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To ask why I didn't even get an interview?

16 replies

emilyjeff · 25/11/2019 21:37

So, I'm currently job hunting (will leave current job at end of the year). Recently applied for a job which is pretty similar to the job I do now, in an industry I have worked in before. I had an informal chat over the phone with the recruiter before applying, seemed all ok. I thought I did a pretty good job on the application/ supporting statement and was kind of expecting to at least be offered an interview.
Anyway received an email this afternoon...thanks but we won't be progressing further with your application. Doesnt say why.
Would it be unreasonable/ considered rude to ask for feedback?

OP posts:

THNG5 · 25/11/2019 21:45

Perfectly acceptable. I've done it before and got a polite email back with some constructive criticism.


NoHummus · 25/11/2019 21:47

It's not unreasonable to ask, but I wouldn't hold your breath for a response. It's unusual to get feedback on why you weren't shortlisted, often due to the number of applications.
I recently had an interview, and a few days later got a rejection email that said not to ask for feedback as they couldn't give any. Which was nice. Hmm But most places will give feedback after interview, rather than at the application stage.
Absolutely no harm in asking though!


BrightYellowDaffodil · 25/11/2019 21:50

No harm in asking but you might find you just get some bluster, because they don't want to admit to already having an internal candidate who will get the job come hell or highwater but their company policy is to advertise regardless.

(Companies who have policies like this are arseholes because it gets up the hope of people who are looking for a job.)


DaphneFanshaw · 25/11/2019 21:50

Is it local government ?
Yanbu to ask, but our LA don’t give feedback until the interview stage.
I’ve applied for quite a few jobs recently and haven’t even got an interview which is so frustrating because I know I can do the jobs.
Hope you find something soon.


CSIblonde · 25/11/2019 21:52

If you have relevant experience, it's always personality fit that swings it IME. (veteran of countless interviews while contracting). I've not got interviews for positions I had experience for, but I always knew I wouldn't have fitted, because I always ask what the team are like/how theyd describe them. That's when you get tactful corporates speak that means they're a nightmare dept with high turnover or a horrible boss. If I don't get the tactful stuff (or long pause & meaningful looks to each other before replying) it's usually somewhere I fit. I tailor my spiel too, if they're bouncy so am I, if they're rather formal, so am I.


francienolan · 25/11/2019 22:28

We don't officially give feedback until after an interview but I had a few requests last time and answered them so no harm in asking. However I will say anyone with any relevant experience we interviewed as we didn't want someone good to slip through the cracks, so I would make sure you're really sellig that experience of yours! It may not have been as clear as you thought it was to them.


Dumptyhumpty101 · 25/11/2019 22:35

Possible reasons I can think of, other than what’s already been said:

Recruitment process is already well underway, and an earlier applicant has been offered and accepted the position.

Salary expectations were too high?

Someone already in the company knows you and doesn’t rate you? Or doesn’t think you’re the right fit for the company?


blueshoes · 25/11/2019 22:37

If I don't get the tactful stuff (or long pause & meaningful looks to each other before replying) it's usually somewhere I fit.

What is the deal with the long pause and meaningful looks?


blueshoes · 25/11/2019 22:42

Is your salary within their range?

If they did not give a range and you are moving sideways, they may not be able to meet your salary expectations but interviewed you anyway to tease out market or competitor information from you. That is, if they did not already have an internal candidate in mind.

Is it a senior post? When I was more junior, it was easy to find new positions so long as I had the relevant experience. Once the roles get senior, the fit is so much more important but of course, they don't know if you fit until they have met you. Then if they decide not to progress, they may or may not be willing to give honest feedback because 'fit' can extend to personal qualities and be seen as discriminatory.

Definitely ask for feedback. They took up your time and you deserve to know, even if it makes them feel uncomfortable, especially if they met you only to fish for information.


ThrilledToTiddlyBits · 25/11/2019 22:47

I've had the same today, standard rejection email despite me being qualified with oodles of experience. It does seem to be quite competitive at the moment and I'd assume they're just swamped with similarly qualified candidates. I don't think I'd ask for feedback if they've not even met you tbh, but no harm in asking.


viques · 25/11/2019 22:57

It could be simply that they had a mountain of applications so were extra picky over the six they chose to interview/ or picked six at random from their equally possible pile.

Could be that other candidates offered more recent experience in the field.

Could be that they took against your application for some reason. How long is it since you last made an application? Did you ask anyone to look over your cv and letter beforehand?

Recruitment is a funny business, sometimes a job attracts many applications, other times very few and they decide not to proceed at all and re advertise/ tweak the job specs slightly .


emilyjeff · 25/11/2019 22:58

Thanks for the replies.

Yes salary is similar to what I am on now, very slightly higher and I felt that I covered all the essential criteria in the person spec pretty well.

blueshoes they didn't interview me, that was the whole point of my post!

It was for a town council, I have worked as clerk to the parish council for my local parish as a side line to my main job. I was thinking that not many people would have that experience but maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe they have someone internal, who knows.

I think I'll send a polite email tomorrow as it will continue to bug me otherwise.

OP posts:

blueshoes · 25/11/2019 23:17

Apologies, you did not even get an interview.

You may have experience (clerk to a council?), but it is not in the same sector (town council v. parish council) and your experience is only a sideline, not the main job.

If the above is right, that could be why you did not get an interview.


KylieKoKo · 25/11/2019 23:23

Where I work interviews are usually all on one day. Some vacancies get 50+ applications so there is a lot of competition. In there cases people who are qualified to do the job will not be interviewed simply because they are not in the top 6.


Pinkbonbon · 25/11/2019 23:27

Know the feeling.

I've just had a reply about an interview I attended on Saturday, tonight, telling me they aren't taking me. Even though I once did work exp and was offered a job at that exact branch years ago (couldn't take it at the time as needed full time work not part time to sustain myself). I was good at it too. I sold on average a third more than their regular staff every day I was there. It's one thing to be turned down for a job, another to be turned down for one you know you could do well, with your eyes shut.

Feeling pretty deflated. Could have done with it :/

I know I was a bit rambely in my interview though, could feel I wasn't being concise enough. So I guess that's why. But part of me wonders if it's also because I am 31 and they maybe wanted to hire young people in order to pay less.

I'm not going to ask them because I don't think it would do me any good. I think the best thing we can do is in future, practice interview questions more. I think even though you might get constructive criticism might not be honest and even if it is, it'll probably just hurt your self esteem more.


Pinkbonbon · 25/11/2019 23:28

And at least because they didn't meet you, you know it's just a case of altering your cv.

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