Logo CareerBee

How to Get Feedback from Recruiters in Germany After a Rejection

Why do you not receive more feedback after a job rejection?

Receiving a rejection for a job you wanted can sting. Yet, it’s not the end of the road—it can also be an opportunity for growth. In Germany, where the job market is competitive and efficiency is valued, getting feedback after a rejection can be invaluable. It offers insights into areas of improvement and can help you refine your approach for future applications.

However, receiving feedback sometimes feels like an impossible task. One of the primary reasons for this difficulty lies in the sheer volume of applications that recruiters receive, particularly in competitive job markets like Germany. With limited time and resources, providing personalized feedback to each applicant won’t be realistic for many recruiters. Additionally, there may be legal or company policy constraints that restrict recruiters from offering detailed feedback, especially regarding subjective aspects of the hiring decision. Fear of potential legal repercussions or concerns about damaging candidate relations may also contribute to recruiters’ reluctance to provide feedback. Furthermore, some recruiters may simply lack the time or inclination to offer feedback, opting instead for a more streamlined approach to managing the hiring process. These factors combined create a challenging landscape for applicants seeking constructive feedback post-rejection.


But how can you increase your chances of receiving feedback after a job rejection? Here are some tips and tricks to navigate this process effectively:


  1. Polite persistence pays off
  2. Timing is key
  3. Ask specific questions
  4. Reflect and learn
  5. Be Gracious in Accepting Feedback
  6. Take Action and Implement Changes
  7. Mantain Professional Relationships
  8. Seek Alternative Sources of Feedback
  9. Keep moving forward


Let’s take a look at the different elements to help you in the process of getting feedback after a job rejection.


1. Polite Persistence Pays Off

After receiving a rejection, it is important to take action. Especially if you have already gone through the interview process of your experience truly fits the job ad described. Muster your courage and reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager who informed you of the decision. Craft a polite and respectful email expressing your gratitude for their consideration and asking if they could provide feedback on your application or interview performance. Keep your tone professional and sincere, demonstrating your genuine interest in learning and improving. On top, it is important to ask for a short call (max. 15 minutes) instead of a written reply, as recruiters and hiring managers will be more open during a call as on a written document that can be used against them, in the case of a lawsuit. Please find here an example of an email you can write:


Subject: [Position Title] Application Follow-Up: Feedback Request

Dear [Recruiter’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude for considering my application for the [Position Title] role at [Company Name]. While I was disappointed to learn that I was not selected for the position, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been considered. 

I am writing to kindly request feedback on my application and interview performance, as I am committed to continuous improvement in my professional endeavors. I would greatly appreciate any insights or suggestions you could provide to help me understand areas where I may have fallen short and opportunities for growth.

Being aware that you might not have much time-availabllity, I would be happy to adapt my schedule flexibiy to your availability. Maybe a short call of max 15 minutes would be possible?

Please rest assured that any feedback you can offer will be received with an open mind and a sincere desire to learn. Your guidance will not only assist me in my personal development but also enable me to better align my skills and qualifications with the expectations of potential employers in the future.

Thank you once again for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Warm regards, [Your Name] [Your Contact Information]


2. Timing Is Key

Sending a follow-up email promptly after receiving a rejection notice is a proactive step that demonstrates your eagerness to learn from the experience. Ideally, aim to send the email within a few days of receiving the rejection notice to maintain momentum and show your genuine interest in seeking feedback. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between timeliness and patience. While it’s crucial to follow up promptly, it’s equally important to be mindful of not appearing impatient or demanding. Recognize that recruiters are often inundated with various responsibilities and may need time to respond to your inquiry. Therefore, exercise patience and understanding while waiting for a response. To further enhance your chances of receiving a timely and helpful response, consider the following tips:


3. Ask Specific Questions

When requesting feedback, it’s essential to approach the conversation strategically to maximize the value of the insights you receive. Rather than posing generic questions like “Why was I rejected?” or “What did I do wrong?”, aim to frame your inquiries in a way that encourages constructive feedback and actionable insights. For instance, you could ask about specific areas where you could improve your skills or qualifications to better align with the role’s requirements. Alternatively, you might request insights into how you could have strengthened your application or interview performance. By asking targeted questions, you demonstrate your willingness to take proactive steps toward self-improvement and showcase your genuine interest in learning from the experience. Here are some examples of good questions to ask when seeking feedback:


  1. “Could you provide insights into how my skills and qualifications compared to the ideal candidate for the role?”
  2. “Were there any specific aspects of my application or interview performance that you found particularly strong or weak?”
  3. “Is there any additional information or experience you believe would have strengthened my candidacy for this position?”
  4. “In hindsight, is there anything you believe I could have done differently to improve my chances of success in the application process?”
  5. “Are there any recurring themes or areas for improvement that you’ve noticed in candidates who have applied for similar roles in the past?”
  6. “What advice would you offer to candidates seeking to stand out in future applications for similar roles within your organization?”


