How to Ask for and Receive Job Search Feedback: Dos and Don’ts

How to Ask for and Receive Job Search Feedback: Dos and Don’ts

Asking for feedback can be nerve-wracking because it's partly a reflection of yourself and what others think of you. However, it's refreshing to receive feedback. Those that sound farfetched may be the most constructive and useful. Often, they're what other people see, and you can't.

Knowing these lapses becomes a great advantage, especially in job searching, because it allows you to develop wisdom toward yourself. You get to discover the weaknesses you can't see and use them to propel you to positive changes in yourself that will help you as you continue your job search.

If you want to improve your chances in job hunting, check out the list below to learn how to ask for and how to receive feedback.

How to Properly Ask for and Receive Feedback

  1. Know what you're after

    When asking for feedback, you need to get specific questions and know what you're after. Make sure that what you ask is relevant and can be answered by your interviewer. You can ask whether or not you make enough eye contact with them, if you're speaking enough or too little, and if your presentation style is engaging enough.

  2. Ask for examples

    After asking specific questions, it's time to ask the interviewer for specific moments that would help you improve. For instance, ask for a time when you didn't make eye contact or when you failed to elaborate on your answers. Knowing how to ask for feedback like this will give you more insight into job hunting.

  3. Take notes and record, if possible

    Take note of the feedback you received, and if possible, ask if you could record these conversations. These records could serve as invaluable tools in your job hunt. Collecting data and taking notes will help you know and absorb more feedback you may have missed and use it to improve your skills.

  4. Ask for permission to quote

    When talking to somebody, always ask if you could quote them on their feedback and if you need to show the quote to them before they agree. It ensures that you're not only serious about trying to improve but also aware of other people's presence and how you value what they say.

  5. Always say thank you

    Don't forget to thank your interviewer for their time and insights, even if it was brutal. Saying thank you is always a great step to how to receive feedback. Appreciation goes a long way and having someone be so open about the feedback they've received can leave a lasting impression. Setting a warm tone might make the conversation more productive.

The Don'ts of Asking for and Receiving Feedback

  1. Ask for feedback in a general way

    Don't ask for general feedback about your interview, as it will make it hard for your interviewer to provide specific feedback that will help you improve.

  2. Insist on a formal conversation

    Know the boundary between too formal and overly casual conversation. Instead of insisting that you're in a formal discussion or meeting, take every opportunity to take notes, know what you want, ask specific questions, and get examples. You should be able to ask them and express yourself lightheartedly while maintaining respect.

  3. Rely on email

    While it's good to ask your interviewer questions that will help you know how to ask for feedback, doing it through email may not be best. If you're asking someone about your specific weaknesses and points for improvement, you might want to choose a more private medium, such as an in-person conversation.

  4. Defend

    Questions shouldn't offend you if you're eager to improve or gain confidence in your skills, so there's no reason to defend yourself. When you ask for feedback, the chances are they'll tell you things you've never noticed and ask you something you may not like. If you're not ready to take in the good and bad feedback, don't bother asking.

  5. Get mad

    Lastly, if they say something you don't like, don't make faces or get mad. Accept the feedback, ponder on it, and ask someone else. If others give the same feedback, then maybe it's a point for improvement. You couldn't have found out about these things any other way except by asking.

Accept and Re-frame Your Mindset

Learning how to receive feedback can be great, but it can also be harsh. Remember that you need input from other people to know where you lack and how you can improve. Ask others where you lack and work on it.

The journey from hearing and accepting feedback to re-framing and changing your mindset can be frustrating but extremely rewarding, especially when looking for your next dream job. Remember to take every insight as an opportunity to be better. Land your next position at today.

Written by Career Specialist Jun 15, 2023
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