How to ask for feedback after an interview (with example email)

Male boss writing notes in notepad

Feedback can provide unsuccessful job applicants with a valuable learning opportunity and a chance to refine their approach. Here’s our step-by-step process for asking for feedback following an interview or job application.

Acquiring feedback might be the last thing on your mind after being rejected for a job application, but it’s an effective way to gain insights that could boost your chances in the future.

Although rejections are disappointing, the key to flourishing later down the line is taking onboard feedback from previous experiences. Criticism, comments and praise can help you turn rejection into a job offer – provided you know how to get these insights and use them correctly.

Our guide will delve deeper into how and why candidates should ask for feedback following a job interview.

Why should you ask for feedback after an unsuccessful application/interview?

There are several good reasons to ask for feedback. Here, we’ll go through some of the top reasons why it should be high on your priority list.

Provides a learning opportunity

One of the main incentives to ask for feedback is the learning curve it can afford your job hunt.

Knowing why you were passed over for the job – especially if the reason is something you can easily change – is an essential part of the job search. It can help you to understand the parts of your application or interview you need to focus on and the areas you might be strongest in.

For example, it might be something as simple as editing your CV, or it could be your interview approach.

Feedback can give you the necessary tools to succeed in your next interview and turn the rejection into something positive.


Male boss speaking to prospect employee


It can guide you to better-suited jobs/companies

In some cases, feedback can steer you in a different direction entirely. If an employer tells you that you’d be better suited to a different role or industry, this might be worth considering for your future endeavours.

It demonstrates your willingness to grow

Even in the face of rejection, you should be willing to do everything in your power to grow. Asking an employer to tell you where you went wrong might be difficult to hear and take in, but it demonstrates your capability to handle constructive criticism.

Actively taking criticism on board will increase your confidence and could even land you future opportunities just for requesting it.

Requesting feedback: the step-by-step process

Requesting feedback can feel a little awkward, especially if this is your first attempt at gaining insight into why you were passed over for a job.

The four steps below should provide you with some solid starting guidance.

  1. Thank the interviewer

Expressing how grateful you are for the opportunity and the recruiter’s time generally is extremely important. After all, you never know whether you might apply for another position within the same company.

Even though you’ve had a negative outcome, showing that you can remain positive will still put you in good stead.

Another thing to note is that depending on how you approach it, jumping straight into your request might seem a little rude. Adding an introduction thanking them for their time and consideration sets a more positive tone for your request.

  1. Provide an explanation pre-empting your request

The employer might not expect your request. You can show awareness of this by providing a short explanation of why you’re looking for feedback.

While you should aim to keep the email concise, a short explanation about your dedication to professional growth and development should suffice.


Cropped image of hands typing on a keyboard


  1. Ask for advice

The phrasing of the request should refer to the elements of the application that you’re seeking advice on. Be as specific as possible so you can extract maximum value from their input.

Remember – your contact may have conducted several interviews around the same time as yours, so be as specific as you can and include any necessary details to jog their memory about who you are.

  1. Express gratitude

Ensure you thank them in advance for reading your email and considering your request.

If you haven’t received a response to your request after five business days, try sending a polite follow-up email to find out if the recruiter has had the opportunity to review your request.

Don’t worry if you don’t get a response from this – you can safely assume that you probably won’t receive any feedback on your interview or application by this point. Try not to take it personally, though, since HR and recruiters will often deal with multiple applicants at a time.

Top tips for requesting feedback

Requesting feedback can be nerve-racking after an unsuccessful job application. The following tips should help you feel more confident in getting the feedback you deserve.

  • Be concise: Get to the point, but ensure you thank them too. You’re more likely to get a response this way.
  • Remain positive: Just because you’ve been rejected, doesn’t mean you need to focus on the negatives. The tone of voice conveyed in this email could be the difference between gaining useful feedback and not hearing back at all.
  • Send your request within 24 hours of hearing back: Give yourself time to send a well-constructed email rather than a rash response. A quick response will also ensure the interview is still as fresh as possible in the interviewer’s mind.
  • Proofread: A rejection this time doesn’t mean you’re exempt from future opportunities. Every bit of correspondence will make an impression on the hiring manager or recruiter, which could lead to different prospects later down the line.


Female boss showing something to prospect on a laptop


Feedback email template

Need some help with structuring your feedback request?

Our template provides the basic outline for starting any feedback request email, although you should remember to tailor it to your needs and directly address the intended recipient.

Dear [Hiring Manager/Recruiter Name],

Thank you for considering my interview/application for [job role] at [Company Name]. 

While I am disappointed that I won’t be joining your team, it was great to learn more about the impact/difference [Company Name] is making. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone involved in the application/interview process. 

As an individual committed to continuous self-improvement, I would be grateful to learn how you feel I could improve my application and interview skills for future opportunities. I would appreciate any feedback you’re able to share with me about my skills, qualifications, experience, or anything else you think is relevant to my future career development. 

I thank you for your time and wish you all the best for the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by phone or email if another role opens at [Company Name] that would be a good fit for my skills and experience. 


[Your Name]


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