Interview or assessment feedback

You can ask for feedback after the interview or assessment: Feedback helps you to learn what did or did not work well and to make adjustments for your next interview

Feedback will be most helpful if:

  • You genuinely wanted this particular job
  • You feel you gave a good interview
  • You got through to the later stages (if it was a multiple-stage process)

The organisation does not have to give you feedback and might not be willing to for a number of reasons:

  • Legal risk – they might say something that leads you to think that you are being discriminated against. Many companies will say as little as possible to avoid this risk.
  • There is no feedback to give – When there was nothing you could improve on. Another candidate was just a little bit better. This is good news, and although disappointing that you didn’t get the role, you can take more confidence into your next interview.
  • It’s uncomfortable for the interviewer – no-one likes giving bad news, having to explain it is even more awkward and they may worry that you will get upset or angry.
  • It takes time ­– when they may be under pressure. Helping you is not going to be their top priority.
  • They are only qualified to say why you did not get that job – they are not qualified to say what may work for a different organisation.

The feedback they give you may not always be helpful, as unfortunately they may not tell you the real reason you didn’t get the role

If you do ask for feedback you should:

  • Ask for feedback by email – So they can think carefully about what they want to say. A reply in writing is easier for you to process and act on if it is relevant to the next job interview.
  • Always be polite – They are doing you a favour
  • Thank them for taking the time – they will be busy
  • Avoid making it sound like a complaint – They will not give you useful feedback if they are feeling defensive
  • Bear in mind that not every first-choice candidate accepts the job – Dealing well with feedback increases your chances of being considered as a reserve candidate.

Try saying something like this:


Thank you for interviewing me for the post of [INSERT THE JOB TITLE HERE] on [INSERT THE DATE OF YOUR INTERVIEW HERE]. Whilst I’m disappointed that I wasn’t chosen, I would really appreciate some honest feedback if I were to apply for a similar job with you in the future. It would be really helpful to know specifically:

  • Whether there was a skill or qualification I lack which would have been helpful
  • How you felt I came over in the interview
  • If there is anything you think would help my chances next time?

Thank you for your time and kind consideration,

Yours sincerely,


If you have been rejected a few times, particularly if it is for similar reasons, act on the feedback you are given and if you can, do a mock interview with a friend, family member or career coach, to help you adapt and improve your interview skills