Top Tips on Dealing with Constructive Criticism

As a bustling recruitment consultancy, we sometimes have the hard task of telling candidates that their applications have been unsuccessful. And believe us when we say we understand – it sucks.

No matter the stage in their career, every job applicant has experienced rejection. No-one sails from one promotion to the next, gliding into every job they apply for and never experiencing a single negative. Being unsuccessful in some of your endeavours is just one of those universal things which make you human.

However, the way in which you choose to take that rejection may be the difference between further disappointment and a fantastic job offer. It comes down to dealing with constructive criticism. We thought we’d put together a few tips, so that you might use constructive criticism to build yourself up.

Keep Calm

So you didn’t get that role you really wanted.

It’s frustrating, we get it. But it’s not the end of the world, and getting irate or upset with those trying to give you feedback isn’t the way to go. Your capacity to maintain good relationships in the face of criticism might mean the difference between a new opportunity, and a door forever locked.

It’s fine to be disappointed, and it’s great to ask why you missed out – but bawling, screaming, reacting nastily or any other kind of childish reactions have no place in the professional sector.

Listen to the Critics

You might not necessarily like some of the criticism you receive – if an employer says you aren’t as skilled as they’d like you to be it can be kind of disheartening – but it’s still important to listen.

If you’re awaiting feedback from a consultant, schedule a time when you’ll have no distractions, and really pay attention to the points that are being made.

It’s sometimes hard to hear, but there are often small aspects of an interview or CV which mean an applicant just misses out on a job. If you can catch these small details, there’s a greater chance of success next time.

Don’t Take it Personally

This really goes hand in hand with the previous point.

When dealing with constructive criticism, it’s important to recognise that it isn’t an attack on you personally.

As one of our consultants said:

When receiving feedback, candidates should realise that it’s there to help them grow and develop as opposed to just identifying their shortcomings. They should listen to the feedback carefully and try to improve and develop on their weak areas instead of letting it beat them down”

Criticism in this capacity is designed to help you troubleshoot problems for future interviews. Don’t get hung up on it - just use it to build yourself up into a better candidate for next time. Being able to show how you’ve built upon constructive criticism is a great way to illustrate how open you are to change and growth.

This links to our next tip.

Show Some Development

One of our other recruiters raised the issue of adaptation.

If a hiring manager offers advice to you, it’s a great idea to go away and try to develop on the points raised. That way, the next time around, you’ve got some evidence of bridging a gap in your skill set or bettering yourself in a changing market. This might be as simple as enrolling onto a new course or spending an afternoon working on an area you might be weaker on. This is a key aspect when it comes to dealing with your critics.

Bigger and Better

Just because this role wasn’t suited to you, it doesn’t mean there aren’t others you’d be perfect for.

If you build on the feedback you receive, take advantage of the opportunities to ask questions, and respond maturely to any critique - that way you’re sure to be more prepared for other roles when they arise. An employee who can act on negative feedback and welcomes feedback is much more valuable than one who doesn’t take advantage of the chances to improve.

We aim to guide our candidates through the application and interview process, so we’re often more than happy to provide constructive criticism and feedback. If you’re interested in any of our current vacancies, or would like to have an informal chat with one of our specialist recruiters, why not give us a call or alternatively, upload a CV?

We’d love to hear your top tip for dealing with constructive criticism, so why not tweet us at @ThatcherAssoc to let us know…