Feedback after an interview, whether or not you have been successful or unsuccessful, is perhaps one of the most difficult steps in the process. The initial contact after an interview is the scariest proposition for a candidate, regardless of the success or failure of the application.

Following up is based on how you applied and whether you did this directly, through an agency or through a personal contact.

Following up after the interview:

Direct:

If you applied directly for a position, then contact the hiring manager or interviewer within 24 hours. It is better to respond with a short yet polite email or a direct phone call if the interviewer provided you with a number. Normally, an interviewer will call you to inform you that you have been successful or unsuccessful and this is the best time to ask for feedback. Importantly, remaining tactful when chasing feedback is key with a direct application.

Agency:

If you applied via an agency, contacting your recruitment consultant is a good step. The agency will be on your side to try and actually chase the interview feedback for you. There is however the chance that the agency will euphemize the feedback to save your feelings. It is within the best interests of the agency to provide you with feedback as soon as they can, their role is to be a bridge between you and the employer.

Personal contact:

If you used a personal contact, then it is best to contact this person directly. Ensure you strike the right tone and be brief when asking for feedback. It is important that you thank your contact for the opportunity in a gracious, appreciative manner.

Using the above criteria, it is important to know what to do if successful or unsuccessful in your application.

If successful:

If you haven’t already received feedback, ask for it. Show enthusiasm, thank them etc.

If unsuccessful:

If you haven’t already received feedback, ask for it. Be professional, thank them, and ask them to let you know of any future vacancies.

Types of feedback (and what it means):

Positive feedback:

Positive feedback is feedback that highlights your strengths during an interview, regardless of whether you got the job. This can include your communication style, your level of professionalism or the quality of your answers.

Negative feedback:

Negative feedback is the opposite in this regard. It will be what you didn’t do well in. This is again regardless of whether you get the job. Negative feedback will be focused on by the majority of candidates. It is also the part which most candidates will misinterpret, as rejection is often challenged strongly by the candidate. It is likely to focus on skills and why you weren’t the right fit for the position. Negative feedback varies but it gives you scope for improvement.

Recruitment Agencies:

Recruitment agencies are built around trying to get the candidate a job. They are a great help in attaining the feedback for each candidate as they deal directly with the interviewers and hiring managers. They also have a working knowledge of what the employer is looking for and whether you are successful or unsuccessful, they can be a great help in attaining feedback post-interview.

Steps:

  • Send a thank you email detailing that you are grateful for the opportunity and that you are thanking them for considering you.
  • In a phone call or email ask for some tips to improve your interview technique.
  • Be patient, the waiting game for feedback is the same for the interview.
  • Connect online via LinkedIn or an appropriate form of digital/social media.
  • Keep researching the company you have applied to and see if any other similar opportunities have opened up. If you came across as professional yet courteous then you will likely have some success.
  • Be open-minded with regards to criticism and feedback.
  • Improve and enhance your CV in accordance with the feedback you have received.
  • Augment your network and build a greater web of contacts.

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