If you decide to ask why you have been rejected, the most important thing is to do it right after you are notified. Waiting too long to ask will give the appearance that you have been brooding over the decision, which is far from the impression you want to give.
So how do you phrase your response without offending the employer? You should start by saying that, while you are disappointed, you respect their decision and wish them well in the future. According to an article on CBS News, your phrasing should go something like this:
"I am working on improving my interview skills and am also interested in finding out areas that I'm lacking, so I can work to improve those as well. Could I ask you to tell me three areas that you think I could improve? I would really appreciate the feedback."The reason this is a good response is because it shows the employer that you are truly interested in getting feedback about your performance. Even though you were passed over this time, showing that you are willing to listen to advice could help if you apply to the organization again in the future.
If you thought simply asking why you were passed over was hard, dealing with the feedback can be even worse. Nobody likes to be told what you are bad at, but it's all part of the process of growing as a job seeker. Here are some of the comments you are likely to receive from hiring managers:
- You did not have enough experience in crucial areas.
- Not enough education.
- You did not show enough enthusiasm or assertiveness during the interview.
- You did not ask enough questions about the organization, showing a lack of preparation.
Receiving criticism can leave you feeling deflated, but it's important not take it personally. Listening to this feedback and adjusting accordingly will only improve your chances the next time you apply for a job.