The best job interview experience often comes from an interview in which you failed. Like in sports, you can learn more from losing than winning, but you have to learn how to ask for feedback when you don’t get the job. The only way to improve upon yourself as an interviewer is to evaluate your actions and make positive changes. It’s never easy admitting that you need guidance but if you swallow your pride (I have been there before…) you have the chance to improve by great lengths.
Here is an example of how to write an email asking for feedback, feel free to use and change to fit your specific situation:
Subject: Thank You
Hello ____ –
I wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview me last week, it was great to meet you and have the chance to interview. Although you have chosen to go with another applicant, I wanted to ask for your honest feedback in how I could have improved in our meeting. I want to continually advance my skills as a job seeker and the best way is to learn from my experience.Please give me a few specific examples as to what I could have changed, so I will know for future interviews.Thank you again for your time,ElyseOnce given feedback, what you do with it is the trick. According to the4 Keys to Learning From Failure by Guy Winch, Ph D., you need to focus on 4 steps:
Re-Evaluate your planning
Did you prepare enough for the interview by going over your own experience? Did you print your resume on high quality paper?
Re-Evaluate your preparation
Did you plan out sample interview and behavioral questions with specific examples? Did you think about any curve balls that they may throw you? Did you research the company and seriously think about why you would want to work at their company?
Re-Evaluate your execution
How was your interaction with the manager? Were you late? Were you able to openly talk about your experience?
Focus on variables in your control
Don’t focus on the few aspects of the interview that were out of your control. Focus on the aspects that you definitely have control over and work on those. To continually fixate on the emotional aspect of failing in an interview is easy to do, but this will not help you improve.
If you ask for feedback, you can be your own coach and cheerleader by better preparing yourself for your next interview. Re-focus your efforts and gear up for your next interview!