will always be valuable.
Always ask for interview feedback…
Some companies won’t give feedback after a first interview, but it’s always worth trying them. If you’re asked back for a second interview and don’t get the job, make sure you get some honest feedback as to why you weren’t right for the role and how they think you can improve.
Keep your cool…
The reason why some companies might be reluctant to give honest feedback is that they don’t want to be accused of discrimination. So how do you set about eliciting honest feedback from them?
First of all, ask for it in calm way. Sending a hurt, angry email littered with capital letters and question marks, e.g. “WHAT DID I DO WRONG??????” won’t help you. Only ask for feedback once you’ve got those emotions under check. You can ask them two ways: send an email or phone them. Turning up at their office demanding feedback might have them calling security.
If you’re sending an email, make sure it’s professional, formal and impersonal. Thank them for the interview and then say something like ‘Although I was unsuccessful, I would really value some feedback on my interview performance. I’m looking to improve my interview skills, so an honest appraisal would be much appreciated.”
Listen to the advice…
The thing about asking for honest feedback is that you might not like what you hear. It’s all too tempting to dismiss feedback as utter “rubbish”, but the majority of the time, your interviewer will know what he/she is talking about.
Instead of ignoring the interview feedback, try to act on it. Have a go at some practice interviews with one of your friends, a family member or a careers advisor to help address your previous mistakes and improve your interview technique.
There’s really no harm in asking for feedback after an interview. At worse, they simply won’t reply, at best, you’ll get some really useful constructive criticism that will help you next time you have an interview.