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How to get the answer why you were rejected after the job interview

Sometimes it happens that you made a large preparation but failed in the end. If you are a jobseeker, you could make a perfect resume and cover letter, score high on your psychometric aptitude test. But in the end get a decline after your job interview. Of course, it is unpleasant to learn that you will not be able to get the desired job and the employer preferred another candidate over you. But every cloud has a silver lining, and even from this situation you can get some benefit, that is, find out what you should work on in the future. The answer can help you to never fail again.

As a rule, we receive a refusal after an interview for one of the reasons:

  • we were not able to convincingly show our knowledge or skills
  • the employer did not see the desired qualities in us
  • we are not fit on a social level

job interview rejection answer

How to ask the question about rejection

If you were rejected after the interview, do not hesitate to contact the representative of the company with a request to explain exactly what necessary qualities the managers did not see in you. Or in what way your behavior during the interview differs from the desired one. Explain that if you recognize possible omissions in your interview preparation, you will try to work on correcting them and avoid them later.

It is appropriate to say that making conclusions from any experience, even a negative one, is your rule. So, it is extremely important for you to have feedback to eliminate gaps and ensure growth.

If during the interview you submitted any text work or presentation, it will be helpful to inquire about the positive and negative aspects of it, as well as what essential skills are needed to get the desired job.

When asking for an answer, don’t call. The most convenient method would be to send an email directly to the recruiter who worked with you. You can also send a LinkedIn message, it works the same way.

In your message, you must be recognizable. That is, depending on the level of mutual understanding during the interview, you must build a further dialogue, and this must be done rather briefly.

What to expect

Unfortunately, it is unlikely to expect a detailed and concrete answer. It all depends on the situation. If third-party recruiters were interviewing, it is far from certain that they will receive your request at all. There are managers who do not respond to emails asking them to explain the results after the interview. The reason is that sometimes it is difficult for them to articulate the subtle differences between candidates that influenced the decision.

However, about one in five interviewers will give you an honest answer. A significant number of answers will often be streamlined. Most HR agents will not want to directly answer questions related to your personal behavior or discuss your negative attitude towards a previous employer, which you might have expressed very imprudently in an interview.

Most HR agents do feel sympathy for the jobseekers they interview. If you show a genuine interest in improving your job search techniques, you most probably get some feedback. We would recommend sending a message like this:

letter to hr to get the answer

This is a very professional yet short and unobtrusive message, that can help you get the response. If it is appropriate for your situation, you can add questions like follow:

letter to hr questions

What to do with the answer from recruiters

Perceive this information received as absolute objectivity, without dwelling on the negative aspects of resentment from rejection after the interview. You should use the received answer in the most effective way, that is, work it out and take it into account for the future in your resume, aptitude tests and face-to-face interviews. In this case, you may have other opportunities and it will be easier to find the desired job. In addition, if you develop a relationship of trust with the recruiter, he/she will subsequently inform you of other suitable jobs for you.

job interview success


Our recommendation is not to hesitate to ask why you were rejected after the interview. This is important information to help you prepare and perform better at your next interview. Prepare well on all stages of the pre-employment process: resume, aptitude test and interview. Preparation is the key to success!


Read more about successful interview tips in our articles:

How to look for a job on the Internet the right way

10 tips for a successful job interview

2 most common job interview mistakes

8 smart questions for the employer at your job interview

Psychometric aptitude tests – should I prepare?

3 easy ways to stand out in a job interview

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