After the stress of an interview, the last thing you might want to do is ask for commentary on your performance. You already know it went really well or really badly, so why should you request feedback?

Well, sometimes it’s hard to see where or why you’re going wrong. So getting an honest opinion from both your recruiting consultant and the interviewer on how to improve or polish your interview technique can only be valuable and will stand you in good stead for future interviews. We know it’s tough, but here are our guidelines on how to go about this professionally.

1)     Always ask your recruitment consultant for their feedback

 Your consultant should be your first port of call following the interview. Let them know how you think you did, give them examples of where you feel you answered questions well, where you may have gone wrong or why you think you will or won’t be perfect for the role. Ask them for their opinion too – they have a relationship with the hiring company so know exactly what the requirements are.

2)     Always ask for the interviewer’s feedback

Some companies won’t give feedback after a first interview, but it’s always worth trying them. If you’re asked back for a second interview and don’t get the job, make sure you get some honest feedback as to why you weren’t right for the role and how they think you can improve. Your recruiter should provide this on their clients behalf, if they are able to.

3)     Keep your cool

The reason why some companies might be reluctant to give honest feedback is that they don’t want to be accused of discrimination. So how do you set about eliciting honest feedback from them?

First of all, ask for it in calmly, have your emotions in check and make sure it’s professional, formal and impersonal. Convey your thanks for the interview and then say something like ‘Although I was unsuccessful, I would really value some feedback on my interview performance. I’m looking to improve my interview skills, so an honest appraisal would be much appreciated.”

4)     Listen to, and learn from the advice

The thing about asking for honest feedback is that you might not like what you hear. It’s all too tempting to dismiss feedback as utter “rubbish”, but the majority of the time, your interviewer will know what he/she is talking about. Instead of ignoring the interview feedback, try to act on it. Have a go at some practice interviews with one of your friends, a family member or a careers advisor to help address your previous mistakes and improve your technique. There’s really no harm in asking for feedback after an interview. At worse, they simply won’t reply, at best, you’ll get some really useful constructive criticism that will help you next time you have an interview.