Getting turned down for a job you really wanted can be heartbreaking. There’s no great way to deal with it other than to accept it and move on; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn from the experience. Asking your recruiter or hiring manager for feedback, even after you’ve been rejected, doesn’t just clue you in on why you didn’t get hired. It gives you real-world advice on improving in the future.
Why You Should Ask
Often, it’s difficult to self-examine and discover our own flaws. In fact, we’re sometimes completely blind to them! The value of asking a recruiter for feedback after a job rejection is this: You’re likely to discover things about yourself you wouldn’t otherwise know. Those things could be related to your professional life, your personality or both — either way, it’s incredibly valuable to adjust these things when moving on to other opportunities. Then, you’re armed with the insight you need to ace your next interview.
How to Ask
Rule number one: Don’t come across as defensive. You don’t want the recruiter to hear: “Why didn’t you hire me for this job?” Instead, phrase your inquiry in a way that makes it clear you’re genuinely interested in improving yourself as a candidate. Try questions like: “What could I improve upon in my next interview?” and “What strengths or skills would you liked to have seen more of?”
As a general rule, email your recruiter to ask about feedback, rather than cold-calling; you don’t want to put the recruiter on the spot. In your email, you can ask if they would be available for a quick phone call. Always remain positive and appreciative – be sure to begin and end the email thanking the recruiter for their time and efforts.
When to Ask
Generally, it’s acceptable to ask your recruiter for feedback only a day or two after receiving the news you’ve been rejected for the job. Don’t wait longer than that, because the hiring process and the recruiter themselves have already moved on.
If you don’t hear back within a week, send a follow-up email to see if the recruiter would still be willing to chat. If you still don’t hear back, let it go – it’s unlikely that the recruiter will be reaching back out, and your time will be better served continuing your job search.
For help preparing for your next big job interview, contact the recruitment experts here at OakTree Staffing.