I've been through a quite long application process, and in the end I've been rejected. I've been sent an e-mail where they explicitly recognized the "strength" of my profile, but they decided to not proceed further.

Because during the application I did a couple of coding tests and several phone interviews, and they also led me to understand that I was a good match for the position I was applying for, I would like to know what specifically was my weakness.

Is it okay if I ask? Or do you think it's inappropriate?

  • 4
    You can ask, but don't expect an answer. There's no benefit to the hiring company and only opens them up to potential risks.
    – R-D
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:43
  • 2
    @user8469759 they can say stuff you can sue them for. Best for them to say nothing at all.
    – user34687
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:45
  • 1
    I see. Ok then, but I just wanted to know what should I improve for my future applications. Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:50
  • 2
    Catering to your needs is not a priority of theirs. Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 21:00
  • 3
    Because there is close to a zero chance anyone will tell you and asking makes you look as if you are unrealistic and childish. If that is the impression you want them to have, go ahead and waste their time. They won't appreciate it. It will move you further down in the their minds as someone to hire at some future date in case this was a close decision, but go ahead and behave like a child.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


Is it ok if I ask?

It's always okay to ask. If you do, it makes sense to ask about your perceived strengths and weaknesses.

But very few would bother to give you feedback - there's nothing for them to gain by providing it. I know I wouldn't.

And if you are thinking you can get them to change their mind about your rejection or want to argue, don't waste your time. No hiring manager, HR rep, or recruiter I know would ever go along with that.


There are a few possibilities:

  1. In the end, they didn't think you had some of the required skills or personal attributes. If this is the situation, then they may well be able to give you some advice on how to improve your skills to be a better match for such a position.

  2. They did think you had the required skills and attributes, but they had another candidate who was even stronger. If this is the situation, there may be nothing useful they can say, as it would be unethical for them to discuss someone else's strengths with you.

  3. Something strange went on, like they decided not to create this particular position after all, or they rejected you for an 'unethical' reason. If this is the case, clearly they won't want to say anything to you.

So there is absolutely no harm in asking for feedback on how you could improve the package you are offering, but as people have said in the comments, there are a number of reasons why they may not be able or willing to say much.

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