How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection With Examples Why Post-Failure Feedback is Important When to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection Who You Should Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Phone How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Email How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection in Person What NOT to Do When You Respond to a Job Rejection Wrap-Up
How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection With Examples Why Post-Failure Feedback is Important When to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection Who You Should Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Phone How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Email How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection in Person What NOT to Do When You Respond to a Job Rejection Wrap-Up
Updated 19/08/2020

How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection With Examples

If the company rejected your candidacy, you need to clarify the reasons and move on. In our guide, you will find the best time and proven ways to request honest feedback.

If the company rejected your candidacy, you need to clarify the reasons and move on. In our guide, you will find the best time and proven ways to request honest feedback.

You can have advanced professional skills and take a responsible approach to the job application and interview, but still get rejected. If this happened, remember, you can hardly change the employer's decision, but you can draw a valuable lesson even from this negative experience. For this purpose, you need to find out what went wrong. LinkedIn reports that 94% of candidates want to clarify refusal reasons, but only 41% succeed. And it's not just about the recruiters being too busy. Often the job seekers themselves don’t know how to take the initiative. Therefore, in this article, we will focus on how to get feedback after job rejection and provide you with request samples.


Why Post-Failure Feedback is Important

It seems that the rejection is a final point in your dialogue with the company. Due to this fact, some candidates prefer to bear with it and get back to job searches. But try to think ahead. To get hired, you may have to go through more than one selection process. And if you don't clarify your mistakes and omissions now, you risk repeating this same unfortunate scenario in the future. It will lead to more disappointment and make you distrust your powers. In contrast, by asking for feedback after an interview or job application rejection, you can:

1. Understand your weaknesses.  According to the Localwise hiring community, even promising candidates sometimes make gross or embarrassing mistakes in their resume and cover letters that weed them out at the application stage. It can be improper grammar, typos, blank fields, or an uncustomized message. The main problem is that you may overlook or be unaware of them. Feedback, in turn, will show you what exactly you need to fix in your application documents to increase your chances of getting an interview the next time.

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If you were refused after the interview, the reason might lie in inappropriate appearance, poor verbal and non-verbal communication, misplaced priorities of your self-presentation, and other details that prevent you from impressing the interviewer. In this case, getting professional feedback is much more useful than guessing, or worse, hoping that the next potential employer will turn a blind eye to your weaknesses.

2. Stop overthinking. While rejection is just a failure with one single employer, this experience can still negatively affect your subsequent job searches. You begin to self-chastise, question your professional aptitude, and, as a result, be afraid of every next job application. This tactic hinders success as you begin to expect failure on a subconscious level. If you receive constructive feedback, you know where the shoe pinches and can bend every effort on self-improvement instead of baseless self-judgment. It will bring the desired employment much closer.

3. Take a fresh look at yourself. You may think that you are the perfect candidate for this position. However, you are not a professional hiring manager and company insider, which means you cannot evaluate yourself without bias or prejudice. And if you are guided only by your convictions and beliefs, your chances of finding a job are minimal. Feedback, in turn, is constructive criticism and expert advice that helps you look at the situation from another stakeholder's perspective and be fair-minded about your candidacy.

4. Prove your commitment. If you ask for feedback after interview rejection, it shows your persistence and thirst for self-development. Such candidates gain recruiter loyalty and are often included in the company's reserve pool. If you decide to apply for another available vacancy in the future, you will have a slight edge over other jobseekers.

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When to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection

Timeliness is always the key to success. Therefore, don't delay asking for feedback after a job rejection. Otherwise, information about your candidacy may get lost in the stream of new applicants. As a result, the recruiter will either reject your request or provide feedback that is too superficial to draw proper conclusions. We have prepared several possible scenarios to help you determine the best time.

  • If you receive a rejection letter via email, try to answer it within the first 24 hours, but not earlier than an hour after receiving it. Remember, employers rarely contact hysterical or desperate candidates. Therefore, use this time to put your thoughts together, handle your emotions, and shape your message. Send your response during company office hours to emphasize your commitment to business etiquette and respect for the recipient.
  • If they announced their decision to you by phone, ask for feedback in the same dialogue. If a company representative could not get through to you and left a voice message, you should still call back during business hours, preferably on the same day.
  • It is rare for a candidate to be rejected in person immediately after the interview. However, you are not immune from such a turn of events and should be ready for it. In this case, take the chance to discuss the reasons and your weaknesses face to face. If the recruiter has a busy interview schedule and can't waste time providing feedback right now, you can negotiate possible deadlines or send a follow-up message with your request after the interview.
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Who You Should Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection

You should always seek feedback from the person who notified you of the rejection. In small companies, this can be the employer personally. In large corporations, this person is often a recruiter or hiring manager as they are responsible for selecting, evaluating, and interacting with candidates. Even if several company representatives interviewed you, be it a department head or a supervisor, the recruiter collects their feedback on your candidacy, knows based on what criteria you did not fit the position, and can provide you with an aggregate picture. Therefore, check with whoever sent you a rejection letter or called you back. This will help you play it safe and direct your request to the right person.


How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Phone

Rejection by phone has its positive aspects. First, you can easily ask for feedback and not worry about when the recruiter will see your request and respond to it. Second, you can hear their voice and therefore catch their attitudes and reactions. Our tips and examples will help you maintain a fruitful dialogue.

  • Thank the company representative for notifying you.
  • Tell them that you want to improve your competitiveness in the labor market, and their feedback could help you.
  • Ask if they have time for feedback now. If not, specify when you could return to this subject, if yes, go to your questions.
  • Ask what factors influenced their decision and how you might avoid them in the future.
  • Clarify your strengths and best practices as a candidate.
  • Pause after each question. It will allow the recruiter to provide a comprehensive response at their pace.
  • Listen to all comments carefully and take notes as needed.
  • Mention that you are open to cooperation if the company needs employees for new available vacancies.
  • Thank them for the time, attention, and opportunity to try your hand in the selection process.

