Top 7 Reasons to Give Interview Feedback (With 4 Examples)

Not all candidates who appear for an interview get the job. But it does not necessarily mean that those who don’t make it have anything less to offer. It could simply mean that they might be unable to express themselves clearly.  Hence, it becomes important to give them feedback. 

The recruitment process encompasses testing candidates for various skills. It has multiple steps to be followed by increasing difficulty and higher subjectivity at each level. For most of the recruitments, be it academics or professional in nature, the last recruiting stage (where the candidates are finally selected) is the interviews.

An interview is an interaction between the candidate and the interviewer, wherein the recruiting individual or panel checks the job fit of the candidate through various conversations. There are hardly any roles that would not have an accompanying interview process. This stage gives you the most idea about the person than any other stage in the hiring process.

In this article, you will be introduced to the benefits, reasons, dos and don’ts as well as examples of interview feedback.

Advantages of interviews in the selection process

The following are some of the advantages of interviews.

  1. It gives a fair chance to the employers and the candidates to test and present themself.
  2. It provides an opportunity for the candidates to explain themselves well, which cannot merely be stated in a CV.
  3. It allows the employers to test the candidates in a fair manner and make judgements on the basis of their non-verbal gestures as well.
  4. Employers can also conduct various skill tests to test the skills the candidates claim to have.

Benefits of interview feedback

Not all candidates who appear for an interview get the job. But it does not necessarily mean that the candidates who do not make it have anything less to offer. It could simply mean that they might be unable to express themselves clearly. Hence, it becomes important to offer feedback to the candidates. The following reasons show the importance of providing candidates with interview feedback.

  1. Shows that the employer cares

Nobody really likes to know that they have not been selected for the job they have applied for. But uncertainty is far worse than a certain rejection. Hence, to avoid the uncertainty on the applicant’s part, it becomes important that the employers inform them about the decision made by the interviewer(s).

When a company informs the unsuccessful candidate about the decision taken by the company along with the feedback about why this happened, it shows that the company adopts a growth-oriented attitude rather than the more outdated perfection attitude. It also acts as a courtesy information service to the candidates who appeared for an interview by offering some closure.

This not only shows strong values based on an individual’s qualitative development but it also parts values to those involved in the interview process. The interviewers (essentially, employees of the organization) who believe in giving feedback actually strive to do better in their day-to-day tasks and do them more mindfully than working on autopilot mode.

2. Honours the dignity of the candidates

When a candidate applies to your company, they invest their cognitive resources on the application. It is, therefore, certain that they will be interested in hearing from the company. So, when the candidates are informed that they have not been selected and are given feedback on their interview, they get some insight into what did not work for them. This reflects the values of the organization: of honouring the dignity of individuals, irrespective of their recruitment status.

3. Feedback helps the candidates build the skills they lack

When the candidates are given feedback about the interview performance and the areas they can improve on, this actually becomes a point of introspection for them. They can look into what really could have gone wrong and what are their areas of improvement until the next interview.

The candidates can take interview feedback positively and come back stronger with polished skills in the future. Doing so offers them growth instead of just a dead end.

Offering feedback after interview promotes a lifelong learning attitude in an individual. It provides opportunities for the employees to improve and come back to take the reward for the same, another time, another place. These candidates may or may not come back to the same company for an interview in future. But the growth attitude that is embedded in them may stay with them for a long time and shape their career and lives in general as well.

4. Little efforts, longer impact

Informing the candidates that they are not selected and giving them feedback about their performance through the selection process is not as long an endeavour as it might sound. Giving the feedback actually takes very little time while the impact of this activity lasts forever. This increases the brand value of the company in the market.

While there are few other ways to increase the company’s face value, it is the word-of-mouth publicity of the organization as a workplace that honours the candidates and employees that goes far. It emphasizes the importance of personal growth and development well before anything else. This makes a company value what it believes in and tries to impart.

5. Candidate engagement

When informing the candidates that they have not been selected for a particular role, give them constructive feedback about how to make improvements and implement changes for the future. This increases engagement of that particular candidate with the company.

It is possible that these candidates will polish their skills and update their portfolio with the kind of experience that is expected by your organization and revert to you in the future to give it another go.

6. Reduced risk of communicating wrong messages

It is extremely possible that if the candidates do not get closure about their non-selection and are only informed that they have not been selected for a particular role in the company, this may create some confusion in the minds of the candidates. Without a direction to work and improve on, they might be lost and unhappy to receive this news. So, providing feedback automatically makes the conversations clear and direct between the two parties. It also helps in clarifying the expectations of the company to the resource pool that this and other candidates belong to.

7. Streamlining the hiring process by setting expectations

Since the constructive feedback provided to the candidates also includes areas that they can work on, they get a stepping stone to start their improvement. When the expectations of the organization are clarified by the management, it sieves the candidate pool, ensuring that only those whose expectations match remain.

Doing so clarifies the expectations of the company for the posts they are recruiting for and helps in shaping desirable candidates.

Giving constructive feedback after interview: the Dos and Don’ts

While providing feedback, we have to make sure that it is not sounding like a personal attack on the candidate. Hence, the feedback must be constructive. Following are a few guidelines for constructive feedback.

  1. Do not use accusatory words, phrases and language.
  2. Always begin with what you liked in the entire interview process.
  3. While talking about the things that are not positive, try and maintain a neutral tone.
  4. When you talk about the things that are not positive, always own up to your opinions. So, instead of starting sentences with “you did”, “you performed” and “you said”, one can use phrases like “I felt that” and “I interpreted this as”. These do not sound accusatory and will deliver the message accurately.
  5. Why talking about negative things, once you have mentioned your opinion about it, immediately give recommendations for the improvement in those areas.
  6. End the feedback on a hopeful note that actually makes the candidate want to improve and perform better next time.

Interview feedback examples

Having understood the importance of this type of feedback, here are 4 interview feedback examples to get you started:

  1. You are well qualified but after considering the applications that we have got, we have selected someone who has more experience with this kind of project. That said, we are impressed with your resumé and would be glad to consider you for openings in the future.
  2. You have come a long way and have done well in your interviews. But for the time being, we are considering someone with a little more experience. We will notify you for future openings.
  3. We would have been happier to hear more from you but you looked a little unprepared. It is okay. It is only natural to feel nervous during an interview. But from my recruiting experience, I can also tell you that it is possible to overcome that. We can stay connected for future opportunities.
  4. We liked that you were enthusiastic about this job. But we needed someone who is more qualified for this opening. We can accommodate you in one of our internship programs, though.

Employers and recruiters must always keep in mind that while giving feedback is important, it can make or break someone’s self-image and confidence. So, be really careful when exercising it.

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