When you finally get that interview, admit it: Part of you begins to map out your route to work and figures out which pictures to display on your desk. If you’ve had a long dry spell, the very fact that you have an interview feels like a victory (and it is). So if you don’t get a job offer, you’re left feeling disappointed and wondering, “Why didn’t I get it? What could I have done differently?” Fortunately, there are ways to ask and get answers to those questions.
If you receive a rejection letter/email, consider writing a letter or email in response thanking them for taking the time to interview and meet with you.
- State your appreciation for letting you know – some places of business simply never contact you again, leaving you to figure it out for yourself – and ask if they would be available for a brief call to discuss how you can improve your candidacy. Asking to speak over the phone may get you a better response; some people hesitate to put such a response in writing. It’s acceptable to write that you’re disappointed but still hope to work with the company in the future (if this is true).
- Writing serves several purposes: It shows you’re willing to take constructive criticism and improve, it shows perseverance, and it makes you stand out in a positive way.
- When asking for feedback, writing does work best because it allows the employer to respond in her own time and craft a response, rather than being put on the spot. Make sure as well that you seek constructive criticism on how you can improve, rather than bluntly writing “I just want to know why you didn’t choose to hire me.” You have to use a little finesse, even if you feel you would have fit the position perfectly. Remember, it may have nothing to do with you: The job description may have changed after you interviewed, the company may have realized it didn’t have the budget to hire from the outside after all, or they thought you would fit better in a different position (which may open up later – so keep all communications professional).
- Ask for specific critiques, such as improving your interviewing style, whether they felt you lacked a certain key qualification in your experience, or even how you can enhance your resume or cover letter. At worst, they simply won’t respond. At best, you’ll get valuable information that can help you improve on your next interview.
Not getting a much-coveted job offer can feel like a personal rejection. However, asking for feedback can help you find a bit of closure with that particular position and give you a stepping stone to landing the next one that comes along. For more job search and interview advice, read our related blog posts or reach out to our experienced recruiting team at Creative Staffing today!