Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences. There’s plenty of preparation to do before the interview, then when it comes to the crunch, you’re expected to impress, stay calm under scrutiny, and successfully navigate your way through the interview. But once the interview comes to an end, getting feedback is extremely important – especially if you’ve received a job rejection.
There are so many benefits to asking for feedback. It can help you to see which aspects of your interview need improvement, and where you were most successful. Feedback also provides you with insight from recruiters, as we may be able to share our expertise and offer advice for interviewing in future. What’s more, it helps you to understand the type of applicants you are up against. This could inspire you to pursue professional development before applying for a similar role elsewhere.
So, if you’ve ever left a job interview wondering whether or not they are going to call you back, or whether you did a decent job in the interview, here are our top tips on how to ask for feedback after an interview.
1. Ask For Feedback During The Interview
A classic question that so many hiring managers ask at the end of an interview is “Do you have any questions for me/us?”
Respond to this question with something along the lines of: “Is there anything that I may have said or not said that makes you feel I may not be the person for this position?”
While this is certainly a courageous question to ask, it will definitely help you to stand out from the rest.
This is the perfect way to ask for feedback during an interview, because you’ve put them in a direct position to answer the question – and hopefully they will give you an honest answer.
This is their chance to express what concerns them (if anything), and gives you the opportunity to correct those concerns before the interview is over. That way, you can leave feeling even more positive about the interview, and feeling like a top candidate.
2. Ask for Feedback from the Recruitment Agency
It is the responsibility of the recruitment consultant to manage the post-interview feedback between the hiring manager and the candidate. We will liaise with the client to discuss their feedback and then relay this to you. Here’s your second chance to ask anything you missed at the interview and give your feedback about the company too.
3. Follow Up After Receiving a Rejection Call/Email
If you get told you didn’t get the job, then ask for feedback during the phone call.
Asking for feedback is very important at this stage because you may learn that the reason for the rejection had nothing to do with you!
Perhaps they found an internal candidate at the last minute, or lost funding for the role. Perhaps they decided to restructure the department you interviewed in and no longer need to fill that role. Without obtaining that feedback, you’ll never know the reasons for the job application rejection, and you’ll probably think you did something wrong.
That being said, if the feedback offered is related to how you did in your interview, then this is essential feedback that you need to know about before continuing with future interviews.
If you received an email then you should respond back with an email thanking them for letting you know. Thank them again for the opportunity to interview, but also ask them if they are available for a quick phone call in order for you to speak with them about your interview. Talking on the phone enables you to ask more in-depth questions that clarify why you weren’t selected.
Whether on the phone or via email, you need to emphasise just how important the feedback is to you so that you can improve your interview skills for future interviews. Without the feedback, you could end up making the same mistakes over and over again.
4. Ask for Advice on Training Courses
If you didn’t get the job and this is an area that you really want to get into, then you could ask if the rejection was due to a lack of experience. If this was the case, ask what training you should be looking at doing, or how you can go about getting work experience in that sector in order to be more qualified.
For instance, if the candidate the client had selected had a particular certification that is desirable for the role, then you may wish to consider pursuing that certification yourself. You could also look for other ways to make your future applications more competitive.
5. Follow Up if you Haven’t heard Back
In some cases, weeks can pass without hearing from a recruiter following an interview. Even if their best intentions were to get back to you, sometimes things happen and delays occur. Another reason could be that they’re still waiting for feedback from the client!
If you haven’t heard back for a number of weeks, send a follow-up email to check-in. Keep it simple and to the point, mentioning the job title and date you were interviewed. State your enthusiasm for the role and ask if they’ve reached a decision yet, or have any updates. Don’t forget to check for spelling and grammar before pressing send!
Getting honest feedback can sometimes be tough going, but by having the courage to ask, you’ll benefit tremendously. You’ll gain great insight into some specific areas you can improve on, and may even learn something about yourself that you were unaware of. As a result, you’ll become a much stronger candidate in the long-run.
When looking for staff or if you are a job seeker looking for a new opportunity, why not speak to one of our experienced consultants today on 715757.
Astonishingly one in three workers are in a job that is totally unsuited to them according to a recent survey conducted by ONS research.
