If you don’t make the final hurdle for your dream job, should you just give up, dust yourself down and move on to the next one? That’s what most candidates do, and then they often make the same mistakes at their next interview.

The best way to avoid this is to ask for constructive feedback – even if you’re afraid that feedback will be difficult to hear. No feedback is negative feedback – it’s always a learning opportunity. It also looks good as it shows that you are interested in the role, how you can learn and grow in the future. Even if you feel an interview went badly, asking for feedback could mean you get another chance. It’s also a great way to thank them for taking the time to consider your application in the first place.

If you don’t ask…

It’s important to repeat this: all feedback is constructive.  I know it is not nice to be told your weaknesses, but this will help you to do better at your next interview.  For example, say you come out of an interview thinking you came across as nervous. You might think there’s no point in getting feedback as they’ll just tell you what you already know. However, you may know you felt nervous, and that the interviewer probably knew that, but you might not know that you scratch your nose, or pull at your hair, or break eye contact when you’re nervous. These are things you can work on in future interviews.

It’s also very important to ask for feedback if you send your CV to companies or a recruitment agency.  They can give you advice in regards to your application and if you don’t suit that particular position there might be a position there in the future for you. They might highlight a skill they thought you were missing that you actually have, you just haven’t highlighted it properly.  Asking for simple feedback can really help you in landing your dream job.

All feedback is positive

If you ask for feedback and you hear the words “we chose someone else”, you feel rejected and you haven’t learned anything. Do something about it and make sure to push for it because there is always a chance you’ll get some valuable advice by just asking for a little more.  If you receive feedback such as “you are giving generic answers and not giving enough information”, this is tangible feedback and you can work on this for your next interview.
 
Some other examples of tangible feedback you can use are:
“You come across as too confident or not confident enough”
“You don’t develop on your answers”
“You never gave any examples to back up your experience”
“You didn’t listen to the questions asked”
“Too much waffle and not sticking to the point”
“You were too laid back”
 
Each of these offers a direct goal for you to set for your next interview – “I’ll practice more examples” or “I’ll make sure I show how much I want the job”.
 
If you want to progress with your career and you are rejected for that dream job, you can do something about it.  Ask the difficult questions, listen to the feedback, and work on it. If you don’t, you might end up making the same mistakes over and over, and getting the same results. 

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