Getting Feedback from Graduate Recruiters
Imagine if the time you’ve invested to prepare for an interview is the equivalent of three nights of sleep, four gaming sessions and five dates.
That’s why it can get pretty discouraging when the employer emails or calls you back with a “I’m sorry that we’re not able to offer you the position”. It’s even more frustrating if you felt that you did a stellar job because you nailed every question and even made every interviewer laugh!
You can try to guess and self-evaluate yourself, but it’s only going to give you half the answer. The more effective way to find out is by contacting the company or interviewer for a detailed feedback. Remind yourself that there’s absolutely no harm in asking for feedback – especially when you’ve no idea on how to improve your interviewing skills for the next opportunity.
Even if you’re nervous about calling the employer for this purpose (it’s perfectly understandable – you just got rejected!), you’ll find that there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. After all, it will only help you tie up loose ends and help you fix blunders that you didn’t notice and improve your performance!
Read on to find out how you should go about the process, step by step.
1. Who do you ask?
This depends on the situation and the interviewer(s) who spoke to you on the day of your interview. For this reason, it’s always important that you get the contact details or business card of your interviewer when you meet them for the first time!
2. When do you ask?
To ensure you get more concrete feedback about your habits or comments beyond a vague “You’re not suited for the job”, make it a point to only ask for feedback if you were rejected in the second or third round of interviews, as your recruiters will likely know you well enough by then.
However, if the recruiter hasn’t gotten back to you, don’t automatically assume that you’ve been rejected. Call or email to check on the status of your application.
3. How do you ask?
It’s more advisable to request for your feedback over email instead of through the phone or in-person. Emails give your recruiters and interviewers the time to think through their responses before they get back to you.
When you’ve begun to ask for feedback, let the person you’re reaching out to know that you’d be “happy to listen to any feedback that they’ve for you because you’d like to improve yourself for future interviews”. Refrain from disputing the comments or feedback you get back, though! If you were given mostly positive feedback, consider asking the recruiters to keep you in mind if any other vacancies arise. In fact, some of them may even voluntarily offer to contact you!
4. Evaluate the reasons why you've been rejected
When you’ve received your feedback, look through the reasons why you were turned down before you make a plan on how to improve. For instance, if you were rejected based on qualifications, consider how you can obtain the certificates required.
If some interviewers misread your anxiety as aloofness instead, or thought that you spoke too much on issues that didn’t matter to them, then you may want to seek out career coaches or advisors to help you with some mock interviews.
5. If you're met with silence or vague answers
If you’re met with stony silence, there’s no need to worry. Instead, just thank your recruiters and move on.
If your interviewers try to brush you off with a generic “Another candidate was better suited for the job”, assess if you’ll be able to push for more information. If the person whom you’re talking to is reluctant to answer, then thank them for their time and leave it as it is. Otherwise, press for some specifics so that you know how you can improve yourself.
Other times, you may come across comments that you think are unfair or inaccurate, but remember that the employers aren’t out to attack you personally! Instead, do your best to take their feedback objectively and see how they may have arrived at such conclusions. From there, draw up the steps to improve yourself, implement them and move on to your next opportunity with confidence!