How to Find Out Why You Didn’t Get the Job

How to Find Out Why You Didn’t Get the Job

And yet, you still don’t get the job. “An HR manager or recruiter is more likely to give you a programmed HR response such as, ‘We found a candidate that was a better fit for our needs.’ The hiring manager is more likely to give you a candid response,” she explains. “Show in your request for feedback that you appreciate the recruiter or hiring manager is likely to be busy. Show “that you are understanding of their decision not to hire you, otherwise, you may sound bitter about not getting the job rather than someone looking for honest feedback to help them with their job search,” Pritchard continues. And instead of taking a self-deprecating approach like “How did I screw up” or “Where did I go wrong”, frame the conversation as a quest for personal growth. Burgett recommends the following: Hi (Hiring Manager), I wanted to thank you for the amazing opportunity to interview for the position of (job title) with your company. As I continue my job search, I would love to get your feedback on how I can improve as a candidate. Additionally, if you know of any companies that may be hiring for similar positions or anyone else I should reach out to as I continue my job search, please let me know. Again, thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position. Sincerely, Your Name There’s no doubt that getting rejected from a job you were interested in is upsetting, and it can be doubly so if you don’t hear actionable feedback from the hiring team.

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You send in a stellar resume. You blow the recruiter away in the phone screen. And you wow everyone you speak with during your in-person interview. And yet, you still don’t get the job. Worst of all, you don’t know why you didn’t get it — you either didn’t hear back at all, or received feedback so vague that it’s virtually useless (e.g. “We decided to go with another candidate who was a better fit.”) Is there anything worse?

It’s incredibly frustrating when a recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t share a concrete reason why you were passed over, but if it happens to you, don’t worry. Often, there’s still a way to figure out what went wrong — here’s how.

1. Reach Out to the Decision Maker

If you have the contact info of the hiring manager, it’s best to chat with them rather than a recruiter or HR representative, says Ren Burgett, career coach and owner of 3R Coach.

“An HR manager or recruiter is more likely to give you a programmed HR response such as, ‘We found a candidate that was a better fit for our needs.’ The hiring manager is more likely to give you a candid response,” she explains.

If you haven’t already been in touch with the hiring manager, though, you may want to reach out to someone who can point them in your direction.

“If you don’t have their contact details, you need to get in touch with whoever your point of contact was throughout the recruitment process. Even if they can’t provide feedback themselves, they will be able to pass your query onto someone who can,” says Steve Pritchard, HR Manager at Cuuver.com.

When you haven’t been given the hiring manager’s contact information, it can be tempting to bypass your point of contact and look them up on LinkedIn or Google their email address, but this is a mistake, Pritchard says: “They may not feel too comfortable with you contacting them using a number/email they didn’t provide you with.”

2. Express Gratitude

Nobody wants to engage with a candidate who sounds demanding or presumptuous, so make sure to open your message with a note of thanks.

“Thanking someone for [taking the] time to interview you and provide the opportunity can always start the conversation in a positive manner,” says Shanalee Sharboneau, President and Technical Recruiter at Staffing Science, LLC.

In particular, you should express gratitude for the fact that they are going out of their way to read your note. After all, they don’t have to share feedback with you.

“Show in your request for feedback that you appreciate the recruiter or hiring manager is likely to be busy. This way, you don’t sound too pushy or demanding,” Pritchard adds.

3. Be Positive

You may be upset that you didn’t get the job, but remember: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re disappointed with the outcome, but don’t express resentment or aggression.

Show “that you are understanding of their decision not to hire you, otherwise, you may sound bitter about not getting the job rather than someone looking for honest feedback to help them with their job search,” Pritchard continues.

And instead of taking a self-deprecating…

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