How to Ask for Feedback after an Interview: A Complete Guide

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Asking for feedback after an interview will not only force the hiring manager to review your application and give you an additional shot to land the role, but it will also provide valuable information that will help with your job search.

That said, how you ask for feedback is also important – do you inquire at the end of your interview? Wait until they contact you? Or hound them through various methods until you get an answer?

This guide will answer all your questions and help you ask for feedback after the interview the right way!

Why is it important to ask for feedback after an interview?

Asking for feedback after an interview will help you develop yourself as a professional and increase your interviewing skills. If the hiring manager is honest, they may give you pointers that will help boost your CV and a chance to secure the next role that you apply for. For example, if you don’t have enough experience, they may suggest that you take a particular course that will help enhance your skills.

Not only that, but you will gain insight and learn what the recruiters are looking for – a valuable piece of information that you wouldn’t have unless you had asked. It will also allow you to make changes in your delivery and improve before your next interview. If you ask correctly, you’re also demonstrating great professionalism and may make a connection with the interviewer, who will likely consider you for any future positions.

How to ask for feedback

Asking for feedback after an interview can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what to say. Samuel Johns, a hiring manager at Resume Genius, says that ‘when asking for feedback, phrasing is key. Say something like ‘Since I’m applying for similar jobs in this industry and want to work on my interview skills, I was wondering if you have any feedback for me.’ This wording makes it much more likely that the interviewer will provide feedback because they can see your focus is on self-improvement.’

1. Wait at least 24 hours

There’s nothing worse than asking for feedback before you’ve even walked out of the interview room. After your interview, wait at least a day before you follow up. Most candidates usually wait a few weeks before they check on the status of their application and ask for feedback, while others wait until they receive a rejection letter to enquire why they didn’t get the job and what they can do to improve in the future.

2. Thank the interviewer

Start by thanking the interviewer for their time and for the opportunity that has been given to you. Don’t just jump straight into asking why you’ve not been contacted regarding the position. 

No matter the outcome, you must always be thankful and respectful. You never know when your paths will cross again!

3. Be polite

Following on from the previous point, you should be polite throughout your entire interview process, but especially when it comes to asking for feedback.

Dana Case, Director of Operations at MyCorporation.com, says that ‘After thanking the interviewer for their time, you can then ask if there are any aspects you can improve on. This may range from how prepared (or not) the candidate was for the interview with their answers to questions to certain body language cues. Do ask for feedback once. Be polite when asking and courteous when and if you receive said feedback. Thank them for this information and move along to use it in future interviews. Do not hound down your interviewer repeatedly for weeks via email, phone calls, or messages on LinkedIn.’ 

4. Use the right tone   

Your tone is key when it comes to asking for feedback after an interview. Most candidates can be frustrated after a job rejection and let that show. Rolf Bax, HR Manager at Resume.io, advises that ‘If you are frustrated or angry, do not ask any questions. If you ask for feedback with a negative tone, you will not get feedback. The interviewers are more likely to give constructive feedback to the ones who asked for it with the right intent.’ 

To help you get the tone right, consider recording yourself asking the question before you make your phone call to the hiring manager.

5. Ask for advice

It’s important to ask for advice instead of demanding it when requesting feedback after an interview. The interviewer may be hesitant to give you honest feedback because they don’t want to hurt your feelings or knock your confidence. Hence, you need to make them feel comfortable by asking for professional assistance that will help you later on down the line.

6. Leave the door open

Even if you haven’t been successful, leave the door open for future collaborations. You could end up being contracted for freelance work while they look to fill the role, and if you’re successful, you may be offered a full-time job afterwards. Also, you may decide to apply for another role in the future, and the positive relationship that you’ve already established can work in your favour.

7. Respond regardless of the outcome

Whether you agree with the feedback that you’ll receive, or not, it’s important to respond to the email and thank the recruiter again for their reply. Don’t get cold or bitter just because you don’t like the answer that you’ve been given. Interviewing is also part of networking, so you don’t want to create a bad name for yourself through your reaction to negative feedback.

How to request feedback via email

Sending an email is probably the best way to request feedback after an interview – it doesn’t put the hiring manager on the spot and ensures that the email is delivered to the right person.