This could be based on experience, competence or qualifications or even just a cultural fit. Whilst this is a worrying result, thanks to jobs boards and the normally static job market, it's still dropping and the percentage of those in employment who suited their skillset and cultural ambiance was at its lowest for more than a decade at 68.7%
How can you tell however that you are suited to the right job? From day 1 all jobs start with the pressure of a steep learning curve, all jobs feel strange at first and it always takes time to adjust to a new corporate culture, for those of you who are just starting out in your first jobs it can be very daunting. The probation period for a new job is generally either 3 months or 6 months. It is important to note that probation period is a good time for not only the employer to assess if they have chosen the right new employee but also for the new employee to gauge during this time that they have chosen the right employer. This is why it is extremely important an end of probation meeting is held and completed and the employee understands how they have fared and the employer can find out from the new employee if they could have provided more training for example. If you do find that your new job is not as it seems then do not wait until the end of the probation raise any issues with your employer sooner to rectify them and get you back on track to success. At AP Personnel we always recommend to every candidate accepting a job offer to ensure that they have a full job description so they understand fully their work parameters and it is in writing from their new employer what is expected of them.
If however the job really does not float your boat and you have thought about quitting then there is something fundamentally wrong! Even jobs that are going well can have their bad days, particularly if you are stressed and anxious and overworked. When these bad days become more frequent and are becoming more and more regular than something has to give. If your role does change to the original job description then this is a major red flag and you may have been mis-sold the job – this is when it is most important to re-read your job description and you have every right to bring your concerns to the HR department or immediate line manager. Sometimes a mis-sold job is due to a disorganised or an understaffed company, if your employer tells you they are going through a transitional period then do give them time to rectify the situation before jumping ship, after a few months if nothing has changed then you do have to think of your career and stress levels and if HR are not prepared to make amends then perhaps this is when it is time to move on.
Living on an island, it is common to hear candidates express their concern about the ‘high turnover of staff’ or ‘bad reputations’ they may have heard about potential new employers. At AP Personnel we fully support our clients and we understand some companies do go through a period of change but we advise candidates not to listen to on the street gossip but to go and find out for themselves about a company by being invited for an interview, then do not be afraid to ask direct questions to an interviewer like ‘what is the company’s staff turnover like’, how do they treat staff, do they invest in their training and future career building for example?
Most new job seekers going out to their first jobs place a healthy work culture as their number 1 factor when selecting a new job. They understand how important their overall wellbeing is to their work lives. No one wants to work in a toxic culture. It is important the HR departments are renewing policies and updating contracts to keep in line with the new times we are now working in. Always ensure that you select a company to work for who value their talent and invest in their futures.
Explaining gaps in your CV, what might result in career breaks and what impacts these can have.
“Can you tell us what happened between these two jobs, why were you out of work?”
At some point in our careers, we will be asked about ‘gaps in our CV’. A lot of the time we really can’t help but have a slight break in our careers, if we are looking for work in-between jobs then surely that’s fair enough right? All in all, yes this is fine. If there happens to be an extensive period whereby you were looking for work then perhaps eyebrows will be raised in investigative anticipation. What you ideally want to be doing is making use of the time that you are looking for work if it feels it is going on a little longer than perhaps first hoped.
How to productively fill your time
Look to spend your days committed to learning a new skill, or taking a course on a subject that is going to enhance your development as a professional. Prospective employers will hopefully understand that looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself, so seeing you have taken the initiative to utilise your time wisely, will be looked upon favourably.
What might result in a career break?
A difficult one to answer as life is difficult to predict. Whether it is taking a career break for a travelling, sabbatical or you require a rest from work, it is important that we detail this on our CV’s. Sometimes reasons for a break can be sensitive so sharing them at interview can be awkward. You are not obligated to reveal anything sensitive in detail, so feel free to give a simple and short explanation.
Impacts of career breaks
You may have heard the phrase, ‘it’s always easier to find work if you have work’. If you are in employment it is usually more reassuring to prospective employers reviewing a CV. However, if you are looking for work do not look at this as a negative, just ensure you detail the reasons in your CV as to why you are immediately available to work. Finally, always make sure the month and years you worked to and from for each employer are clearly specified on your CV.
We hope your job seeking is a success!
