How to provide constructive feedback after an interview

It can be easy to assume that candidates will get the message if you don’t get in touch after an interview. You may also feel like it’s a waste of time telling them that they didn’t get the job. We’re all guilty of neglecting tasks that make us feel uncomfortable, but this is the wrong approach to take. If you don’t give feedback post-interview, you risk negatively impacting your employer brand.

Alongside this, you should always give feedback to candidates because it demonstrates that you value their time. Plus, they are more likely to recommend you to other job hunters if they’ve had a positive experience with you. Whatever feedback you give, be sure that it is constructive and can act as a learning curve for the interviewee. Below we explain how to provide constructive feedback after an interview.

  1. Ensure feedback is well timed

You should never leave it too long before letting a candidate know the outcome of the interview. The job hunt can be stressful enough and failing to get back to them could cause them stress and anxiety. The sooner applicants know where they stand, the sooner they can move on to a new job search. It also presents you in a bad light if your applicants are left unsure of their position. Not only this, but you may struggle to give constructive feedback if you’ve left it too late. Therefore, it is best practice to let candidates know if you will need longer to decide, and that they haven’t been forgotten.

  1. The importance of good interview notes

If you get in the practice of writing up your notes straight after an interview, you are less likely to forget any important details. This means that you can catch-up with the hiring manager or client straight away and speed up the process for the candidate. Having good interview notes means that there is always something to refer back to. So, when you speak to the candidate, you’ll have plenty of constructive feedback to offer, regardless of whether they’ve got the job or not.

One way of making the note taking process easier is by making score cards to use during the interview. It can be difficult to take notes and listen to candidates at the same time. But, taking this approach means that you’ll have something to refer back to.

  1. Honesty is the best policy

It’s understandably hard to give someone feedback, especially if its constructive criticism and you’re not sure how they will react to the news. But in reality, you are doing candidates no favours by not giving them an honest response. Remember that this information will help the candidate to improve in the future, and may even help them to land their dream job. Another important point to note is that you shouldn’t make false promises, so if you aren’t going to consider the candidate in the future, don’t tell them you will.


  1. What to say

Constructive feedback should offer advice around the areas the candidate can improve upon, so you may choose to discuss the skills they can work on, rather than personality traits that you find unsuitable. This also means you can be honest without being rude, so instead of saying, ‘you weren’t suitable for the job’ you could say, ‘while it’s great you have experience in XYZ, we’re looking for someone who understands how to do ABC’.

Overall, giving candidates carefully constructed feedback will present your company as professional and compassionate. It also gives the candidate a takeaway from the interview so they can work on their technique, or brush up on their skills for next time

Article courtesy of CV Library