How to Ask Why You Didn't Get The Job

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Job seekers are often curious why they weren't selected for a job, but it can be hard to find out why another candidate was chosen over you. Employers typically won't share much, if any, meaningful feedback with candidates especially if they are fearful about a lawsuit.

A request for information that is delivered in a way which appears to question the validity of their hiring decisions will only serve to close down communication.

That said, you don't have anything to lose by strategically asking for feedback. Worst case scenario, the employer won't respond. Best case scenario, you may get some helpful information that will improve your chances of getting hired next time around.

How to Ask Why You Weren't Hired

Occasionally, employers will share some feedback with candidates who represent a genuine interest in improving their job search communications. You'll have better luck if you don't ask directly why you weren't hired.

Instead, frame some specific questions for input such as "Is there any advice which you might give me in order to enhance my interviewing style?" or "Did you identify any key qualifications for this job which were missing in my background?" or "Do you have any suggestions regarding how I might improve upon my resume and cover letter?"

Employers will generally be more likely to share feedback verbally than in an email because of the concern that any written response might be used as evidence against them if a hiring decision were to be contested.

One way to get feedback is to initiate a conversation by sending a brief email or LinkedIn message asking if you could talk on the phone to get some constructive input to enhance your skills.

Sample Email Message Asking for Employer Feedback

Subject: Marketing Assistant Position

Dear Ms./Mr. LastName,

Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Marketing Assistant position. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the job with you. I also appreciate you letting me know that I wasn't selected for the job.

Would you be available for a brief call to discuss how I could improve upon my candidacy for employment? Any feedback you could share would be welcomed.

Again, thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

FirstName LastName

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