Growing up, we are conditioned to seek out feedback and critiques from coaches, teachers, and peers. Would you go to a game without your coach? No. Would you submit a final paper without edits? Probably not. Why does this not translate as well to the job hunt? Asking for feedback from hiring managers is the easiest way to make actionable improvements for your future interviews and develop into the best possible candidate.
We asked our network to share specific feedback that they have received in the past, altering their approach to interviewing. One stuck out in particular:
“I got an interview with a law firm/lobbying group through a friend, who ended up sitting through the interview. Afterward, she told me that my nervous laughter made me appear that I wasn’t taking it seriously. It was the first time anyone mentioned it to me, and it was life-changing! Not just in interviews, but in other professional situations as well. I am so much more conscious of it now. It made me realize how I was coming across, even though I didn’t mean it that way.”
We love this example because while this candidate didn’t find out her “ticks” until after the interview, the candidate was able to identify her tendencies well before it had a lasting effect on her job hunt.
LIFE HACK: If you’re a student or alum, we recommend utilizing your campus’s Career Center! Career coaches can record mock-interviews with candidates to identify any nervous crutches. Common occurrences are the use of “umm” and “like” or poor eye contact.
Don’t let rejection lead to a bruised ego.
We believe that asking for feedback can be your greatest asset. Most companies will be impressed with the follow-up and offer helpful advice going forward.
Asking over an email is easy and allows more time for a thoughtful response. Here is an easy template to follow:
It has been a pleasure interviewing with your team and would love the opportunity to improve as a candidate moving forward. If you have any feedback on my performance or qualifications, I would love to discuss.
For employers and recruiters, giving feedback not only aids the candidates future search, but can offer rewards for the company. When a candidate feels heard and appreciated, regardless of the result on employment, they will often share those positive recruitment experiences which will attract more candidates moving forward. If the candidate is great but just needs a few more years of relevant experience, they are more likely to return to your company when they are better qualified.