Feedback after a job interview, or how to ask the recruiter for feedback?
You prepared thoroughly for the interview, dedicated your valuable time, and gave your best during the meeting – it’s normal to expect at least a short feedback message regarding the results of the recruitment process. Even negative feedback after a job interview is better than its complete absence! And here comes the question: should you reach out to the company you applied to? If so, how to do it correctly? We’ve prepared a brief guide for you.
Lack of feedback – where does the problem come from?
In most cases, employers are not legally obligated to inform candidates about the reasons for rejecting their applications. The exception is interviews for positions in government institutions subject to civil service requirements. In other cases, feedback is solely at the recruiter’s discretion. While ethics dictate providing candidates with information about the results of the recruitment process, in practice, it often ends with promises. Why?
The main reason for the lack of contact after a job interview is the poor planning of the recruitment schedule and the time constraints it imposes. Developing and sending detailed messages discussing the results of recruitment or making dozens of phone calls to candidates are processes that require commitment and patience. Unfortunately, many companies do not allocate time for feedback in the recruitment process, leaving rejected individuals without a response.
It cannot be denied that a conversation in which a recruiter informs an applicant of a negative recruitment outcome is not the easiest. Some recruiters, in an effort to avoid difficult questions from frustrated candidates, choose not to provide feedback to anyone interested. Is this a good practice? To us, it seems like taking the easy way out.
Sometimes, the reason for the lack of feedback after a job interview is a top-down ban. Some companies decide to implement such regulations after experiencing unpleasant situations with rejected candidates. Entitled and resentful attitudes of the unemployed are often the cause of problems for companies in the job market. A ban on providing negative feedback seems like a safe solution in such situations.
Among the common reasons for the lack of feedback after an interview, there is often the recruiter’s lack of knowledge about the reasons for rejecting a particular candidate. Sometimes, the decision is made by a manager without explaining their position to the recruiter. In such situations, it is difficult to logically argue for a negative response.
Lack of feedback is a loss for the company
Companies should treat feedback as an investment in their development. Providing substantive feedback to rejected candidates has a positive impact on the company’s image in the job market. It allows the company to present itself as a good and reliable employer that respects all potential and current employees. Leaving an interested person without any news is seen as unprofessional and poses unnecessary reputational risks. A frustrated candidate can describe their experiences on dedicated websites, forums, or social media, portraying the company in a negative light.
It is also important to remember that by not providing feedback after an interview, we lose a potential customer. A person who remains without a response will distance themselves from the company. This, in turn, can lead to a reluctance to purchase the company’s products or use its services in the future.
Lack of feedback after a job interview – what does the candidate lose?
The lack of a response after a recruitment process primarily results in a missed opportunity for potential employment in another company. Almost everyone has rejected a great job offer at least once because they were hoping to get hired by the company they applied to earlier. Prolonged waiting for the recruitment outcome and ultimately receiving no information about rejection can temporarily halt further job search opportunities.
Is it worth contacting the company after the recruitment process?
Many people wonder if reaching out to the company regarding the recruitment outcome is a faux pas. It turns out it’s not. When a potential employer does not contact you after the recruitment process, there’s no need to obsessively check your email inbox. It’s worth taking matters into your own hands and dedicating some time to contact the company. If you feel that you did well and made a good impression on the recruiter, don’t hesitate to remind them of your interest in a polite manner. It can be beneficial to send a thank-you email to the company shortly after the interview. This way, you’ll make yourself memorable and have a chance to present yourself in a positive light again.
Email or phone call?
You’ve decided to initiate contact with the company and request feedback after the job interview. Which form of contact should you choose: email or phone call? It depends on the situation. If you have the recruiter’s phone number, you can give them a call. However, remember never to call the company’s reception desk. The secretary is unlikely to provide information about the status of your application. If you want to receive constructive feedback, contact the recruiter directly.
Email is a safe option in any situation. A written message can always be forwarded to the right person. However, never contact the recruiter through private social media channels. It’s highly unprofessional behavior that may jeopardize your chances of future employment. Always use the company’s official email addresses.
Be specific, polite, and open – how to request feedback after a job interview
An email requesting feedback must be specific! Clearly state your position and inquire about matters that genuinely interest you. What your competitors did better is irrelevant at this point. What matters is the impression you made! If something is bothering you, address it directly. Try to formulate clear hypotheses about yourself and ask the recruiter about them.
Remember to maintain a polite and professional tone. Providing you with feedback is not an obligation but rather the goodwill of the recruiter. Demands and an entitled attitude will only worsen your situation. Never vent your frustrations on the recruiter. Be courteous. Request, don’t demand!
Template of an Email Requesting Feedback After the Recruitment Process
How to construct a polite and specific email requesting feedback?
- “Start the message with a polite greeting, e.g., Dear Madam, Dear Sir, or Dear Sir/Madam.
- Briefly describe the situation, e.g., [Date of the Interview] I participated in the recruitment process for the position of [Position Name].
- Request feedback, e.g., I would like to reconfirm my interest in the offer and inquire if a decision has been made or if I am progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process.
- Express your gratitude for the information, e.g., If the recruitment process has not concluded yet, I would be grateful for information on when I can expect a response.
- Sign off politely, e.g., Yours sincerely, [Your Name].”
Avoid these action
We mentioned that an email requesting feedback should be substantive. Therefore, avoid all vagueness and ambiguity. A generic email is easier to ignore. If you don’t want to receive no response, specify the position you applied for and ask specific questions about the outcome of the job interview.
It’s highly unprofessional to point out delays in response. Mentioning your irritation with a prolonged recruitment process will only confirm to the recruiter that you might not be the best candidate for the position. Remember that a delay in providing feedback can result from various factors, often beyond the recruiter’s control.
Avoid expressing frustration and resentment. Waiting for the outcome of a recruitment process or receiving another rejection can be tough. However, it’s not worth revealing your frustration in a message to the recruiter. Don’t argue with a negative outcome, don’t explain yourself, and don’t challenge the company’s decision. Regardless of the situation, remain professional. This will reflect positively on you as a job seeker and build your positive reputation in the job market.
When to Contact the Recruiter After the Interview
Recruitment is a complex process involving multiple stages and various employees at different levels. Calling or writing to request feedback a day after the job interview doesn’t make sense. Contact the recruiter at least a few days after the specified end date of the recruitment process.
What if you are participating in multiple recruitments and need a quick response? In such a situation, you can contact the company a bit earlier. Perhaps this will expedite the decision-making process.
Rejection and What’s Next
Received negative feedback? Don’t worry! Carefully analyze the course of the interview and consider what may have influenced the decision. Constructive feedback that highlights a candidate’s strengths and explains the factors that led to rejection is invaluable. Learn from it to present yourself better in future recruitments.
Remember that rejection doesn’t always mean you’re not suitable for the position you applied for. Employment decisions are often influenced by details such as lower salary expectations or more industry experience from another candidate. Don’t get discouraged and keep trying.