So you didn't get the job you interviewed for. But why not? Chances are, the hiring manager or search committee chair you interviewed with provided some indication as to the rationale behind their choice when they broke the news. But when the cookie-cutter one-liner — i.e., 'Your qualifications don't fit our needs at this time' — is just not enough, Suzanne Lucas at Bnet's Evil HR Lady blog says that it's not always in "poor taste" to ask for a detailed explanation. It's how you approach this sensitive situation that makes all the difference, she says. For example, calling an employer up and saying: "I'm awesome, and I can't figure out why you guys were so stupid as to not hire me," is not a good idea, Lucas says. "Companies aren't likely to tell you want you want to know" over the phone, she adds, as most applicants only call to complain, and these conversations can make the hiring manager feel "forced to defend her choice." If you'd really like to know why the firm didn't choose you, Lucas says "you have to make it clear that you are only listening," and that you sincerely appreciate the feedback. And so, it's best to e-mail. In order, Lucas suggests to thank your interviewees for the opportunity, politely express your disappointment in not receiving an offer for the position, and ask, as a favor, that they provide you with feedback so that you can improve your interviewing skills. "Then, when you get a reply, no matter what they said, the proper response, is, 'Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for me. I really appreciate it.' Full Stop. No objections," Lucas says. Because providing additional explanation as to a hiring decision can be uncomfortable on the part of the interviewer, should you receive a response, it's best to "seriously consider incorporating their feedback into your job searching protocol," she adds.
Mar 31, 2011