You walk out of a job interview with a spring in your step, certain that you’ll get an offer in no time. You wait, check your messages, wait some more, and finally it comes – that important call or email from the recruitment agency. But the news they have for you isn’t what you’d been hoping for. The company has decided to go with a different candidate, or they’re not going to hire for that position after all, or they didn’t find what they were looking for and are going to repost the job.
Rejection is never an easy thing to deal with, but rather than focus on how terrible it feels, it could be useful to take this opportunity to find out whether there was anything you could have done differently. Many recruitment agencies will offer feedback after the interview process, but knowing what to ask and when to ask can provide you with some very insightful reflections on your interview etiquette.
Why Candidates Should Ask for Feedback
Getting insight into why you were passed over for the job could help you perform better in future interviews. Weak spots in your resume, issues with the way you carried yourself, lack of experience, missing skills, unimpressive answers to interview questions, coming across as being unprepared, or even just not being a good fit for the company culture are all possible reasons for winding up in the ‘no’ pile. Sometimes we are so caught up in the interview that we fail to realize what others see. You might be surprised to find out that the way you thought you were presenting yourself and the way your interviewers saw you presenting yourself are two very different things.
Asking for feedback can also be a signal that you are someone who is open to change and willing to grow. Just because you weren’t right for that particular position doesn’t mean that the potential employer would automatically write you off for another position. Having a conversation with your recruiter about what you could have done better or differently can create a positive impression that could be helpful in building a relationship with them. This way, next time you apply for a role that could be a better fit, your recruiter will be able to act as your trusted advisor when presenting your profile to a hiring manager.
The type of feedback you get from your interviewers will likely depend on a variety of factors, including how far into the interviewing process you progressed (were there multiple rounds?) and whether the company has legal policies in place that prevent them from offering certain types of feedback. However, you may find this useful to know that it is a recruitment company's responsibility to reach out to clients' hiring manager, probe for actual root causes, especially because recruiters need to present a better fit to client in the next round of interviews. Hence, if you want to know more or have concerns about a particular area that wasn’t touched on, you should feel encouraged to ask for additional information in a respectful and professional way.
When you receive feedback through the recruitment agency, listen carefully and try to avoid feeling defensive or personally attacked. Truly consider the information and decide how you can apply this newfound insight to your interview strategies and techniques. If there are skill and knowledge gaps you can fill, take some courses. If you have a tendency to get too nervous during an interview, practice and maybe seek out some professional advice from a career counsellor. If your resume doesn’t stand out enough, read up on what you can do to improve it.
Use the feedback you receive to make yourself a stronger, more confident, and more well-rounded candidate.
Why Most Companies Are Open to Providing Feedback
Recruitment agencies make the exchange of information between candidates and companies during the hiring process easier and more efficient. In interviews, candidates are often gathering information about a company just as much as a company is gathering information about them. Most companies are interested in making a good impression during the recruitment process, especially in the age of social media, where information and opinions are often shared openly. Review sites such as Glassdoor, allow both candidates and employees to voice their opinions on their interaction with specific companies. They understand how both positive and negative reviews can influence their brands reputation. Additionally, when an employer provides feedback to a recruitment agency, the more accurately a candidate fit can be found for the role.
Finding out that you haven’t been selected for an employment opportunity isn’t a great experience. But seeking feedback from your recruiter allows you to understand some of the reasons behind the decision, and prevents you from racking your brain and coming to your own (possibly inaccurate) conclusions. Be respectful when requesting any additional feedback through the recruitment agency, and be prepared for the potential employer to decline providing more information. Make positive changes using any feedback you do receive.
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
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