How to ask an interviewer for feedback

Whether you’re just starting to interview for new roles or you’ve interviewed but haven’t landed a new job, consider asking for feedback during or even after the process. Not all recruiters and hiring managers will provide feedback, perhaps for fear of saying something that could be construed as discriminatory or non-inclusive or because they simply don’t have the time and have already moved on. next. But if you don’t ask, you can’t receive. The author outlines three ways to ask for feedback during or after the interview process – and how to learn from them.

Susan was certain she would get an offer after 10 interviews for a VP job, but she ultimately didn’t get the job. She was hesitant to ask for feedback after the grueling process and assumed it would be fruitless anyway. But after spending time in coaching discussing how to approach the request for feedback, she asked for and received valuable information that helped her pivot her message and approach for future interviews. She learned that she answered every question in too much detail and was so focused on her team’s successes that interviewers couldn’t grasp the work she had actually done. After adjusting her approach based on this feedback, she received an offer from the company of her dreams two months later.

Not all recruiters and hiring managers will provide feedback, perhaps for fear of saying something that could be construed as discriminatory or non-inclusive or because they simply don’t have the time and have already moved on. next. But if you don’t ask, you can’t receive. Here are three ways to ask for feedback during or after the interview process — and how to learn from them.

Ask for feedback at the end of the recruiter screen.

Your first conversation will probably be a short screening conversation with a recruiter (internal or external) to find out a bit more about you, your experience and your salary expectations. At the end of this conversation, ask them, “Based on our conversation, how do you think my experience matches what’s needed for the job?” » Then decode the answer.

If the interviewer has already said you’ll move on to the next round, ask, “Is there anything specific I should highlight in future interviews based on the job description or intangibles not listed?” This type of question can reveal valuable information that may not have come up in the initial conversation. This will also give the recruiter an opportunity to reveal the hiring manager’s perspective on the position.

If the interviewer doesn’t commit to next steps, saying they’ve “just started the interview process” or “have more candidates to talk to,” you’re probably not the one. best candidate. In this case, ask: “What additional information can I give you to feel comfortable defending my candidacy for this position?” If the recruiter is on board, you may have a few minutes to provide more information, or you may receive feedback that can help you when interviewing the next company.

Ask for feedback after each round.

Once you get past the recruiter screen, you’ll likely be interviewed by the hiring manager and then potentially many people in panel interviews. At the end of your interview with the hiring manager, ask them, “How do you think my skills can be leveraged to bring value to your team and the company?” The response will reveal if your message was clear or if you need to refine it further.

After each interview, write thank you emails, not only to the people you interviewed, but also to the recruiter, whom you can ask for time to discuss subsequent interviews. During this call, ask, “Are there any comments, specific areas of interest, or anything I can do to improve my interview technique?” You will receive more feedback when you are in the middle of the interview process than after being eliminated from it. Recruiters want you to remain fully engaged and interested in the position and they want you to do well in every round of interviews until they are notified that you are no longer a viable candidate or receive an offer.

Ask culturally appropriate questions at the end of the process.

Cultural fit is about your demeanor, energy, presence, and approach to your work. If you didn’t get the job, ask the recruiter, “Do you think, based on the comments, that I would be a suitable crop for future opportunities?” I wouldn’t waste my time or yours if it’s not a game. You may not get a transparent response, but it’s worth a try.

If you receive feedback, do the following three things to practice what you learn.

To listen with curiosity.

Take notes and deeply understand the context behind the comments. Now is not the time to argue, refute what is being said, or try to further explain your experience. Now is the time to take away some ideas to use for future interviews.

But keep in mind that the feedback you get is one person’s or one group’s point of view. Some comments may not apply to future employment – for example, “We really needed someone who is more hands-on.” Another company might like you to focus more on strategy than execution. Use every answer you get to fuel future recruiters’ questions – for example, “Are you looking for someone more hands-on, someone who can provide next-level strategy, or both?” or “What percentage would you say is hands-on and what percentage of the work is strategy development?”

Analyze comments holistically.

Recruiters don’t know how you’re going to receive feedback, so expect it to be sanitized so as not to hurt your feelings. Take it at face value and don’t over-analyze a phrase or phrase as the reason you didn’t get an offer. Review the feedback holistically to either pivot if you’re still in the interview process, or change your interview strategy and approach with the next company if you haven’t been cleared to continue the process.

Adjust your approach, not yourself.

Comments aren’t personal – no one is asking you to change your personality and you wouldn’t want to anyway. You can pivot where it feels comfortable and logical, but not where you would compromise your authenticity. If you’re hosting a show and you’re not yourself, you won’t know if you’ll be a fit culture for the team, function, or company. Therefore, use feedback to develop your interview skills and executive presence for future roles.

. . .

Ultimately, if you’re rejected from a role and no one gives you feedback, don’t take it personally. Often it’s not about you! There could be internal policies, a change in management, or the need for someone with different skills than you have in play, or the job offer could have been rescinded and no one told you. … the list is long.

The most important thing to remember is that you’ll get the right role at the right time, just like Susan. When she found the right person, she understood why all the others weren’t the right jobs for her.

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