The hiring process is pivotal for both job seekers and employers, with candidates preparing to attend their interview and hiring managers shortlisting and interviewing applicants. While many candidates anxiously await the outcome of their interviews, hiring managers often forget to provide feedback.
Here’s why it's essential for hiring managers to offer meaningful interview feedback to candidates and how to deliver it effectively.
Why is Providing Interview Feedback Important?
Showing Respect and Professionalism
Providing feedback shows respect for the candidate's time, effort, and interest in the position. Candidates have made time to prepare and attend the interview so they would appreciate the hiring manager taking the time to acknowledge that and advising them on how they can improve. Offering professional courtesy enhances the employer's reputation.
Aiding Continuous Improvement
Identifying a candidate's strengths and weaknesses and sending these points to them in a constructive way will help them to grow and perform better in future interviews. Not only does this promote continuous self-improvement but it might help the candidate become better equipped and more confident for future job interviews.
Enhancing Employer Brand
A positive candidate experience can boost your company's reputation and contribute to a positive public image. Candidates who receive interview feedback are likely to feel valued, which may make them inclined to speak positively about your organisation, even if they didn't get the job. In some cases this can lead to referrals. Even if someone wasn’t a right fit for the role, they may talk to their peers about your company and encourage them to apply for a position at your company.
Talent Pool Nurturing
Candidates who receive a follow-up email after their interview are more likely to reapply for future positions in the future. This nurtures a pool of potential hires who are already familiar with your company. A candidate might not be suitable for a position right now but it doesn’t mean that that will always be the case. If they had a positive interview experience with you they may be encouraged to apply for a different role in a few years time when they’ve gained more experience.
Effective Interview Feedback Techniques
When providing feedback, try and send it to the candidate promptly after the interview. Delaying can cause candidates unnecessary stress and impede their job search. When the interview is still fresh in your mind you’re also less likely to forget helpful information and will give the candidate a better evaluation. This is especially important if you’re interviewing a lot of applicants for the role.
Be specific about what the candidate did well and where they can improve. General statements like "You did great" or "You're not what we're looking for" are not helpful and the candidate may assume that you have sent the same feedback to other candidates.
To ensure the candidate benefits from the feedback, frame your comments as constructive criticism rather than criticism. Offer actionable advice on how the candidate can enhance their skills or approach to give them a chance to improve before their next interview. Be sure to also include a good balance of strengths and areas for improvement.
Avoid Personal Bias
Ensure your feedback is objective and based on the candidate's performances. Focus on skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role and not your personal biases. Remember, you’re analysing their interview performance and suitability for the role - not their personality.
Be Kind and Respectful
While feedback should be honest, it should always be delivered in a respectful and empathetic manner. Use empathetic language and avoid harsh or demeaning comments, bearing in mind that the candidate may be upset about not getting the job.
Deliver your feedback through email to ensure clarity and to provide candidates with a reference they can revisit. By typing up your comments you’re less likely to forget important points you may have wanted to make. This also saves having to go back and forth with the candidate to arrange another call.
In the competitive job market, the way you treat candidates during the hiring process can significantly impact your organisation's success. By providing interview feedback and following these techniques, you can create a positive candidate experience that benefits both your company and the individuals seeking opportunities within it. Remember, this isn't just a one-time effort; it's an ongoing commitment to fostering talent and professionalism in the workplace.
Here at Platform Recruitment we've been developing our expertise for over 12 years, making us a leading recruitment agency based in North London.
We currently have clients with live roles, looking for exciting new talent to join their team – contact us now to find out more and see which opportunities we have for you in Software Development, DevOps, Mechanical, Hardware & Electronics, Life Sciences, Data Science, Manufacturing, QA and Engineering – as well as management, operations and support function roles.