Gaining Interview Feedback

Other than going directly to the hiring company, there are three ways to get feedback on how well you interview:

  • Self-Evaluation: Think about the interview questions and your responses. Look at the list above, and be brutally honest with yourself. Take your self-evaluation a step further by videotaping yourself responding to a series of key questions. Review your performance. What do you see?
  • Peer Evaluation: Seek out the eyes and ears of a trusted friend or significant other who will be honest with you. Role-play the interview by giving your helper a specific job posting and a list of questions. Instruct him to ask the questions randomly and to even make up some of his own. You can also ask your helper to watch your self-made video.

Once you are done, really listen to your helper’s comments. Don’t be defensive. Take notes. You may hear different sorts of feedback. For example, perhaps you weren’t specific enough or didn’t sound very interested. Work on these points.

  • Consider Your Timing: The best time to ask is when the interviewer tells you the company isn’t interested. If you are lucky enough to get a phone call, use this opportunity to ask for feedback. If you receive an email, follow up within 24 hours.
  • Ask the Right Questions: Don’t put the interviewer on the spot by questioning why you weren’t offered the job. Accept you weren’t successful, and ask a constructive question. “A better route is to ask how you could improve, what your weak areas were or if the interviewer have any specific interviewing advice for you
  • Strike the Right Tone: The interviewer is much more likely to give the candidate constructive feedback if the question is asked with the right intent. There should be no hint of you wanting to argue a point about your candidacy or that you feel angry or injured.

Although some companies feel they were more hesitant about offering feedback, one common piece of advice emerged:

It doesn’t hurt to ask.