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Asking for Feedback in Job Interviews

If you have been in the market for a job for any time at all and if you have had several phone interviews or personal interviews and still are not getting offers, you may wonder what you are doing wrong.

Like most people, you have probably changed your resume, your cover letter, and your references and even changed your clothes for interviews and nothing seems to be helping. You may even feel like you are driving into a gale force hurricane and you just keep getting pushed backwards.

If you are already getting interviews but are not getting called back, you need to take a closer look at your interview style. One of the easiest ways to evaluate your interview skills is to get some feedback from the source.

The Interview Scheduler

The first and often times the easiest method of receiving feedback from an interview is by contacting the interview organizer. Most companies use their HR department or an outside employment agency to coordinate and schedule interviews. When you are first called for an interview, make sure you get that person's name and number.

Wait several days after the interview and then contact this person and ask them for feedback. If this person is reluctant try to reassure them that you are only interested in improving your skills. Ask them to provide you with some generalizations about the interview feedback like too experienced, not strong in a particular area or any other tidbits they might provide that will help you improve.

The Interviewer

It is also quite likely that when you go in for an interview, the interviewer will give you a business card or provide you with some type of contact information. If this is the case, you can wait several days to a week and contact that person to see if they will provide you feedback from the interview.

With queries to both the interview scheduler and the interviewer, if you sense some hesitance in their response, you can preface your request for information with a statement similar to this: "I completely understand your decision to (not hire, postpone your decision, close the job req, etc) and as a business professional I respect that. Please help me in further developing the appropriate interview skills to hopefully secure a position with another company by providing me with feedback from my interview." You can then list out certain areas that you would like information about or you can leave it up to the person to provide you with information.

Not everyone will be willing to provide feedback but if you use tact and professionalism when asking for the feedback, you will be amazed at the responses you get. Just remember, the information provided to you is not personal, it should be viewed as constructive criticism and it should be used as a learning tool for your next interview.

- Scott Brown

Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook. As editor of the weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively. To download your own free copy of the Job Search Handbook visit Job Search Handbook.