I have had two recent interviews which I thought initially both went well but then was told that, while they were "impressed with my qualifications and background", it doesn't currently match their needs.

Well, that is B.S. Obviously, I flunked the interview. But I really want to know where I flunked it (e.g. technical or personality or something else) and what they didn't like so I can learn not to repeat the same mistake in the next interview. I often learn not by intuition and empathy but by mistakes and routine so feedback is very critical in my learning patterns. As my empathy and EQ skills are not very strong, I am literally clueless as to why I didn't get the jobs and I can't even begin guessing.

Is there a way to kindly inquire with a recruiting manager to give you an exact and honest feedback. I understand there could be legal issues as to what they can specify as the reason. Is there any way to break through that? I feel that way there would be a significant benefit to failing an interview as each new time you'd be making at least one mistake less. This way I am sure I repeat the same mistakes through multiple interviews.

  • Because they gain nothing by telling you where you went wrong. We had a similar question before, the result is that the company doesnt gain anything from helping you once theyve turned you away, its not in their best interests to inform you why. – user5305 May 3 '13 at 15:54
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    As my empathy and EQ skills are not very strong, I am literally clueless as to why I didn't get the jobs and I can't even begin guessing <-- this sentence might also contain the answer to your question. – enderland May 3 '13 at 15:57
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    @enderland -- you are right and i am aware of that. however, that is a disability rather than a wilfully chosen behavioral pattern. i try to do my best but how much prettier can an ugly girl get by applying lipstick? – amphibient May 3 '13 at 16:00
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    @amphibient Do you need a negative feedback, or do you need an honest feedback from the HR? These two can be etirely different things. – Manjusri May 3 '13 at 17:09
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    You also have to realize it may not have to do with anything you did or didn't do. Someone else may simply have been a better fit. they may have been more interested in someone else from the start and interviewed you in case the other person flunked the interview. – HLGEM May 3 '13 at 17:21

You're unlikely to get feedback. Aside from the usual answers of avoiding lawsuits etc, the simple answer may be that someone else was simply a "better fit". Decisions like though are very much a gut-feel thing, you may not have actually made any mistakes (and felt really positive in the interview).

I liken it to running a race, I beat the world record by 0.5 sec yeah!, but actually someone beat me by 0.1 sec, the one they remember is the guy who beat the record by 0.6, even though I was also world beating.

Sometimes the best thing is lots of stages, as despite what they say, the fit is more about the early stages, and as they drill down it becomes more about if you can do the job (although it's usually pitched the other way, but the early stage interviewers are much more generalists/HR drones, and the late stages are the people who'll be cleaning up your mess if you leave one). Better to get knocked out for this before your hopes/interest gets too high.


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