It is a relief that mental health can be discussed without discrimination now we are in the 21st century. Mental health - these two words are as broad as they are wide. There are so many conceptions of mental health ranging from post-natal depression to schizophrenia. A survey documented by APSCo (the governing body for recruitment agencies) has found that nearly 50% of employees living with a mental health condition do not inform their employer, with more than a third (39%) saying that they feared their reaction and the repercussions. This is due to the history of mental health when most employers would shun, dismiss and alienate any employee who showed ‘odd’ signs or gestures in the workplace.
Other reasons cited included not being comfortable telling the individual (59%), the stigma around mental health (42%) and the lack of support in the workplace (22%); with 55% saying they were either unaware of any support available or that their workplace lacked in any assistance for mental illness.
The same survey of 1,400 respondents, which comprised 80% males aged 41+ working within construction, professional services, IT, digital, engineering and energy, revealed that 1 in 5 (21%) had experienced a mental health problem and of those, 62% were either seeking treatment or had sought treatment in the past.
Almost 1 in 10 of all respondents had also at some point considered taking their own life, revealing that their mental health issue had left them feeling suicidal.
These findings are shocking and very concerning. There is still a major disconnect between mental health awareness and openness at work, which means people are still uncomfortable discussing the subject due to fear of what their employer may think or the risk of them losing their jobs altogether.
It appears too many people are still suffering in silence, which can often result in people having time off work. Four of the respondents said they were off work for more than a year as a result of their mental illness, which will have had a significant impact on their employer in lost productivity.
An understanding of mental illness and safety is critical in many industries. Whilst victims’ employers try very hard in protecting staff from physical harm, the same effort is needed to address mental illnesses in the workplace. To eradicate the taboo associated with mental illness we need to encourage open and honest working cultures and debates that provide better support and training to help spot the early signs of mental ill-health.
It is important therefore to train a handful of staff across businesses to become ‘mental health first aiders’. So they possess the practical skills to spot the signs of mental illness among staff, including its temporary staff and contractors. Confidence to intervene and support those in need is paramount. Companies objectives should be to support their mental health first aiders and ensure that they are fully up to date with any training provided. HR qualified staff have never been more important to their employers and employees, in being instrumental to this issue in the workplace. Ensuring HR teams are able to research and implement ways to protect staff and that staff handbooks have all the necessary information when staff are feeling vulnerable.
It is important companies prioritise mental ill-health in their business and develop meaningful and impactful mental, emotional and physical wellbeing programmes to support staff to help them to thrive. World Mental Health Day released a new whitepaper highlighting workplace mental health and the steps employers can take to create a happier, healthier and more productive workforce. At AP Group we liaise and assist charities in the island associated with mental health including Jersey Employment Trust (JET) who help a wide range of people not all with mental health issues but need help to return to the workplace.
How this current pandemic will change the workplace
A large majority of the workforce has had to experience adjusting their working day by operating from home. For a lot of workers, this has been an interesting adaption from a busy office to the corner of the home where they have to keep their laptop or desktop.
Waiting in anticipation of when the pandemic will ease and lockdowns lifted, some workers will be happy to get back to the daily commute and busy office atmosphere, whilst a majority of others have quietly enjoyed the experience and if honest with themselves wish they could work from home forever.
Yet when the official lockdown can finally be eased, one thing is for sure; work life will not simply return to normality in the same way it did before. Companies will have had a taste of whether they can adapt to some or if not all of its staff working remotely, thus saving considerable travel costs and time for staff and possibly downsizing on business premises will result.
Post Covid19 pandemic and going by Deloitte's statement that nearly 90% of workers want to be able to have the choice of working from home all if not some of the time. Remote and flexible working is now slowly becoming the ‘in’ thing and it appears that many owners of businesses and bosses responsible for their workforce are able to seriously consider the change. It is still nervous territory for some, but if the clever staff currently working remotely have shown their line managers over the course of the past few weeks that they can be trusted to achieve the same work output or if not more work than their time when in the office, then they may have convinced their employer to resign to the idea.
Historically being in the office has been important for decades. Bosses were expected to think that employees are only able to do their jobs when being closely monitored. If there is anything positive to come out of the lockdown that is, whilst having devastating effects for many, at it has allowed bosses to see that actually, the vast majority of workers are motivated, and will succeed and don’t need someone to be closely observing them. It can be possible, therefore, that bosses will no longer view an employee’s success on how long they are working at their desk, but can base it on their end results. If an end result has been a positive one, then does it really matter how the employee got to that point of success?
