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I've been interviewed a lot in the last months. I think there's a new trend among employers. Immediately after the interview or several days later when they call you with the feedback, they ask you about your impressions from the interview.

What should you say in a situation when you've been grilled, i.e. the interviewer was very confrontational or critical of you or after a typical stress interview?

Is it normally better to say something totally diplomatic ignoring what happened like "I appreciated the opportunity to discuss the specifics of the position" or "it was fine, thank you" or to refer to the style of the interview somehow?

The goal is to get the best possible result of course, i.e. in this order:

  1. Get the job
  2. Be considered for other openings
  3. Not burn bridges

Do diplomatic answers listed above sound ok or unauthentic/ fake?


Example: You have an interview and there are quite a few questions you feel you didn't answer correctly, for some you simply didn't know the answer.

After 3 days you are called by the company. They say they wanted to give you feedback, but first, they would like to know what your experience during the interview was.

What do you answer to get the best possible result?

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    It might help if you provide a more specific example. Maybe in your most recent interview, was there something in particular that put you off working there? It can also help in helping providing a solution that is still honest but softens the blow. – user34587 Sep 20 '18 at 14:06
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    So you're asking how to lie politely? – user1602 Sep 20 '18 at 14:19
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    @Kyralessa: If this question is about "lying" , then almost everything that is described as "professionalism" can be summarized as "lying", since it boils down to NOT expressing your feelings in a "raw" form - displaying them appropriately. – BigMadAndy Sep 20 '18 at 14:25
  • Hi @JoeStrazzere, most people writing here are in IT. I'm not. It may play a role. About 5-6 times so far. After about 50-60% of all interviews I've had – BigMadAndy Sep 20 '18 at 14:40
  • @385703 I guess I wonder why 1 and 2 are important if the company gave you a bad impression. Knowing your honest feedback (couched in polite terms) might be helpful for them to improve in the future. But it seems like you're saying your highest priority is to keep job possibilities open regardless of how they appeared to you. Well... it's your question to ask. shrug – user1602 Sep 20 '18 at 14:49
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Regardless of how you feel the interview went, a diplomatic answer is the only answer that has a chance of helping you achieve any of your three stated objectives.

A critical (or worse, emotional) response will at best be forgotten quickly, and at worst, burn a bridge you might have been able to cross later. While it's possible that they could use your feedback to improve their interviewing process, it's not likely they will unless you are someone they sought out and really wanted to hire, and you've indicated that you're no longer interested as a result of their process.

Simply thank them for considering you and for their time, and let them know that you are still interested in working with them (if you are), and that you are eager to learn their decision regarding you.

General rule: Be nice, even if you don't feel like it.

  • @JoeStrazzere: But that's the very point. We're talking about situations where I don't believe that, after hostility in interviews. Giving positive feedback is not a problem, it's expressing (or not) feedback on negative meetings that is the topic of my question :) – BigMadAndy Sep 20 '18 at 15:31
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  1. Your answers to this question will have no bearing on the hiring decision. The hiring decision is made by operational members of the company. The question is coming from the administrative/HR people.

  2. The simplest thing to do is make a polite, perfunctory answer. "The interview went fine and as I expected. I thought the process and questions were reasonable." Done.

  3. HR people have a tendency to fill up the vacuum of their existence with petty questions like this. Don't obsess about it.

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That question is a nicety. Say your interview was good, get the feedback, and then go in for your actual criticism.

"Actually now that I think about it there were a few things about the interview I'd like to talk about".

All you need to do. This method will let you know how much a bridge your about to burn.

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