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How often do you provide a candidate with interview feedback? After every interview? Sometimes? Hardly ever?

But then again, why? Does interview feedback even matter?

The answer is yes; interview feedback does matter. In the long run, it would make your team’s future recruitment effort much easier.

Why does interview feedback matter?

Interview feedback refers to the comments a candidate receives after completing a job interview. Giving interview feedback is beneficial for maintaining a positive relationship and a good reputation with your talent pool for future recruitment effort

Many companies tend to overlook this essential step. There are two reasons why human resource departments should spend time working on interview feedback to attract more talent:

– Better employer branding 

– Support the candidate’s growth and development

Better Employer Branding

Employer branding is crucial – some even consider it to be a business’ identity. A strong employer brand attracts talented candidates, retains existing team members, and reduces recruiting and marketing costs.

Your employer brand also plays a large role in fostering strong relationships between your company, current employees, and future ones. The interview is the beginning of a relationship between a candidate and the company. Interview feedback might even play a role in influencing whether a candidate wants to invest further in their relationship with the company or not.

Support candidate’s growth and development

Interview feedback play a crucial role in a candidate’s growth and development. Constructive and positive interview feedback shows that the company acknowledges the candidates’ effort and time put into their job application. This acknowledgment also signifies that the company is interested in an individual’s personal development. Moreover, most candidates welcome interview feedback as a realistic measure of their employability.

So, what does positive interview feedback look like?

Elements Of Positive Interview Feedback

Many find it difficult to receive feedback. After all, no one likes criticism. So, the real question here is: How should you communicate feedback?

Make the feedback actionable

Good feedback should leave your candidate feeling supported and inspired to improve, not as if they have been judged. One way to achieve the said goal is by providing your candidate with specific comments. Make the feedback actionable. Avoid vague, general evaluations.

Talk about examples including the candidates’ specific strengths and weaknesses. Tools such as BravoGROWTH provide realistic assessment of a candidate’s qualities. If possible, bring up suggestions for future improvements. Keep the feedback short and focused. 

Effective interview feedback does not leave the candidate guessing. They should know what the next actions are.

Structure your feedback 

Your interview feedback should cover all key points, which consist of both soft and hard skills. If you are not sure how the structure should be, it is a good idea to utilize the job description to frame your feedback. 

Consider what skills the candidate has that match (or does not match) the job descriptions. You can also make use of recruitment tools that provide comprehensive candidate information. Evaluate the candidates’ growth mindset and ability to learn based on the job description. 

Interview feedbacks are essential and have a significant impact on the candidate’s future career. Make sure you spend time preparing and framing the interview feedback properly so that it is consistent and insightful.

Deliver honest feedback

Be honest, but kind. 

After planning and framing your feedback, make sure you are being honest about it. The feedback might be difficult to hear, but it is something an interviewee needs to go through to become a better version of themselves in the future.

One way to create a good motivation mix is by cleverly balancing the negative and positive comments. A good example of this might look something like this: “We love your confidence during the interview. For future roles, it might be a good idea to check out [topic] for even more confident and specific answers.”

However, make sure you have a purpose for the given feedback. Be straightforward and keep them concise since feedback can be difficult to receive. Many may have had negative experiences relating to receiving feedback.  Make sure to reiterate that you care about the candidate’s personal development and future.

Effective feedback will build trust between the company and potential employees. 

Time the feedback appropriately

Keep the timing of the interview feedback right. Do not delay writing the feedback down. Do it right after the interview!

Next, send the feedback to your candidate soon after the interview. Twenty-four hours after the interview is an ideal timeframe, as the interview would still be fresh on the candidate’s mind, and also fresh on your mind too. Your candidate would also have time to process their impression and information received. Timely feedback is valuable feedback.

Positive Interview Feedback Examples

Positive interview feedback underlines the areas that the interviewee handled proficiently. Below are some examples of helpful feedback dialogues.  

When the candidate has done great research about the company

“We appreciate the time and effort you put in to better understand this role in our company. Thank you for your interest and preparation.”

When they are a great fit for the role 

“We believe you are a great fit for this role! Thank you for showcasing how your personal value matches that of our company.”

“You were well-prepared for the interview and conveyed a genuine enthusiasm for joining our team.”

When they showcased good technical skills

“You spoke intelligently about the subjects we covered in the interview and showed subject-matter expertise.”

“You showcased in-depth knowledge regarding the role, which earned respect from the interviewers.”

“We were impressed with your proposed solutions for the case study during the interview.”

When they demonstrated good soft skills

“Your enthusiasm and confident attitude made it pleasant to interview you.”

“Although we were unable to proceed with your application, you showed an interest in learning throughout the process. Your attitude is a really fantastic asset.”

When you want to offer advice

“We appreciate your communication skills during the interview. However, your body language indicated that you were uncomfortable. Consider making more eye contact in the future to appear more confident.

When you think they might be overqualified for the position

“We noticed that you possess extensive expertise in this area. However, we are also concerned that this role might not keep you motivated for very long.”

Avoid “Bad” Interview Feedback

Bad interview feedback refers to those that are:

  • Vague and general. They do not provide the candidate with specific suggestions to improve and might even focus solely on criticism.
  • Draw comparisons between candidates. Do keep in mind that each and every candidate is unique.
  • Allow personal biases to interfere with the overall evaluation.
  • Come off as angry or apathetic.
  • Inconsistent.

Good Interview Feedback Builds Positive Employer Branding

Interview feedback is crucial. It might seem time-consuming at first, but it is worth your time and hard work. It will improve your candidate’s experience and earn your company the reputation of being a respectful and thoughtful employer.  We hope this article has inspired you to spend a little more time drawing up meaningful interview feedback for future interviewees.

Hieu's avatar
Hieu Nguyen
Technical/Content Writer
Hieu is a content writer who loves to learn and share interesting ideas about human resources.
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