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Is it appropriate to ask for feedback a the end of an interview? "What did I do well and what can I improve upon?" I expect to begin interviewing soon, preferable with management consulting firms. These involve multiple rounds of interviews each composed of sequential separate interviews. Thus, I could make changes between interviewers and between rounds to improve my performance. Asking for feedback is not exactly like asking, "So, how did I do?" which would be completely unprofessional, but it may come off that way! I want to land the right job and if I can show improvement between interviewers, I think that this would demonstrate my suitability as a consultant who needs to be flexible, needs to accept feedback, and is willing to learn from his mistakes.

I've listened to the Premium Interview Series, and Mark & Mike did not say that this is the wrong question to ask, as I was expecting them to say.

Thank you for your advice.

jhack's picture

You should close them at the end of the interview.

Don't ask for feedback.

Ask yourself: Are they listening intently, and carrying on a conversation? Or are they looking away, and just asking the questions. You'll have to infer the feedback.

One thing to consider is practice interviews. Do you have a colleague who might be able to set up a practice interview for you? (be upfront that this is to help you, do not pretend this is for real). You could actually be interviewed by someone experienced who would give you feedback.

John

edmundkoun's picture

Jhack,

Given that I'm not in business school or in Business itself but am in graduate school (PhD, Neurobiology), I don't have any colleagues that could give me experienced feedback. I can use campus career services, but I only get one shot at one of those practice interviews, so their feedback is limited to the exact questions/responses that I give during that single interaction.

jhack's picture

It's a stretch, but maybe one of them knows someone who....

In any case, I would recommend simply closing. If you're attentive and energetic, you'll probably know where you made mistakes. Don't dwell on a mistake, just move on. If you're following the podcast guidelines, can tell your story and focus on accomplishments, truly answer their questions and ask good questions of them, you'll do well. The feedback would be finetuning.

As an interviewer, I'd be put off by a candidate asking for feedback during the process. Even if they're willing to give feedback, it's likely to be nothing meaningful or actionable ("You did fine").

You could wait until they tell you that you won't be getting an offer, then ask for feedback. Not ideal, but it would be appropriate then. And useful.

Ask for an offer. Close with strength.

John

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="jhack"]

You could wait until they tell you that you won't be getting an offer, then ask for feedback. Not ideal, but it would be appropriate then. And useful.

John[/quote]

If you going to ask for feedback wait until you've been declined.

wendii's picture

Edmund,

I'm with John too, don't ask during the interview.

Most interviewers are incredibly uncomfortable giving feedback anyway, and pushing them into a corner to do it face to face will make them feel negatively about you, even if they felt positive up to that moment.

People sometimes ask me as 'HR' when the hiring manager is out of the room, and I always give some platitude and move on quickly!

Wendii

asteriskrntt1's picture

Wendii and John are pretty smart.

By extension, in the dealing with recruiters podcasts, M&M say to never give your resume (especially a non-MT version) to the recruiter and ask for feedback. Everyone - if they have not already - has an opinion as to what they want and if you listen to everyone's advice on how to tweak your resume, you will forever be tweaking it.

I suspect it will be the same with interviews. You have no clue as to the skills, experience and what is going on behind the scenes stuff with the person you are asking. It won't be helpful to you. In the end, all that matters is getting an offer or not.

*RNTT

tomw's picture

[quote="edmundkoun"]... I only get one shot at one of those practice interviews, so their feedback is limited to the exact questions/responses that I give during that single interaction.[/quote]

That's exactly as it should be. They can only give feedback on what they observe.

Keep in mind the reason for the interview is to get an offer. I think asking for feedback at the end would sound unprofessional and could be a reason for them to move you to the "no offer" group.

edmundkoun's picture

Thanks folks. My concern is that since there are the multiple rounds of interviews for each firm and many of the top consulting firms are interviewing for non-MBAs around the same time and only in the Fall. Therefore, if I'm making glaring mistakes, I won't know about them until recruiting season is over and I've blown all my opportunities. It does seem that the consensus is to [i]not ask[/i] for feedback and to just do self evaluation.

wendii's picture

Edmund - I pm'd you.

Wendii