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Old 08-03-2016, 03:00 PM
1,115 posts, read 2,092,121 times
Reputation: 2119


See title... Is it possible? I always seem to have a lot of luck making it final round interviews but I have terrible difficulty actually securing offers. I always try to seek out feedback because I want to know where I could improve, (especially when I feel I aced the interview), but most companies are very adamant about only providing a standard rejection or providing some "safe" and generic reason because these companies are afraid of a having a lawsuit on hand.

The one I get the most now is just simply the "You are an excellent candidate but we found someone better suited for the role". Umm, if I'm so excellent where should I be improving??! I just really wish companies would provide feedback so I could actually work on weak areas if they exist!

Any tips for digging the real answer why you weren't hired out of the company?
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:38 PM
1,416 posts, read 1,448,162 times
Reputation: 1220
unfortunately, probably not very likely.. most companies are too worried about potential discrimination claims for the hiring process to say much other than "a more qualified candidate was selected"

what you could do is ask the manager for informal feedback about items that you may improve from; but i'm not sure that most would take the time to do it (unless you're internal). Best bet would be to ask a couple of friends (with good jobs) to mock interview you and have them give you feedback.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:55 PM
2,305 posts, read 1,077,447 times
Reputation: 2914
I usually never got an explanation at all. Some of the excuses I've got were that I was "overqualified" or a "poor fit."

From my experience with employers, most are liars. You can never trust any of them. I started out being so very naïve and trusting and over time learned the truth about them. The last employer I had, back in 2009, lied to my face when I was hired telling me if I did a good job that I'd be kept. So, I did all I could to make sure I did an excellent job. I even worked once when I had a high fever and should've been in bed sleeping. Then, they fired me Christmas eve. But they didn't make it seem like a firing. They deliberately lied and said they wanted to keep me but that they didn't have a spot right then, but that they would call me back as soon as one opened up. They said it could be up to 60 days for a call back.

Well, being a single mother at the time and needing an income, I immediately started looking for other employment, but I got turned down everywhere. After one business was about to hire me but escorted me out of the building after talking to my previous employer, I went back to my previous employer to inquire what they were saying about me. I was told I'd need to hire a lawyer to find out and was also told that they had never intended to keep me in the first place. I stopped putting them down on applications, but then without them I had a huge unemployment gap. I have never been offered employment of any kind since being fired from that job.

I will never trust an employer again. I have never had one be upfront with me. Even a church I had worked for told me they would tell lies about me if I didn't quietly accept my firing over my child being bi-racial. I guess it's no longer a sin to bear false witness in their eyes. There is no reason to trust anyone.

I would say it is impossible to get the full truth out of one of them sans truth serum.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:17 PM
Location: Planet Telex
4,990 posts, read 2,560,612 times
Reputation: 4758
Don't take this the wrong way, but I'd say most companies simply don't care about giving a candidate any feedback on how to "improve." Based on my experience, they view any candidate who isn't their #1 choice as someone who never existed. You're nothing to them and I mean that in no disrespect whatsoever.

Since I'm naturally introverted and very laid back, I would assume an employer's honest advice to me, if any, would to be more dynamic, outgoing, and bubbly during an interview.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:24 PM
18,926 posts, read 11,556,151 times
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Not very likely at all.

Most places I've applied or interviewed for never even contacted me back.

A few have the standard automatic reply template "thanks for applying, if your background matches our needs we'll get back in touch with you" B.S.

I know it stings to get rejected but best thing to do is not to dwell on it and move on. The time and energy spent agonizing over rejection is better spent on applying elsewhere. I doubt they'd even give you a straight honest answer either, just a general safe "you didn't meat our qualifications" or the like to cover their arses.

Also think of it from their perspective. Sometimes there's just something about a candidate that puts off the interviewers. I'm not directing this at the OP, but whether it's a personal vibe, the way they answered, references, whatever it is, they just don't want to move forward with the candidate. To be fair, I'm sure many of you have had those same experiences with candidates you interviewed, that looked good initially on paper, but something about them, their mannerisms or answers during the interview, was off putting.

If it was fair for you in such circumstances to not want to move forward with a candidate, but not tell the candidate the brutal honest truth, then extend the courtesy the other way too.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:21 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,712 posts, read 57,708,350 times
Reputation: 34292
Absolutely not. As a hiring manager, I would refer any questions after to HR, who would say what you are getting, we selected someone better. It's a shame that we can't help people in the future, but you can thank the lawyers.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:35 PM
Location: Tennessee
26,725 posts, read 19,781,421 times
Reputation: 31999
Rarely - opens to too many cans of worms. Maybe some mom and pop shops will.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:56 PM
7,582 posts, read 4,229,084 times
Reputation: 20235
Actually, I have had a couple tell me the truth. Pretty much believe them because I doubt they'd lie to what they said. Both cases told me they had someone in mind and just went through the motions to satisfy HR.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:41 PM
789 posts, read 1,734,956 times
Reputation: 1074
Hiring managers are people too. Based on a 1 or 2 hour meeting, you have to somehow pick the perfect candidate... someone who has the skills to do the job, the personality to fit in well with the team, and the intent to stay with the company for many years. You then have to be able to manage that person, keep them motivated and happy, and coach them to succeed.

Not getting the position may have very little to do with anything tangible. It's easy to turn down a candidate if they don't have the technical skills needed, but often the decision is based on the intangible. A belief that you won't fit in well with the company culture or the team; a gut feeling; or just that they had a better connection with another candidate.

So it's unlikely that you'll get a thorough answer on why you didn't get the job, but there's no reason to take it personally. Learn and move on. If you really thought that you had a great connection with the hiring manager, try to utilize them in your job search. Send them a nice email congratulating them on finding a fantastic candidate, thanking them for a great interview, and asking them if the know of any other openings in your field or within the company, and if they'd be willing to make the introduction for you.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:17 PM
10,151 posts, read 17,916,694 times
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This has been discussed several times. As noted above, it just opens up a can of worms and the back-and-forth of "well, I have that skill but I didn't put it down" or "I can articulate how I meet X." You also never know if someone is looking at litigation. It is just easier to say you went with someone else and leave it at that. I agree with you that it is not in the best interest of the potential employee to do that, but it is in the best interest of the hiring manager's employer to reply in that manner.
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