From rejection to reflection | Making the most of interview feedback

Getting feedback after an interview can be a game-changer in your job search.

It’s not just about finding out why you didn’t get the job, but about understanding your strengths and areas for improvement. Feedback helps you grow, refine your interview technique, and increase your chances of landing your dream job. Here’s how you can seek and use interview feedback effectively.

The importance of feedback

Feedback is crucial. It offers insights you might not see yourself. Maybe you didn’t realise your body language was off or perhaps your answers were too vague. Constructive criticism helps you identify these blind spots. It’s an opportunity to learn and improve. Even if you get the job, feedback can highlight areas where you excelled and where you can still improve.

How to ask for feedback

Timing is key: Don’t ask for feedback immediately after the interview. Wait until the hiring process is over. If you didn’t get the job, ask after receiving the rejection.

Be polite and professional: Send a courteous email to your interviewer or the HR representative. Thank them for the opportunity and express your interest in understanding how you can improve.

Be specific: Ask specific questions. Instead of a general “Can you give me feedback?”, try “Could you provide some insights into how I can improve my answers?” or “Were there any skills you felt I was lacking?”

Be appreciative: Show gratitude for their time. Acknowledge that giving feedback is an additional task for them.

How to handle feedback

Stay open-minded: Feedback can be tough to hear, especially if it’s critical. The goal is to improve. Keep an open mind and be ready to accept constructive criticism.

Don’t take it personally: Feedback is about your performance, not about you as a person. Separate your personal feelings from professional development.

Ask for clarification: If you don’t understand the feedback, ask for more details. It’s better to fully grasp what they mean so you can work on it effectively.

Reflect and plan: Take some time to reflect on the feedback. Identify patterns if you’ve had feedback from multiple interviews. Use this information to create a plan for improvement.

Making use of the feedback

Identify key areas: Highlight the main points from the feedback. What are the critical areas you need to work on?

Set goals: Based on the feedback, set specific, achievable goals. For example, if you need to improve your communication skills, set a goal to practice clear and concise answers.

Seek resources: Find resources to help you improve. This could be online courses, books, or even a mentor.

Practice: Put the feedback into practice. Mock interviews, role-playing and practising with friends or mentors can help solidify these improvements.

Follow up: After making improvements, don’t hesitate to seek feedback again. Continuous improvement is a journey, not a destination.

Takeaway

Seeking and using interview feedback effectively is about embracing a growth mindset. Understand that every interview, successful or not, is a stepping stone towards your career goals. By actively seeking feedback, you show employers that you are committed to professional development. It also helps you build resilience and adaptability, key traits in any job.

The process of improvement is ongoing. Regularly seek feedback, act on it, and strive to better yourself. Over time, you’ll see significant improvements in your interview performance and confidence.

In summary, feedback is a gift. Use it wisely to refine your skills, enhance your approach, and ultimately, increase your chances of success. Happy job hunting!


Check out our dedicated career section here for some helpful tips on getting ahead at work. Whether you’re just starting or looking for a change, we’ve got advice to help you move forward. Discover how to make your CV stand out, ace interviews and navigate your job with confidence. Start exploring now to boost your career.

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