By the Monster Career Coach
Frustrating, isn’t it, when you thought you’d nailed that job interview yet you weren’t the one they hired. What goes on in the heads of those who make the selection that they wouldn’t pick you as their first choice? Is there a way to find out afterward what they thought about you?
Sometimes there is, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high. The people who’ve interviewed you are employees of that organization. As such they owe a duty of care to their employer, which means they have to be very cautious about how much information they release publicly. If they say the wrong thing to the wrong person, a lawsuit could ensue.
Squeezing The Lemon To Get Lemon Aid
Normally if the job is offered to someone else, you might never hear back from the employer. Or else you get a polite rejection message: “We appreciate your taking the time to meet with us, however we have elected to go with a candidate who fits our current needs more precisely.” Blah blah.
You would much rather get constructive feedback that you can use to help fine-tune your interviewing skills for the next job you apply for, even if that feedback isn’t entirely positive.
To get the interviewer’s opinion of you, wait until you know for sure that they’ve hired someone else. Then call the interviewer back (if you’d met with more than one interviewer, choose the person you think you got a long with best). Let them know that you respect the choice they’ve made in terms of hiring, and that at this point all you’d really like is a little bit of honest input as to how you did in your interview.
Very few interviewers will respond to this tactic. But if one does happen to return your call, it’s a wonderful chance for you to gain critical insights.
Pay Attention, Be Polite
What do you do if the interviewer gets in touch to give you their impression of you? First and foremost, be appreciative. Thank them upfront and let them know that you understand this is an exceptional act on their part.
Then…listen carefully to what they have to say about you. Don’t get defensive: remember, the impression you thought you made at the interview may not be precisely the one you think you did, so you might be surprised by what you hear.
Feel free to ask a question or two, such as “How might I come across more effectively in future interviews?” or “What was the one thing that I did best?”
As you end the call, remind the interviewer that you’d definitely be interested if other positions come up at their organization, that they’re your top choice
Use Your Learnings Next Time Around
Even if the feedback you get is negative – like “You come across as stiff and overly rehearsed,” or “We just didn’t think that you had what it takes to work here,” use this information to improve your performance with the next employer you interview with.
Obtaining honest feedback about your interviewing skills from the actual people you’ve met with is a rare opportunity. Make the most of it by doing better in future sessions.