Should You Ask Why You Didn’t Get the Job?


Lorna writes:
I interviewed with a prospective employer last Thursday for a customer
representative job. During the interview I felt really confident and thought
that I made a good impression with the interviewer. Today I
received a letter from the employer stating that the position that I interviewed
for was not the best for my qualifications. I would like to ask you if it is
appropriate for me to call them and ask the “particular” reason I
did not get the job. This is the first job interview that I failed to get hired.
I feel that I have done something wrong. Please advise.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I hope to hear from you soon.



The Career Doctor responds:
First I am amazed you heard back from the employer so quickly.
Should you follow up? Sure! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Call the person you interviewed with and ask both for a critique of the interview
as well as why you are not a good fit for the job. If nothing else you may gain
some insights about how you portray yourself or your skills — and perhaps just
perhaps the employer will reconsider and ask you back because of your initiative.
But remember also take the feedback with a grain of salt — this is just ONE
person’s opinion about you… so be careful of putting too much stock into his/her
words. If he/she identifies some potential flaws ask a close friend or colleague
to conduct a mock interview with you and give you more feedback.
Also be prepared to not get your questions answers; many employers won’t
answer this kind of question for fear of lawsuits.
One final comment. You have been very lucky that all your previous job
interviews resulted in a job offer; I know very few job-seekers who could claim
such a record — so even having just one rejection is still a pretty remarkable
track record.
Best of luck to you. I know you will continue to have job-search success in the
future — especially if you keep trying to improve yourself.
Find lots of other good job interviewing tools articles and question databases in
this section of Quintessential Careers: Guide to
Job Interviewing Resources
.

;

Lorna writes:
I interviewed with a prospective employer last Thursday for a customer
representative job. During the interview I felt really confident and thought
that I made a good impression with the interviewer. Today I
received a letter from the employer stating that the position that I interviewed
for was not the best for my qualifications. I would like to ask you if it is
appropriate for me to call them and ask the “particular” reason I
did not get the job. This is the first job interview that I failed to get hired.
I feel that I have done something wrong. Please advise.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I hope to hear from you soon.



The Career Doctor responds:
First I am amazed you heard back from the employer so quickly.
Should you follow up? Sure! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Call the person you interviewed with and ask both for a critique of the interview
as well as why you are not a good fit for the job. If nothing else you may gain
some insights about how you portray yourself or your skills — and perhaps just
perhaps the employer will reconsider and ask you back because of your initiative.
But remember also take the feedback with a grain of salt — this is just ONE
person’s opinion about you… so be careful of putting too much stock into his/her
words. If he/she identifies some potential flaws ask a close friend or colleague
to conduct a mock interview with you and give you more feedback.
Also be prepared to not get your questions answers; many employers won’t
answer this kind of question for fear of lawsuits.
One final comment. You have been very lucky that all your previous job
interviews resulted in a job offer; I know very few job-seekers who could claim
such a record — so even having just one rejection is still a pretty remarkable
track record.
Best of luck to you. I know you will continue to have job-search success in the
future — especially if you keep trying to improve yourself.
Find lots of other good job interviewing tools articles and question databases in
this section of Quintessential Careers: Guide to
Job Interviewing Resources
.