Tweaking the Job Search: Capturing Valuable Interview Feedback

1 Jun

Obtaining feedback from an interviewer, helps candidates make necessary adjustments.

Remember the good old days, back in high school or college? You’d work like crazy to get your assignments done and turned in on time, so that you could receive the high marks you needed to keep your grade point average in check. The entire purpose of the grades was to provide feedback, so that as you move forward in your studies, you can continue to improve and grow academically.

For candidates’ seriously engaged in an ongoing job search, the feedback obtained from hiring managers and recruiters is just as important as days spent in full “education mode.” In order to determine why an employer chooses someone else, it becomes critical to ask for feedback from each completed interview.

Here are the top five tips to help job seekers obtain concrete interview feedback, and even enhance their chances for consideration in future openings with the same company.

1.  At the close of the interview, ask the hiring manager or recruiter the date they intend to make their final decision.
This allows the job seeker to follow-up on a timely basis, and avoid becoming a pain in the neck to the department’s administrative assistant and hiring authority. Candidates can create an interview feedback notebook, and log both the positive and negative information received. The candidate must be able to tweak their next interview accordingly, or end up with the same results the next go-around.
2.  Send a thank you note.
Every candidate should carry thank you notes, envelopes, and stamps in their vehicle, so that they may swing by the post office immediately after the interview. In order to receive quality feedback on a timely basis, it’s necessary to make it easy for the hiring manager to feel both comfortable and somewhat obligated to reach out.
3.  Request the interviewer as a LinkedIn connection.
One of the best ways to keep a candidate in the mind of a hiring manager is to connect with them through LinkedIn. This not only lets the interviewer know a job seeker is serious about obtaining a position with the company, but strengthens the memory of the actual meeting. If the interviewer accepts the candidate’s request, this provides additional means of communication, and will make obtaining feedback easier, once a final decision has been reached.
4.  Call the hiring manager or recruiter directly.

Once a rejection or turn-down letter is received, go ahead and call the interviewer directly. Avoid reaching out on Mondays, as this is traditionally the busiest day of the week. Be sure to explain the purpose of the phone call, and ask the individual if this is a good time to speak. Many times, the hiring authority will tell the caller the best time to try back. Above all, job seekers must remember “you get a lot more bees with honey,” so be polite.

5.  When there’s a lack of cooperation.
There may be times when an employer chooses not to provide a reason as to why a candidate was not chosen for the position. Perhaps multiple attempts have been made to speak with the interviewer, but they are unwilling to give any details. When this occurs, the candidate should review the original job description, and verify they meet all of the requirements stated by the company. Oftentimes, there are gaps between the applicant’s skill set and the needs of the hiring company.

Obtaining feedback and applying the information to improve a candidate’s interview performance is a critical component of moving to the next step – employment offers.

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