1. Don’t be pushy

Since the hiring manager is conducting multiple interviews and considering a handful of applicants, it’s important not to be pushy and give them time and space to get back to you. Once you’ve fired off the email, resist the urge to follow up with a phone call or another email. Just wait until you’ve heard back. And if you’ve been ghosted, move on!

2. Check for grammatical errors 

Making any form of error in your email could cost you the job. So, be sure to run your text through an editing tool and triple check the email before you hit the send button.

3. Keep it short 

Don’t even think about sending a page-long essay as to why you deserve the role and require feedback. Instead, keep your email to two or three paragraphs – and no longer!

4. Get the name right

Don’t use nicknames when referring to the hiring manager, for example, Matt, when his name is Matthew. Since you’ve only met once, you must address them by their formal name.

5. Don’t forget to include important details

Your feedback request email should include:

  • A reminder of who you are
  • The date that you had your interview
  • A short ‘thank you’
  • The request for feedback
  • An open-ended statement about future collaborations
  • Your contact details

6. Use a template 

Here are a few templates that you can consider using when asking for feedback after an interview.

For when you haven’t heard back at all:

Dear [Insert Hiring Manager’s Name], 

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on the [insert date] to discuss the Social Media Coordinator role. It was an honour to meet with you and discuss the job and duties involved. 

I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the team, and I’m particularly interested in the new brand campaign that you will be launching soon. That said, I’d like to ask if you have any feedback regarding my performance in the interview? 

I’d love to hear your professional opinion and gain valuable insights from an experienced marketer.                                                                                     

I look forward to any future collaborations and eagerly await your reply. 

Regards, 

[Your Name] 

For when you have received a job rejection:

 Dear [Insert Hiring Manager’s Name], 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview for the role of [position] at [company name]. While I’m disappointed that I have not been successful in securing the role, I greatly appreciate you informing me about this. 

I would love to receive some feedback from you based on my application and performance in the interview. Any suggestions for improvement will be greatly appreciated as they will help me hone my professional skills. 

I look forward to hearing back from you and would love to stay in contact for any future opportunities. 

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Regards, 

[Your Name] 

How to request feedback over the phone

If your communication has mainly been carried out over the phone, then don’t be afraid to choose this option! It can be a quick and easy way to get direct information from the hiring manager – there will be nowhere for them to hide!

It also shows that you’re confident enough to take the initiative and reach out to get the answer that you are looking for. 

1. Practise before you make the call 

As mentioned above, you want to sound polite and confident, which can all go out of the window when you haven’t practised what you’re going to say. So, to make a good impression, roleplay with a friend or family member before you make the call.

2. Smile 

You’ve probably heard this advice over and over, but I’m going to say it again! Be sure to smile during your phone call – the person on the other end can hear it and make you sound more relaxed and confident.

3. Don’t talk for too long 

Since you’ve practised what you’re going to say, make sure it doesn’t turn into a monologue. Keep the dialogue short and sweet!

4. Avoid calling them repeatedly 

Don’t call over and over again! Try once and leave a message for the hiring manager to get back to you. Alternatively, you can follow up by email if you haven’t been successful in getting through to the hiring manager via the phone.

5. Don’t forget to mention important details

You should generally mention the following throughout your phone call:

  • Your name
  • The role that you applied for
  • The date of your interview
  • A ‘thank you’
  • Your request for feedback
  • Your contact details (if leaving a voice mail)

6. Follow a script

Here is an example:

[Ring, ring!]

Hiring manager: Hello? 

You: Hi [Name]. This is Jenny Peckham. I interviewed for the social media coordinator position last Wednesday. 

HM: Hi, Jenny, how are you? How can I help? 

Y: I’m good, thanks! I hope you are, too? I was just calling to thank you for the opportunity and to ask if you could give me any feedback that will help me improve my professional skills? If you’re busy right now, I’d be happy to set up a quick call at another time to discuss in further detail. 

By following the advice above, you’ll be able to gain some valuable information that can help advance your skills and ensure you succeed in future positions!

Have you tried any other methods when requesting feedback after an interview? If so, join in on the conversation below to let us know!