Conducting conference calls using communication tools such as video conferencing has been a success and doable achieving the same as if you were sat in a meeting room with your work colleagues or clients. These connections aren’t just about basic communications such as email or mobile calls; these pieces of essential work support have been essential and companies are finding that they are able to bolt on other clever devices such as cybersecurity and software which can identify staff work patterns and productivity, so they can control their business still without being in the same place as their workforce.
Zoom has been one of the most successful communication platforms during the lockdown, it has seen a 535% rise in users while social media ie Facebook are soon to be releasing their own video conferencing. It is extremely likely that we will see more and more adaptable devices and software that will enable a better remote work connection over the course of this year.
Work and Life balance
The change to working from home for most has been new and unprecedented. We all lead busy lives and like to spend more time with family, isolating with your loved ones has enabled workers to experience how positive this current work-life balance can be. Before the pandemic, those of us with children were used to missing our children’s bedtimes and parent days at school due to daily commuting so connecting with loved ones whilst isolating and working from home will make workers realise what they have been missing and it will be difficult to return to normality once the lockdown is over.
Time will tell if bosses yield to the concept of a greater work-life balance for their workforce. Until a successful vaccine can be developed, we are in unchartered waters with the Covid19 virus possibly rearing its head once again. We must take self-isolation very seriously, to help vulnerable people to survive and save lives.
Finding yourself working from home for the first time can be a worrying and curious prospect on how you will cope and not go insane.
On a positive note, you should find the experience more productive perhaps but on a negative note, isolating if you live on your own.
Now, this form of work is becoming reality, you need to position yourself for a stint that could go on for months. Here are a few tips on how to cope.
Find a corner of your abode in which you can focus
A form of home office has to be an essential requirement if you want to be taken seriously and to be able to work undisturbed. You need to find a space in the house that you can make your own especially important if you don’t currently have an area which you call a home office.
Ideally, a room where you can close the door is the best option, perhaps a spare bedroom or dining room which won’t be catering for invited friends dinner parties for a while. If you are cramped for space you may not have a space that’s underutilized; that’s where you’ll have to make the difficult decision to create office space in your bedroom, lounge or even under the stairs – if possible.
The bare minimum you’ll need in your office is a desk to work on and a place to file papers. If you don’t have a desk, a table will work; a bookshelf will work for filing if you don’t have a file cabinet.
Find a spot near a window so not to be too depressing and lacking natural light which can dampen your mood and productivity.
What if you have children?
If your job involves speaking to people by calls or video conferences, clients and work colleagues should be understanding if your children are playing (and not fighting) in the background while you’re talking with them on the phone. Choose the best times to make important phone calls where you need complete hush and peace around you, especially if your home office is open with no doors. When you know an important call has to be made, make a point of ensuring your children are occupied or having an afternoon nap perhaps? TV is a saviour at crisis times when a good movie will keep them quiet. Compromise and considerations need to be in place when you are working and business has to be done. If your home life is noisy then headphones may help but should be the last resort.
Know when to switch off.
It easy because you work from home to fall into a trap of constantly working to impress your employer – but you shouldn’t to it. You must create a schedule of normal working hours where possible whilst understanding working from home may not always be a nine-to-five job. Customers and your line manager or a colleague may call you at unexpected times. Remember that the phone doesn’t always have to get answered and you can stop checking emails at certain times but be considerate. Figure out a schedule based on your workday and what suits you in your home environment. If you need to change your hours quite radically this needs to be discussed with your line manager and agreed prior to just changing without consultation and compromise on both sides.
For mental health and sanity, you also should not work seven days a week. Try to pick one or two days a week to completely switch off—by switching off this means no looking at work emails. One or two days a week must be for recharging your batteries and switching into the recreational mode with plenty of exercise and catching up with personal chores. Burnout is not something to be taken lightly and can easily happen when working from home without work parameters in place. There is always work which needs to be done on your desk but you must know when to prioritise and take time out.
While working from home do try and enjoy the experience, it doesn’t always suit everyone, but a lot of people can and do adapt. I think once the Coronavirus pandemic is over, local employers may allow staff to continue working remotely and it will be a new work era. As long as you can prove to your boss that you can be left to your own devices and work hard to achieve what is expected of you, then you may be able to continue to work from home, if this is what you would like to do, after the island is back to normal.