Feedback for Unsuccessful Job Interview: Growth Opportunity

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, especially when the outcome is not in your favour. However, instead of feeling discouraged or disheartened, there’s a valuable opportunity to learn and grow from the experience by requesting feedback. Seeking feedback after an unsuccessful job interview can provide valuable insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This blog will explore the importance of requesting feedback and how to maximise it to enhance your future interview performance.

The Importance of Feedback:

Feedback is an essential tool for personal and professional growth. It offers constructive criticism and valuable insights into your performance, allowing you to identify improvement areas. By requesting feedback after an unsuccessful job interview, you gain a deeper understanding of how you were perceived by the interviewer and gain valuable insights to enhance your future interviews.

Receiving feedback gives you an outside perspective on your interview performance, highlighting blind spots and areas you may not have been aware of. It helps you better understand your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to focus your efforts on self-improvement.

Reflect on the Interview:

Before reaching out for feedback:

  1. Take some time to reflect on the interview.
  2. Recall the questions asked, your responses, and the overall flow of the conversation.
  3. Identify any moments where you felt less confident or stumbled in your answers. This self-reflection will help you pinpoint specific areas to focus on during the feedback process.

Consider how well you aligned your skills and experiences with the job requirements and company values. Reflect on your body language, communication style, and overall professionalism during the interview. This introspection will enable you to approach the feedback process with a better understanding of your own performance.

Choose the Right Timing:

After receiving the news of an unsuccessful job interview, waiting for an appropriate period before requesting feedback is essential. Give the interviewer enough time to process their decision and provide them with constructive feedback. Typically, waiting for a week or two is considered a reasonable timeframe.

Choosing the right timing shows your respect for the interviewer’s time and decision-making process. It also ensures that the interviewer has had enough time to gather their thoughts and provide you with meaningful feedback.

Polite and Professional Email Request:

Craft a polite and professional email to the interviewer or the hiring manager when reaching out for feedback. Express gratitude for the opportunity to interview and acknowledge their time and effort. Clearly state your request for feedback, emphasising your genuine interest in improving your skills and performance for future opportunities. Keep the email concise and respectful, demonstrating your professionalism and eagerness to learn.

Address the recipient by their name and reference the specific job position and interview date to jog their memory—express appreciation for the opportunity to interview and mention any positive aspects of the experience. Clearly articulate your request for feedback, ensuring your tone remains professional and appreciative.

Accept Feedback Openly:

When you receive feedback, approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Remember that the feedback is not a personal attack but rather an opportunity for growth. Take note of the constructive criticism provided and any positive aspects highlighted. Reflect on the feedback objectively and avoid becoming defensive. The aim is to use the feedback to develop and refine your skills.

Maintain a receptive mindset while reviewing the feedback. Listen to the interviewer’s perspective and consider how their observations align with your self-reflection. It can be challenging to hear criticism, but view it as an opportunity for improvement rather than a judgment of your abilities.

Identify Patterns and Areas for Improvement:

As you analyse the feedback, look for patterns or recurring themes. Is there a particular skill or area where you consistently fall short? Are there specific behaviours or communication styles that need improvement? By identifying these patterns, you can prioritise your efforts in addressing the areas that require the most attention.

Pay attention to the specific areas where you received constructive criticism or suggestions for improvement. It could be related to your technical skills, communication abilities, problem-solving approach, or interpersonal skills. Identifying patterns helps you develop a targeted plan to enhance those areas.

Seek Additional Resources:

Incorporate the feedback into your ongoing professional development. Consider seeking additional resources such as books, online courses, or workshops to help you improve the areas highlighted in the feedback. Utilise mock interviews with friends or career coaches to practice and refine your interview skills. Continuous learning and self-improvement will increase your chances of success in future interviews.

Research available resources that can assist you in strengthening the specific areas that need improvement. Look for relevant books, online courses, or workshops that offer guidance on interview skills, communication techniques, or other relevant topics. Consider seeking the assistance of a career coach or mentor who can provide personalised guidance and support.

Apply Lessons Learned:

The ultimate goal of feedback is to apply the lessons learned and demonstrate growth in subsequent interviews. Apply constructive criticism and make conscious efforts to improve your weaknesses. Revisit the notes from your previous interview and practice addressing those areas with more confidence and clarity. The knowledge gained from the feedback will empower you to perform better and increase your chances of securing your desired job in the future.

Integrate the feedback into your interview preparation strategies. Practice answering questions that relate to the areas of improvement you identified. Utilise role-playing scenarios to simulate interview situations and work on addressing your weaknesses. Applying the lessons learned showcases your commitment to growth and improvement.


Requesting feedback from an unsuccessful job interview can be a powerful catalyst for growth and improvement. By embracing feedback with an open mind, reflecting on your performance, and making targeted improvements, you enhance your skills and increase your chances of success in future interviews. Remember, each interview is an opportunity to learn and grow, and the insights gained from feedback will empower you to reach new heights in your professional journey. Embrace the feedback, learn from it, and keep striving for success.


Why request feedback after an unsuccessful job interview?

Requesting feedback is crucial for gaining insights into your performance and areas for improvement. It helps you learn from your mistakes and enhance your interview skills.

How does feedback improve interview performance?

Feedback offers constructive criticism, helping you focus on improving areas like communication, skills, and problem-solving, increasing your chances of success in future interviews.

When’s the right time to request feedback after an unsuccessful interview?

Wait a week or two before seeking feedback to allow the interviewer time to provide meaningful input and show respect for their decision-making process.

How do I request feedback professionally?

Send a polite, concise email expressing gratitude, requesting feedback, and demonstrating your eagerness to learn and grow.

How to approach and accept feedback?

Approach feedback with an open mind, listen and reflect objectively without becoming defensive. Use it as an opportunity for self-improvement.

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Sam Soyombo
Sam Soyombo

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I'm Sam Soyombo, your passionate Career Coach. I am dedicated to guiding you towards a fulfilling career path. My expertise empowers individuals like you to make informed decisions and achieve their professional goals.

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  1. Thanks Isaac for your openess and sincerity on how this blog was helpful to you. I want to ask if you can help out with tips that could help a disappointed unemployed friend of mine, who got depressed after dealing with three unsuccessful job interviews? And, if mistakes is truly part of learning, why do people get depressed? Thanks in anticipation!

  2. Thank you, Sam,for your enlightening blog on seeking feedback after an unsuccessful job interview. I learned the importance of requesting feedback, reflecting on my performance, and applying the lessons learned to improve my interview skills. Your guidance on how to request feedback, identify patterns, and seek additional resources has empowered me to grow and enhance my chances of success in future interviews.”

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