How Ask For Feedback After An Interview (With Examples)

By Ryan Morris - Feb. 24, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

Finding out why a company has turned you down can be an excellent learning experience for those on the job hunt. But it can be uncomfortable, and asking for that kind of feedback can sometimes be a social minefield.

After the interview process, you probably have an idea of what went well and what didn’t. But your interviewer(s) have a different perspective on your performance, and learning what stood out to others (the good and the bad) can be a huge benefit for future interviews.

We’ll walk you through the benefits of requesting feedback, how to ask for it, and provide some sample follow-up emails to help you write your own.

Are you looking for job opportunities?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Why Ask for Feedback After an Interview?

Hearing feedback from interviewers about your candidacy can provide valuable insights, both for your career and your interviewing skills. Some of the benefits of asking for feedback include:

  • Learning about the competition. When interviewers ask you what sets you apart from other candidates, there’s no real way to know what those other candidates are all about. But the hiring manager’s feedback might clue you into how those applicants stood out in comparison to you.

    For example, if a certain qualification wasn’t an absolute requirement of the job, but was an impactful element of the successful job seeker’s application, you can start working toward that qualification.

  • Finding new opportunities. Just because you didn’t get this particular new job, doesn’t mean there isn’t another job at the company for you. If you were a top candidate for this role, asking for feedback at this point shows you’re still interested and hold the company in high regard.

    It makes a good impression, and if you take their feedback into consideration for an interview for another role at the same company, you might still land that new job.

  • Improve interview performance. There may be some way you’re presenting that’s troubling for the hiring manager. They probably won’t tell you anything too critical, but learning about where your soft skills could improve is always good.

    Just remember that every interviewer is different, so there’s no guarantee that whatever this particular recruiter didn’t like about you will be true for other interviewers.

  • Learn what you’re good at. It’s not all doom and gloom when you’re asking for feedback. People feel better about saying nice things to soften the blow rather than add insult to injury. Look for compliments as well as constructive criticism — that way, you can play to those strengths in future interviews.

  • Learn about hiring team’s priorities. Learning what the hiring manager or hiring team really wanted out of a candidate is valuable information. It can help fill in the gaps from job descriptions, so you have a better idea of where and how to apply for positions in the future.

  • Grow your network. It’s never a bad thing to add one more person (especially a hiring manager) to your network. Even if they don’t have any jobs for you, they might be able to put you in touch with someone or point you in the direction of professional development.

Build a professional resume in minutes.

Our AI resume builder helps you write a compelling and relevant resume for the jobs you want.

Questions to Ask Before Requesting Interview Feedback

Before you send the email — and it ought to be an email, as we’ll go over in a second — there are a few big things to consider before you contact someone who rejected you:

Namely, do you really think they want to talk to you now?

And if they do, do you think it’s going to be the kind of feedback you’re hoping for?

Keep in mind that…

  • Hiring managers are busy. Whether they’re a hiring manager or a recruiter, they’re probably too busy to give you substantive feedback on why they didn’t pick you.

  • There were a lot of applicants. The bigger they are, the more applications they probably received — it’s tough for them to justify responding to you when several others might have asked them for feedback as well.

  • They fear legal action. Another reason you might be ignored is that many HR workers fear talking about the reasons why they didn’t hire someone in case that information could be used against them if rejectees try to sue.

  • It’s against policy. Responding to rejected candidates might even be against company policy, in which case all you’re gonna get for asking will be a barely-filled-in templated letter politely tell you to take a long walk off a short pier.

Lastly, if — against all odds — someone does respond to you, there’s a big chance they’ll just tell you something general like that you “weren’t the right fit” or that they “just went in a different direction.”

This kind of vague feedback is totally unhelpful to you and will end up just wasting your and the interviewer’s time.

How to Ask for Feedback After an Interview

Here’s a step-by-step method for writing your email:

  1. Thank your interviewer. Start off by thanking them for their time and the opportunity. When you come from a place of professionalism and courtesy, you’ll set a positive tone for the correspondence.

