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Feedback after a job Rejection? Find out how

Receiving a rejection is never easy.

If you have been reading our content, we, of course, hope that you also know that there are so many possible explanations for a rejection that actually have nothing to do with your own skills – so try to not take them too personally. But still asking for feedback can always provide valuable insights that can help you prepare for your next interview and land that dream job.

So what do you need to consider before asking for some feedback after a job rejection?

Nr 1. Ask for feedback via phone

Remember that giving feedback in written form will always be more complicated for a recruiter (for legal reasons but also time-wise). That is why it makes sense to try to ask for feedback via phone.

Now, in case they call you to tell you about your rejection, use that same phone call to directly ask for feedback. This is the easiest way to ensure you receive some insights.

If they send you a rejection-email, try to call them during business hours or send an email asking for a short feedback call (of around 15 minutes).

Nr 2. Be appreciative of their time

Remember that you are asking the recruiter to take time to explain their decision to you. So, to get off with the right foot, always show appreciation for their time. You will notice that they will open up more to you. Even if you feel that that rejection is not justified don’t be mad at the recruiter during the call – it will only lead to them closing up and will end up being an unproductive call for you (and remember that there might be many different reasons leading up to a rejection which have nothing to do with you personal skills and experiences).

Nr 3. Explain why you want to receive feedback

One fear of companies of why they don’t proactively give feedback after rejections might be getting into any legal trouble. Always explain that you are interested in improving your interview skills and job search techniques and that is why you would like to receive feedback.

Nr 4. Try to get the right insights

If the recruiter is only providing very superficial insights, try to ask follow-up question that allow you to get more specific (e.g.: “Are there specific skills that I was missing which would have helped you to consider me as the final candidate?”). Remember that the more specific information you receive, the easier it will be for you to prepare for you next interview and land a job.

Nr 5. Get ready to listen actively and take notes

Remember that this won’t be an easy talk for you (constructive feedback is never easy to receive) but this is your one shot to really gain insights and be able to improve. Don’t try to argue against them or convince them that you are actually the right candidate. They have already taken a decision so now it is time for you to collect data and prepare for the future.

Listening and taking notes is the way to go during these talks.

Nr 6. End the call with a positive note and state your interest

You never know if you will want to apply to this company in the future again or maybe you will meet the recruiter again in another company. Never end the call in a bad note. Thank the person for the time and ideally state your interest for future positions (e.g.: “Thank you for your time and insights. This really helps me prepare for the future and I will make sure to apply your feedback. I will also be on the lookout if I find interesting positions at this company again.”)

Extra Tip: Send out a LinkedIn Request to the recruiter after your talk.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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