A reader writes:
What is the current protocol, or successful strategy, for contact after not getting a job? I have already thanked the panel for the interview. Is there any reason to ask for feedback?
I’m always impressed when a candidate asks for feedback after not getting the job — and it there’s an easily articulable reason, I will usually share it. For instance, I’ve told candidates who asked that we felt we needed someone with more experience in _____, or that we were looking for stronger writing skills, and so forth. But sometimes it just comes down another candidate being a better fit, and I’ll say that too, although I’m sure it’s not as helpful.
That said, I know that there are a lot of hiring managers who never answer this question, for fear of saying something that will open them up to a lawsuit.
But even if you encounter that, there’s still no reason not to give it a shot, as long as you’re not defensive about it and are prepared for an honest critique. I’d say something like, “I appreciate your time speaking with me about the position, and I hope you’ll keep me in mind if something opens up in the future that you think I would be a good fit for. Is there anything you felt I could do to be a stronger candidate in the future?”
And if you get an answer, no matter what it is, remember to say thank you. I remember it when I take my time to help someone with feedback and get silence in return!