Example of a Feedback Request by Phone

Thank you for letting me know about your decision. I am sorry that I could not meet your expectations, but I hope to join your team in the future. Can I rely on feedback to understand my strengths and weaknesses?
I am grateful that you have informed me of your decision and accept it. Could you help me take the first step towards my self-improvement and analyze my mistakes during the selection process? I will appreciate any recommendations and remarks you may have.
Thank you for your attention to my candidacy. I'm sure you had a reason for this decision. Can I please get your feedback to identify areas for improvement?

How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection by Email

Recruiters often notify candidates of the job interview outcome via email. In this case, you should only write a response to the rejection letter asking for feedback. You can work on it in a comfortable environment without pressure from the interlocutor. To simplify your task, we have prepared its essential components and practical templates.

  • In the first paragraph, thank the recruiter for notifying you of the company's decision.
  • In the second paragraph, you can show your regrets. However, keep emotions under control. Make it clear that you were hoping for a job offer but still have a positive attitude towards the company.
  • The third paragraph is the perfect place for your request for feedback. Prove that their professional opinion is especially important to you.
  • In the closing paragraph, you can thank them in advance for their detailed answer or express hope for future cooperation.
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Example of a Feedback Request by Email

"Dear Mr. Jones, Thank you for letting me know about your decision regarding my candidacy.

I must admit that working for your company was my primary professional goal. Nevertheless, I sincerely wish for MiM Inc. to find a worthy team member.

Your refusal proves that I have something to strive for. Therefore, can I ask you to share your expert opinion and indicate my weaknesses in the selection process?

I am looking forward to your response. And I promise to use your comments and recommendations for my professional development.

Best regards, Jeremiah."
“Dear Mrs. Baxter, Thank you for letting me hear your decision.

I feel sorry that I was unable to prove my professional aptitude for the sales manager position. But I try to take my failure as a reason to work on myself.

Could you prompt me on the obstacles to my successful employment at Barin Limited? I trust your professional opinion and will accept any criticism.

I appreciate your attention and believe that your feedback will help me become a worthy candidate for you.

Respectfully, Kylie”
“Dear Mr. Chester, Thank you for your quick response.

Frankly speaking, I am disappointed with my failure. However, I understand that “Ideal Solutions” is a market leader that sets high standards for its employees. And I hope to match them one day.

Could you help me understand my mistakes during the application process and interviews? Your criticism is a valuable foundation for my self-improvement.

Thank you in advance for your time and constructive feedback.

Sincerely, Will”
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How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection in Person

If you received a phone or email refusal, your visit to the office might be regarded as excessive persistence. Therefore, you can ask for feedback in-person only if the recruiter has announced the company's decision immediately after the interview. While such a quick verdict can unsettle you, you have a unique opportunity to skip the waiting period and move on to other career opportunities. In this case, you can follow the script of the phone request and make the necessary adjustments during the conversation.

Example of a Feedback Request in Person

“Thank you for your honesty. However, could you let me know what prompted you to make this immediate decision? Is there anything in my candidacy that fundamentally contradicts your portrait of the ideal applicant? I am open to any criticism.”
“Thank you for the chance to learn more about your company and take part in the selection process. I would be happy to know what prevented me from being the right person for this position. Can I count on feedback now or at any time convenient for you?”
“I appreciate your straight talk and respect your decision. Could you recommend any improvements to me as a candidate and a specialist? I hope to increase my chances of getting a job next time.”

What NOT to Do When You Respond to a Job Rejection

Rejection is always stressful, and you cannot accept it indifferently. However, if you can deal with your first reaction, it proves your composure, self-discipline, and professional approach to business relationships. Such candidates often receive the coveted feedback and leave a favorable impression of themselves in the company. To achieve both goals, avoid the following post-rejection mistakes.

Don't argue

Before wondering how to ask for feedback after the interview, you must understand that the decision has already been made and is non-negotiable. Therefore, your response should not resemble attempts to change an employer's mind and protrude your opinion. This tactic doesn't bode for further communication, because if you are arguing now, where is the guarantee that you will not dispute the provided feedback?

Don't show your despair

Undoubtedly, you can be upset about your failure, but this is not a reason to cry during a phone call or plead for sympathy in your email. Such behavior discredits your self-respect and makes the recruiter feel uncomfortable or guilty. These are not the best prerequisites for a constructive conversation. Therefore, your request for feedback will meet with no response.

Don't be rude

You can state that this work was not of particular value, and you have other promising cooperation proposals. But this tactic not only calls into question the importance of feedback to you but also hurts your professional reputation. Your bragging and contempt will not help you gain the upper hand in this situation.

Don't ask too many questions

‘So who got the job? Have you interviewed many candidates? Why did the rest of the applicants fail?’ These and similar questions prove that you can't get your priorities right and do not understand what information concerns you. If you ask for feedback after such issues, the recruiter will most likely leave your entire appeal unanswered.



You should hope for the best but brace for the worst. This tactic applies to many real-life situations, and job searches are no exception. Rejection is a sad but rather frequent outcome of the selection process for many active applicants. Therefore, you need not deny this possible scenario, but try to get the most out of it. In this article, you found out how to ask for feedback after an unsuccessful application and interview. This first step will help you get useful information for self-improvement and dispel your doubts and possible illusions about your candidacy. But your further success in job search will depend on how you perceive, comprehend, and apply this information. Remember, once you start drawing the right conclusions, your failures will no longer have power over you.

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