How to get feedback after an interview?
If you didn’t get the invitation to work after the interview, you want to get honest feedback – why, what is wrong? It is useful to find out about your weak points to avoid mistakes with another vacancy. But most often, applicants receive a formal letter without specific reasons for refusal, or in response, and even silence. We found out why this is happening and how to get useful feedback from the recruiter.
Why recruiters don’t explain the reasons for the refusal
Fear of inadequate response to criticism is a typical reason why recruiters do not specify the reasons for rejection. If the candidate is sure that he/she was underestimated, then no constructive feedback will suit him. In response, the recruiter risks receiving a flood of angry emails or unflattering social media posts, and the company risking a negative rating on the employer reviews site.
“The candidate may inadequately respond to the fair reason for the refusal: for example, if you point out to him the lack of necessary experience, lack of necessary skill, little experience as a leader. After receiving criticism, some job seekers fill social media and open sources with negative opinions about the employer. This forces the recruiter to use the most standard wording to refuse candidates,” explains Blaise Williams, Head of Professional Recruitment in the USA, ManpowerGroup.
It is undesirable to name the real reason for the refusal – this will cause problems for the recruiter and the company. For example, everyone knows that it is illegal to refuse based on age. However, it is no secret that managers still often set an age limit when they ask to find a suitable candidate. In this case, the real reason for the refusal in a polite manner would sound something like this: “We have a young team, I’m afraid you will be uncomfortable.” But few recruiters dare to voice it honestly.
Sometimes, refusal is a mismatch in values with the company, although the candidate is formally suitable for professional skills. Or a subjective assessment of a candidate by a leader looking for a person to join his team.
Blaise Williams: “The refusal may happen because the manager did not like the candidate at the level of personal feelings. There are many possible reasons. Naturally, it is impossible to officially refuse a candidate because he is Aries and not Aquarius, as the employer wants, therefore there are times when the feedback is not accurate enough. “
It also happens that refusal is in your interest because the recruiter, knowing the immediate supervisor’s complex nature, is looking for a person of a specific psychological type, and you would not work well with such a leader. But in such cases, the recruiter also does not prefer to remain silent about the real reasons.
Lack of time also limits the recruiter. Recollecting important details of the interview after a dozen others, analyzing the candidate’s mistakes and management comments, writing a thoughtful answer – all this is not as quick and easy as it might seem from the outside. In the flow of tasks, the recruiter may not be able to give you quality feedback.
“If there is constructive feedback that will help a person grow, recruiters willingly give it,” says Helen Rudolf, a consultant for the HR Brand. “Therefore, if they didn’t answer, most likely, your candidacy or experience did not suit this particular company for some internal parameters – the reasons are probably not related to you, but to the company”. Trying to get a recruiter to name these reasons, by all means, is useless.
How to get feedback
Suppose the reasons for refusal are not of those that you will never be told. In that case, a business approach and politeness will help you find out everything you need. Just remember that the recruiter is not obliged to give you a detailed answer, and even more so – advice on how to work on mistakes. But it is in your best interest to build communication in such a way as to get the most useful information.
Politeness is the key to constructive dialogue
Act without pressure: you must agree that when someone asks you with a polite request, the desire to respond is much higher than when something is demanded from you in a harsh manner.
Don’t see a recruiter as an enemy because you think they unfairly rejected you. Their job is to choose those who are most suitable for the requirements given to him, who will best fit into an existing team and remain in the company for a long time. At the same time, he must consider many nuances that you, most likely, do not even know about because not everything can be stated in the vacancy description (company values, team characteristics, and so on). Also, the recruiter’s opinion is not always decisive if the interview took place with the participation of the immediate head of the department in which they were looking for a specialist.
Do not believe the myths that recruiters look down on candidates and will never “honor” an answer. Perhaps no one else has to communicate with people as much as recruiters. There is always a chance that the work will bring them together with the same candidate again. Therefore, the recruiter will hardly want to turn you against himself, refusing an answer entirely “out of harm.”
Blaise Williams: “If the applicant is interested in the company and position, you need to call. This way, you will get feedback on the results of the interview and demonstrate a high level of interest. “
A high level of interest is also an advantage in itself. Even though this time a stronger candidate bypassed you, they will remember you, and they will return to your candidacy when a similar vacancy opens.
Explain that it is essential for you to hear the reason and that the feedback will help you avoid future mistakes. Turn to the recruiter as an expert – explain that you would like to know an objective assessment of a specialist who interviews dozens of candidates every day.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t suit you for the vacancy… (vacancy name). But I continue to look for work in this direction. Sir/Madam, your professional opinion and impression of me in the interview would be handy to me – why did I get a refusal? Maybe I should work on something, learn something?
I would be very grateful if you find an opportunity to answer. “
But be prepared for the fact that the recruiter will not always be able to give a detailed and honest answer – for the reasons described above.
Call or write?
Is it worth calling if, in the digital age, many people began to perceive calls as impudent and prefer to communicate in correspondence? The advantage of a call compared to a written communication format is that it is more difficult to get away from explanations on the phone, getting off with vague wording. The professional will not write some reasons in the letter but may consider it possible to say them to you. However, an unexpected call can create unnecessary tension in an already difficult situation.
The best option: first write to the mail and ask when it is convenient to call to discuss the question you are interested in. If you call without warning, be sure to check whether it is convenient to speak right now or it is better to call at another time. It is quite normal for a recruiter to ask you to reschedule a call: perhaps, due to a large number of interviews, he cannot immediately remember your meeting’s details, and it will take him time to find your resume and his notes to it.
Whether you write or call – in any case, first remind them who you are and what vacancy you applied for.
Suppose you applied in the correct form and generally made a pleasant impression, just in some ways you turned out to be weaker than the other candidate. In that case, the chances of getting an answer with an honest assessment of your weak and strong sides are relatively high.
In any case, since you’ve got a refusal, you need to move on. Good luck!