CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 17, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Ask for Feedback after a Job Rejection

Being rejected for a position you thought you were suited for is discouraging. At the same time, you might be curious to understand why you did not get the job.

It’s daunting having to go back to the hiring officer to find out why you were not chosen for the position, but it’s helpful to obtain this information so that you can keep it in mind for future job applications and interviews. The following are ways you are guaranteed to receive feedback from the hiring manager.

Don’t Call, Write

Making a phone call may be inappropriate and in poor taste because recruitment officer may not necessarily be in a convenient position to fully respond to your request. Instead, write a letter or compose an email. This gives the officer time to put more thought into their response and give you helpful information. An email also gives you notes you can always go back and refer to for future job applications.

Be Grateful

When composing your request for feedback, begin by being grateful for the opportunity the hiring manager offered you by considering your application. This opens them up to considering your query. Following up after a job interview even after being rejected is often viewed positively, so the hiring manager will invest their time in giving you the information you require.

Don’t be Argumentative, Pay Attention

In rare instances, the hiring officer may request to see you personally for feedback. You may be slighted at not having been chosen for the position, but it is important to listen carefully to what the hiring manager has to say about your skills, qualifications and personality even if you don’t agree with them. Take their perspective positively, as something to learn about yourself that you had not considered before. Being open to feedback encourages the hiring manager to give better clarification and answer any additional queries you may have.

Phrase Your Request Appropriately

When requesting feedback, it’s better to key in on certain information to make it easier for the hiring manager to answer you accordingly. Ask specific questions such as “Did I interview well?”, “What suggestions do you have to improve my candidature?” or “Were there any qualifications missing in my occupational background?” This kind of initiative evokes the hiring manager’s interest, making them more likely to respond comprehensively.

Don’t Be Emotional or Needy

Rejection is difficult to deal with, and even though you need to understand the decision of the employer in order to move on, do not overtly express this as it might irritate or put the hiring manager off. Be calm and confident in your request and maintain a good degree of professionalism.

Recruitment officers today are more than ever encouraging job applicants to seek feedback, so you should not fear approaching them. Once you have obtained the information you need, remember to be thankful for the time the hiring manager has taken to respond to your query. Furthermore, don’t be downhearted. Instead, think of the entire experience as having been gainful and useful to you for future reference and improvement.

 

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