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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Cassiano

Why Interview Feedback is SO Important for Today's Jobseekers

Contemporary Interview

Applying for today's jobs is as simple as getting an alert on Indeed or LinkedIn that a job matching your profile and interests has been posted. You then go to said post, and within 5 or so button clicks (sometimes less than even that), your name has been officially submitted for consideration. A positive result of technological and digital innovation if there ever was one. And yet, simple powers of converse and closure seem to evade so many employers.

One of my earliest findings out of college was that, despite the claim to professional status in the communications industry, a large number of experienced and seasoned individuals lack some standard communication skills. Had this phenomenon existed solely in the broadcasting industry, I would've written it off. As it turns out, the problem is far more expansive and concerning.

Most of us jobseekers are all too familiar with the sting of being passed over for a job that we felt we were a good, if not great, fit for. But what stings more deeply is the lingering, and far too often unanswered, question of "Why?" Especially if this "Why?" occurs after we've endured several rounds of interviews and have not only learned extensively about the business we wished to have employed us, but we've also pitched ourselves, our skills, and our experience to the point of exhaustion.

It may not be the easiest thing in the world to swallow one's pride, then thank your interviewers for the opportunity to engage in conversation with them and their colleagues, and then inquire for feedback on what kept you from being that "perfect" candidate. But I'd argue that it takes quite a great capacity for, and practice of, professionalism for us to do it. 

So, when why does it seem impossible for us to get an answer?

Does such an answer truly elude our prospective employers? 

I've often wondered if they can tell us in the very obviously scripted response emails, 

"...we have chosen to proceed with a candidate whose experience aligns more closely with the requirements of this position"

would that not mean they know exactly what about our experience DIDN'T align in such a fashion? 

If someone else was a better fit, then it's because certain elements of their experience or character were noted as being a better fit. And those things were lacked by those who were passed over. 

Do employers lack the capability to objectively convey these things? Surely not. It can't be that difficult. 

And yet, we are so often left to fly blind. How else would you describe being told you're not good enough, never told how you're not good enough, but still expected to somehow be good enough to earn a job and make a living? And, ideally, get a job that aligns with your degree, skill set, experience, and passion.

I am the kind of jobseeker who will not only be able to convey how the mission or culture of a prospective employer aligns with my interests and ambitions but also be able to showcase true intrigue and inquisitiveness about who they are and what they're looking for. The number of times I've left everyone in the room smiling and excited is LARGE. And despite even those optimistic moments, I'll receive a "no"...but NEVER a "Why?"

To employers, this may not seem like a topic that they need to be concerned about. After all, they always get what they're looking for... Someone to fill the spot. In trade, however, so many jobseekers only leave baffled. 

How can we then conclude anything beyond the known fact that our time was invested, and then wasted? How can no employer we've spoken with provide any form of worthwhile insight?

I leave these questions to my network, my colleagues, and other young professionals I've yet to meet. 

Give me your thoughts!

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