How To Give Feedback To Candidates After The Interview (and why this is important)

For every successful applicant, there are those who didn’t quite make the cut. Giving them feedback after the interview has its benefits.

How To Give Feedback To Candidates After The Interview (and why this is important)

Hiring a top-quality candidate is always a win for the recruitment team and business. For every successful applicant, there are always going to be those who didn’t quite make the cut, although they may also possess great qualities.

If you find yourself having to notify people that they didn't progress to the next stage in recruitment, then there are tactful ways to give interview feedback. Providing feedback to the runners up has several benefits for both the company and interviewee.

Why Is Feedback After The Interview Important?

Regardless of whether a candidate is successful or not, it is always important to put your company’s best foot forward. Negative or positive interview feedback shows the person that you respect their time and wish them well. It is also a rarity in today’s job market!

It is normal for a candidate to apply to multiple vacancies at various companies. Unfortunately, what bodes badly in one interview, usually does so in another. With feedback, candidates have something to build upon and can increase their prospects in what would otherwise be another disheartening rejection.

Furthermore, research suggests that candidates who receive feedback are more likely to reapply in the future, perhaps for a more suitable position. If a person was strong but not the right fit, giving them feedback actually invests in your future workforce.

Finally, earning a good company reputation will only increase your applicant pool, and, as a result, the choice available to you. Candidates who have a positive application experience might post a glowing report on review sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed.

On the other hand, a list of bad reviews will deter potential applicants from applying. The result is that you miss out on talent.

How To Give Interview Feedback

How To Give Interview Feedback

Be Respectful

The most important thing to bear in mind is the time and effort an applicant has invested in an application. Make sure to stay respectful, and give constructive feedback that will genuinely help the person in the future. Being unnecessarily critical will only damage the image and brand of your company.

Commit To Being Honest

Place yourself in the candidate's shoes, and consider what you would need to hear. This will pay dividends for them in the long run, and your efforts to help will not go unnoticed.

Giving a candidate misleading advice has no benefit for them or your company in the long run. Be transparent in your feedback, and tell them why each point is important moving forward.

However, this doesn’t mean being blunt or dismissive. Simply choose your words correctly to give an accurate yet respectful reflection of the interview.

Keep Things Clear

Giving feedback after the interview can be an uncomfortable situation for all involved. Therefore, people tend to sugarcoat issues and walk on eggshells.

However, indirect or unclear feedback is rarely helpful. Your criticisms should be constructive and provide opportunities for future action. For example, "you did not go into enough detail on your experience working in a team", as opposed to "other candidates gave stronger team-working examples".

Provide Examples

Feedback After The Interview

Providing examples streamlines your feedback and helps the candidate to put things into perspective.

For example, consider an individual who is applying for an analytical role. You might have asked them how they would approach a certain data set, to which they responded with a vague answer. Use this specific situation during feedback, and provide them with a better alternative. It shows them a more suitable approach that could be taken for this sort of question in the future.

Tie Your Feedback To The Job Description

Usually, applicants tailor their application to a job description. Therefore, this is a useful guideline for structuring your interview feedback. It helps the applicant identify gaps in the knowledge that they can seek to fill. Also, it gives a good indication to them of where they might falter in the future.

Incorporate your job needs analysis into this, for it helps the candidate gain some insight into your thinking.

Focus On Changeable Qualities

Interview feedback that digs at the candidate for things they cannot change is only disheartening. It could even get you into legal trouble!

Instead, tailor your advice to qualities that the candidate can strengthen in the future. Perhaps their professional dress or the structure of their answers. This gives them hope and strengthens their job search in the long run.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, giving interview feedback is in the best interest of both the company and people who apply to work there. Every effort should be made to make this constructive, honest, and fair.

In the long run, this will benefit candidates on their job search and will also boost your company's reputation. After all, a good reputation will only increase your choice of applicants!