  2. Express disappoinment. Express that not getting the job was a letdown, but do so graciously. Make sure you don’t sound like you’re whining or disagreeing with their decision. Only include enough to show your genuine enthusiasm for the role and interest in the company.

  3. Explain why you’re writing. Post-rejection follow-ups are normal enough, but not everyone is asking for feedback.

    Express your motivation to continue seeking opportunities and improve your candidacy. The more focused you can make your email, the more likely the recipient will give you a substantive answer.

  4. End the letter by asking for feedback. If you can, mention that you’re looking for specific feedback — it might prompt them to be a little less general. Ensure that your tone is polite and not demanding.

  5. Thank them again. If you really liked your interviwer, you can briefly mention a positive moment from you conversation. Make them feel like an expert who’s opinion you genuinely value, and they’ll be happy to help.

Tips on Asking for Feedback After an Interview

Again, the deck is stacked against you getting feedback at all, let alone good feedback, but if you’re set on trying, there are a few directives you should stick to:

  • Use email. It will give the HR worker the chance to respond when they have time for it, which not only makes it more likely they’ll respond but will get you better quality feedback.

  • Send it within 24 hours of the rejection. Don’t send an email right after you get your rejection letter; you may look desperate or panicked, and you might be prone to make mistakes with your tone or word choice. But if you wait any longer than a day, your chances of getting a response go way down.

  • Be as self-effacing as possible. Don’t come off like you’re trying to argue about their decision, or they’ll just tune you out or ignore you. Always be polite. Remember, they don’t owe you feedback, so you should be gracious in requesting and grateful upon receiving it.

  • Keep it short. You’ve already been rejected, so don’t make them read a novel just so that you can ask why they didn’t want you.

  • Proofread. You still want to come across as professional and polished, so make sure your email is error-free. Consider having someone else look it over to ensure you’re striking the right tone.

  • You can follow-up again. If you don’t get feedback after five days, you can email them again asking for feedback. There’s a very slim chance they’ll respond at this point though, so if your first email fails to generate a response, you’re probably out of luck.

Our resume builder tool will walk you through the process of creating a stand-out Architect resume.

resume icon

Examples of Emails Asking for Feedback After an Interview

  1. Dear Ms. Coolname,

    It was nice talking to you last week about the Personal Bodyguard of Ronald McDonald position at McDonald’s corporate headquarters.

    I’m sad to hear that you went with a different candidate, but I wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk to me and giving me the opportunity to put my name in the running. I’m still very interested in the company, so I hope you’ll keep my name in mind for any future openings.

    In the hopes of having a better shot at the next opportunity with your company, I was wondering if you had any specific feedback about my application that you’d be willing to share with me?

    Thanks again and all best,
    Shrek T. Ohgher

  2. Dear Mr. Brown,

    Thank you for the chance to interview for the Data Analyst position. I appreciate you informing me of your decision to go another way so quickly.

    While I was disappointed I won’t have the chance to work for XYZ Company, it was a real treat learning more about your commitment to sustainability and fair trade.

    I’m still very interested in working for XYZ. If any other roles that suit my skill set come up, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    I admire your professionalism and knowledge of the field. If you have the time, could you provide feedback on my interview performance and job application? I’d especially be curious about where my technical skills could improve.

    Thanks again for your time and give me the chance to interview for the Data Analyst position at XYZ.

    Sincerely,
    Jessica Treefield

    j.tree@gmail.com
    555-444-3333
    www.linkedin.com/in/j-treefield/

  3. resume document image

    Build A Professional Resume In Minutes

    Our AI resume builder helps you write a compelling and relevant resume for the jobs you want.

    Final Thoughts

    Asking for feedback after an interview and rejection can be awkward, but it can also help you grow as a professional. You won’t always hear back from recruiters and hiring managers, but be sure to thank them again if they do send you feedback (even if it’s not all that helpful).

    Note those that do send you substantive feedback, because they might become valuable members of your network. Remember to take their advice to heart. By taking stock of your strengths and improving your weaknesses, you’ll become a more competitive candidate when your next interview rolls around.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.

Author

Ryan Morris

Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

Find The Best Job That Fits Your Career

Major Survey Entry Point Icon

Where do you want to work?

Related posts