7 Tips for Giving Interview Feedback

As a previous article explained, recruiting people is an option taken when HR planning happens. Since HR needs are being assessed here, some HR teams recruit as a helpful solution to remedy them. More brains are better than one, after all. Interviews are a natural part of the recruitment process. Although it’s a typical HR role, conducting interviews can still get pretty intimidating. You never know who you’re going to talk to and you can’t predict how candidates will respond to your questions either. Interviews get more nerve-wracking than usual when you have to give feedback.

how to give interview feedback to the candidate

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7 Tips for Giving Interview Feedback

Why You Should Give Feedback After Interviews

Feedback can come in 2 ways: good or bad. No matter how packed your day is, you should always make it a point to give feedback after every interview. This is included in multiple hiring tips lists. Giving feedback is more than just a gesture of kindness on employers’ ends. Both candidates and companies benefit from this. Doing this shows candidates that the company they’ve applied for values its employees, which provides positive candidate experience. If a company’s candidate experience goes up, so does its employer brand. Once word of your positive treatment of candidates gets around, new and old strong candidates will come to you.

Tips on Giving Interview Feedback to Candidates

Giving feedback can be pretty tricky, especially if you’re talking to candidates who don’t fit the bill. No one likes delivering (and receiving) bad news, but someone has to do it. If you don’t have any difficulties here, consider yourself as one of the few fearless ones. A lot of people are scared of messing this part up, so it’s not surprising why many managers hesitate to do this. Fear not and allow these tips to come to your rescue.

Be Specific and Honest

Regardless of what your feedback is, it should be direct and genuine. Candidates should know why you’ve decided to accept and reject them, and the least you can do here is be honest. Being honest doesn’t mean going on a tirade. A few managers tend to get personal here, which should never be the case. A great recruiter knows that feedback should be based on a job description and the necessary skills and experience. Should a candidate be rejected, provide constructive feedback on areas that he or she lacks and can improve in. This way, no one’s feelings will get hurt. Make sure to reject candidates politely.

Show Gratitude for the Job Application and Say Thank You

When you conduct interview feedback sessions, always begin by giving candidates your sincerest thanks. Since they’ve taken a lot of their time and effort in their job applications, a little recognition and appreciation wouldn’t hurt, especially for rejected candidates. You’re dealing with people here, so you shouldn’t treat them like the resumes you’ll end up stashing in your cabinets.

Provide Reasons

Negative feedback is bad enough, but fuzzy feedback is even worse. Don’t you just hate it when you’re given vague reasons? If you’re going to accept or reject a candidate, your explanations should be clear. You can go over your interview notes if you want to deliver them as best as you can. Your reasons should come from facts instead of emotions and baseless claims. Not only does this boost credibility, but it helps candidates grow too. Your reasons should be aligned with your company’s values too. If you’re really looking out for your company’s welfare, put your biases aside, and give acceptable ones.

Be Tactful

If words can be hurtful, the way a person says them is just as harsh. Be careful when you’re delivering feedback, especially if it’s negative. There’s no room for tactlessness in feedback delivery. If a candidate gets rejected, don’t tell them that they suck. If you notice something off about their body language, don’t call them out rudely. Choose your words and deliver them wisely for a more pleasant and productive experience for both parties.

Praise Their Strengths

Feedback isn’t only for pointing out mistakes. This is the time to let candidates know what they’ve done right too. Feedback sessions are pointless if you don’t do this. When you’re dishing out compliments, make sure they come from a genuine place. Candidates can tell if you’ve just pulled false praise out from thin air, and insincere praise just sends mixed signals.

Some recruiters can be overly critical when giving feedback. Since focusing on errors does more harm than good, leave some room for compliments as well. If the candidate has already reached the interview stage, he or she must’ve done something right. Your feedback must be, in the words of Thanos, perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Don’t Make Comparisons

Candidates don’t need to know that they got rejected because there were people who were better than them. Comparisons are a no-no, especially if those candidates underwent group interviews. Yes, some candidates are better than others. However, you shouldn’t rub that fact in rejected candidates’ faces when stating your reasons. Not only is this unhelpful, but frankly, it’s rude too. Making comparisons may be tempting, but you should know better than to fall into that trap. Your feedback should focus on a candidate’s individual performance to aid in their growth and improvement.

Offer Help

Feedback should be helpful. If a candidate is down in the dumps, say something genuinely useful if you want them to act on your feedback, cite situations or examples to start them off on the right foot. The key here is to be as specific as possible. When you point out particular areas, candidates will know what they need to work on before they head out for other interviews. Offering help benefits interviewers too: sharing helpful advice will help them become better at their jobs as they practice it.

If interview feedbacks are normal occurrences for hiring managers, then they’re a pretty big deal for applicants. Delivering constructive feedback without hesitance and nervousness takes time, so don’t get too frustrated if you don’t pull it off right away. With time, practice, and these tips, you’ll be handing them out like a professional.