Getting Feedback from Hiring Managers

Aaron writes:
I have read your article on Quintessential Careers regarding under-qualified applicants and how to make yourself stand out to potential employers. I found the information to be quite helpful. However as I am still having issues with getting companies to respond when I apply I am trying to see what else I may need to do. I contacted a potential employer for advice after they rejected my application. They mentioned that while I met the requirements for the job they found an applicant who better fit what they were looking for. I asked the human resources manager for advice on how I could improve myself and make myself a stronger candidate in the future. However since that time I have not received a response? What that the right thing to do or did my asking for advice present a problem for the human resources manager? I want to make sure that I am not potentially irritating potential employers.

The Career Doctor responds:
It doesn’t hurt to ask and it probably won’t irritate them but you will probably NOT get a straight answer beyond the “applicant who’s a better fit” response because employers fear lawsuits if they tell you the real reasons. I would suggest the following:

  1. Next time you interview with someone you really connect with someone with whom you have strong rapport try asking for feedback at the end of the interview and/or after you get rejected (if that happens). Someone who really likes you may give you honest feedback.
  2. See a career counselor or coach and do a mock interview and ask for feedback.
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