How to learn from interview feedback

Even when an interview doesn’t work out, you can turn it into a positive learning curve. Gathering feedback from a recruitment agency or employer following an interview can give you valuable information to aid your job search.

Here are six ways you can use interview feedback to help you go onwards and upwards in your job search:

1. Ask your recruitment agency for feedback

Here at Anne Corder Recruitment we conduct phone interviews and invite job seekers to come and meet us in person. During this time we’ll get to know the job seeker, their ambitions and what they are looking for in their next role. When we then go on to put a job seeker forward for a job, we are able to offer constructive feedback on your interview technique and areas to focus on in relation to the job in hand.

Make use of interviews with recruitment agencies as a bit of ‘trial run’. Remember, we’re experts in this sort of thing so we really can offer some valuable advice.

For some extra advice on working with a recruitment agency, read our blog: 10 tips on getting the best from a recruitment agency

2. Don’t be afraid to ask

If and when you learn the outcome of an interview you may need to be a little proactive and ask the employer for their feedback. Politely ask if the interviewer would be able to provide any feedback to help with your future job search. Try to avoid taking this as an opportunity to defend yourself but simply listen to the employer’s feedback and take it on board, even if you don’t entirely agree with everything they say!

If you hear the news through a recruitment agency, you can ask them whether they received any feedback from their client too. They will often call you following an interview for your thoughts on how it went and they will do the same with their client. That means they will have a little extra information on where the client’s thinking currently is and if they have any ways you could possibly improve for next time.

3. Consider feedback as constructive

When we receive feedback, possibly criticism, for anything we do it can be difficult not to take it personally. Yet when it comes to finding a job there are often numerous candidates applying and interviewing for the same role. The competition can be tough, so don’t be too disheartened if an employer criticises your interview technique or makes several suggestions for your next job application.

Instead, take this feedback as an opportunity to prepare for your next interview – learn from it and think about how relevant their feedback will be to your next application.

4. Use interview feedback to shape your job search

On some occasions the interviewer or interview panel will come back with suggestions about the type of job a candidate may be better suited for. Take this feedback on board – it could really help you identify new jobs to apply for and direct your job search. It may even help you narrow it down further or even help you to spot a new opportunity within the same company.

5. Highlight areas that you need to practice

This is a simple but important point. If an interviewer comes back with some tips on how you could improve make sure you practice these areas and think of ways you could overcome them.

For example, an interviewer may suggest that you need to improve your presentation skills. If that’s the case, do more trial runs of any interview presentation you’re due to deliver, present to your friends and family and find ways to help overcome any nerves.

For more advice on giving a presentation at interview read our blog: 10 tips for giving a presentation at a job interview

Another common scenario is an interviewer picking one particular question they think you could have given a stronger answer to. Take this question and prepare a few different answers for it, that way you’ll be prepared if it comes up next time!

6. Think about the feedback you would give yourself

Don’t simply rely on interviewers and recruitment agencies to provide you with feedback. Ask yourself: “if I could do that interview again, what would I do differently?”

Don’t be too self-critical, we always do better at these sorts of things than we think! But take the opportunity to think of ways you think you could improve and develop a plan to overcome them in time for your next interview.

Interviews aren’t always easy but they don’t need to be daunting either. Think of interview feedback as the perfect way to help you feel prepared and in control of your next interview – a great way to overcome any nerves!

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Recruitment Partner

Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.