4. Reflect and Learn

While waiting for a response from the recruiter, it’s essential to utilize the waiting period productively by engaging in self-reflection. Take some time to delve into the details of your application and interview performance, analyzing each aspect. Reflect on the strengths you showcased and the areas where you could have performed better. Consider the effectiveness of your communication skills, the clarity of your responses to interview questions, and the alignment of your qualifications with the job requirements. Additionally, evaluate your overall presentation, including the format and content of your CV and cover letter. Were there any missed opportunities to highlight relevant experiences or achievements? Did you effectively convey your passion for the role and your fit within the company culture?

Furthermore, assess your technical skills and qualifications to the demands of the position. Are there any areas where you may need to upskill or gain additional experience to become a more competitive candidate in the future? This self-reflection process serves as a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth, regardless of whether you ultimately receive feedback from the recruiter. By identifying areas for improvement and taking proactive steps to address them, you demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and development. Additionally, this introspective exercise can help you approach future job applications with greater confidence and preparedness.


5. Be Gracious in Accepting Feedback

If you’re fortunate enough to receive feedback after a job rejection from the recruiter, approach it with an open mind and a gracious attitude. Even if the feedback is not entirely positive, resist the urge to become defensive or argumentative. Instead, thank the recruiter for their insights and express your appreciation for their time and effort. Remember, feedback—even if it’s critical—can be incredibly valuable in helping you progress in your career journey. Make sure to take notes during the call so that you can do a detailed evaluation after the feedback is received.


6. Take Action and Implement Changes

Once you’ve received feedback after a job rejection, it’s crucial to view it as a roadmap for improvement and take proactive steps to implement the insights gained. Begin by carefully reviewing the feedback provided, and identifying key areas for enhancement in your CV, cover letter, or interview techniques. Perhaps the feedback highlighted a need for greater clarity in your communication, stronger examples of relevant experience, or a more tailored approach to addressing the job requirements. Use this information to refine your application materials, ensuring that they effectively showcase your qualifications and suitability for future roles.

Moreover, if the feedback pinpointed specific skills or qualifications that you need to develop, seize the opportunity to create a structured plan for acquiring them. This might involve enrolling in relevant courses or training programs, seeking out mentorship or guidance from industry professionals, or gaining practical experience through internships or volunteer opportunities.

Furthermore, consider using the feedback to enhance your overall approach to the job search process. Reflect on any insights gained regarding your interview performance, such as areas where you can improve your confidence, articulation, or engagement with interviewers. Incorporate these learnings into your preparation strategy for future interviews, whether it’s through mock interviews, role-playing exercises, or targeted practice sessions.


7. Maintain Professional Relationships

Regardless of the outcome, maintain a positive and professional relationship with the recruiter or hiring manager. You never know when another opportunity may arise with the same company or when they may recommend you for a role elsewhere. By leaving a positive impression, you keep the door open for future possibilities. One easy way to maintain a professional relationship is to connect with the recruiter or hiring manager on LinkedIn. Engage with their posts, share relevant content, and periodically reach out to stay on their radar without being intrusive. In case the company hosts events or webinars that are open to the public, consider attending to stay connected with the company culture and demonstrate your ongoing interest in their activities.


8. Seek Alternative Sources of Feedback

If you’re unable to obtain feedback directly from the recruiter, consider seeking feedback from other sources. Reach out to mentors, peers, or career advisors who can provide valuable insights and perspectives on your application materials and interview performance. Sometimes, an outside perspective can offer fresh insights that you may not have considered.


9. Keep Moving Forward

Finally, don’t dwell on rejection or let it discourage you from pursuing your goals. Keep moving forward with determination and resilience. Every rejection brings with it an opportunity for growth and learning. Use it as fuel to propel yourself closer to your desired career path.


How to get feedback after a job rejection – a summary

In conclusion, navigating the post-rejection phase in your job search journey can be daunting, but it’s also where immense growth and learning opportunities lie. Despite the challenges of obtaining feedback after a rejection, there are proactive steps you can take to maximize your chances of receiving valuable insights. From crafting polite follow-up emails to reflecting on your performance and maintaining professional relationships, each action you take brings you closer to your career goals.

Remember, rejection is not a reflection of your worth or abilities—it’s simply a detour on the path to success. By approaching rejection with resilience and a growth mindset, you can turn setbacks into stepping stones toward your dream job. So, embrace the feedback you receive, take actionable steps to implement changes, and keep moving forward with determination and optimism. Your next opportunity could be just around the corner.

And always remember, the journey to your dream job may have its ups and downs, but each experience brings you one step closer to your goals. Keep striving, keep learning, and keep believing in yourself. Your breakthrough could be just around the corner.


And in case you are looking for additional support in your job search process, make sure to check out our services. We not only offer many FREE resources in our learning hub, but we also offer some professional services to boost your job search process and help you land that job faster.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

You might also be interested in