How To Ask For Feedback After A Job Rejection

It’s never fun to be rejected from a prospective job. Especially if you really wanted that position in the first place.

Still, not all is lost! It’s important to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on to bigger and better things. Before you move on, though, it may be a good idea to ask that hiring manager for feedback.

We get it. It’s awkward. It’s kind of embarrassing, too. And a lot of the time, hiring managers are too busy or disinterested to even offer feedback. Regardless, you should still give it a short.

Let’s dive into why you should ask for feedback after a job rejection and how you can do so by phone or email.

Why Should I Ask for Feedback?

You could correct the mistakes you made in that particular interview when going into the next interview.

Sometimes a job rejection has little to do with you. Maybe they found someone more qualified. Maybe the job position was liquidated. Maybe a hiring manager just wasn’t feeling you.

When you ask for feedback and receive it, you can only really benefit from it. A hiring manager can give you honest feedback about what went wrong.

Will the Interviewer Even Answer Me?

Unfortunately, a lot of hiring managers won’t bother to answer your request for feedback. Still, there is no harm in asking and you can only benefit from what they tell you.

What Not to Do When Asking for Feedback After a Rejection

First and foremost, do not purposefully sound angry or annoyed about the rejection. If you’re contacting them via phone, be sure that your way of speaking is clear, gentle, and approachable.

You should also only call specifically for feedback, and not attempt to change their mind about the rejection. Seeming desperate is not a good look and there are bigger and better opportunities out there. This interaction is taking place to see how you can improve.

When receiving feedback, don’t contradict what you are being told. Pushing back on criticism may be a knee jerk reaction for some, so remember to be as cordial and calm as possible.

How to Ask for Feedback By Email, Step By Step

To ask for feedback by email, following these steps:

3 Examples of Feedback Solicitations by Email

Example one

Hello Mr. Hiring Manager,

Thanks for keeping me in the loop about your decision.

While I’ll admit that I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to work as part of the XYZ team, it really was great to meet you and learn more about the awesome work that you’re doing.

If you have the time, it would mean a lot to me to receive a little feedback about how I can improve in the future. If you’re comfortable discussing what I could have improved on during the interview, it could help me out in future interviews.

Thanks once again for the opportunity, Mr. Hiring Manager, and I hope our paths cross again in the future. I’m wishing you and XYZ all the best moving forward. Don’t hesitate to let me know if another better-fitting position opens up.

Best wishes,
Your Name

Example two

Dear Mrs. Hiring Manager,

It was really nice talking to you yesterday about the XYZ position at XYZ Company’s main corporate headquarters.

Though I’m sad to hear that you went with a different candidate for this position, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and for giving me the opportunity to put my name in the running for the XYZ position. I’m still very interested in the company as a whole, so I hope you’ll keep my name in mind for any future openings.

I take my career very seriously and am always open to improving, so I was wondering if you had any specific feedback about my application or the interview that you’d be willing to share with me?

Thanks again, and all the best,
Your Name

Example three

Dear Ms. Hiring Manager,

It was an absolute pleasure meeting with you about the XYZ position at XYZ Company. I really appreciate the time you took to speak with me about the position, your company’s culture and history, and the incredible opportunities available within your business.

While I am disappointed that my experience wasn't quite what you are looking for in this specific position at this time, I am still very interested in your business and what it is doing in the XYZ industry. I would really appreciate your further consideration should another position become available that you feel would be a better fit for my abilities.

Just as well, I would love to receive some feedback from you on what I could have done to improve in the interview. I'm always looking to improve myself professionally. I understand if you are busy, but if not, feel free to shoot me an email!

Thank you for your time and best regards,
Your Name

How to Ask for Feedback by Phone, Step by Step

To ask for feedback by phone, following these steps:

3 Examples of Feedback Solicitations by Phone

“Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! I am pretty disappointed that I wasn’t what you were looking for, but do you have any feedback for me?”

“You’re awesome for taking the time to let me know about your decision. Could you possibly give me a little feedback on my application?”

“I really appreciate your quick response. I’m bummed that I wasn’t ideal for this particular position, but would you happen to have any notes on my interview and what I could have improved on?”

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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