How to Ask: ‘Why Didn’t I Get the Job?’

— July 16, 2018

How to Ask: ‘Why Didn’t I Get the Job?’

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Job seekers are often left wondering why they weren’t chosen for a job. They are left in limbo because more often than not employers won’t share much feedback if any. Employers are worried that if they are too specific it may lead to legal concerns. Also, the candidate may post their comments on social media.

Employers also worry that the job seeker may become argumentative. In some cases, there may be circumstances beyond the companies control for instance finances, timing or changing needs of the employer.

More than likely there was someone more suitable for the position. However, it is still worth your while asking for feedback. You have nothing to lose by asking for some feedback. The worst-case scenario is that the company won’t reply. The best case scenario is that they get back to you with some useful feedback that may help you get hired in your next interview.

When asking for feedback it is important not to ask straight out why you weren’t hired. Instead, try and word it in a roundabout way for example:

  • “Do you have any recommendations as to how to improve my CV and cover letter?”
  • “Did you think I could have elaborated more on questions I was asked?”
  • “Do you feel I need to gain more experience?”

Companies will be more inclined to share feedback verbally than in an email. This is because they would rather not leave a paper trail as it might be used against them if a hiring decision was ever questioned legally.

The best way to reach out is to send a short email asking for a quick phone call to get some feedback on your interview.

Sample Email Message Asking for Employer Feedback

Subject: Graphic Designer Position

Dear [insert interviewer’s name],

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me for the role of Graphic Designer on the [date of interview].

I really appreciate the time you took to see me. While I was disappointed to be informed that I was not successful on this occasion, I would welcome any feedback or advice you would have me to help me going forward in other interviews.

I can be contacted anytime via phone or email. My phone number is <insert number>. I really appreciate you taking the time to consider me for the position and if any other role is to become available at [company], I would be very grateful to have the opportunity to apply.

Thanks again for your time. I look forwarding to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

If the interviewer decides to talk to you about your interview, then be pleased about it. You will not only get a chance to gain good feedback, but it may leave a final positive impression thus giving you a chance to get a job with the company in the future.

You need to prepare in advance so that you can keep the discussion to the point. As mentioned previously, the questions you ask shouldn’t be asked directly but in a roundabout way to benefit you for future interviews. Start the phone call by thanking them for their time. Ask the questions as mentioned previously and end the call by thanking them again. If they give you good feedback it may be a good opportunity to bring up how you’d like to be considered for any future role that may arise.

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