The Importance of Interview Feedback

Being in the recruitment industry for nearly a decade, I’ve placed countless roles across various skill sets, while working hand in hand with the hiring manager to ensure the role was filled. Regardless of the position, I’ve found that the most successful candidate placement typically comes from effective communication between the hiring manager, their team, and the recruiter. Aside from ensuring the job description is buttoned up and everyone is well-briefed on expectations for the role, one area that’s often overlooked is the importance of providing interview feedback.

Over the years, I’ve seen many hiring managers pass on candidates while not providing any feedback to the recruiter or candidate. That can be detrimental to the recruitment process, not just for the recruiter and candidate, but also the hiring manager and the brand they represent.

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Interview feedback allows the recruiter to understand how to calibrate on sourcing and what they can improve on when filtering new candidates. Without feedback, a recruiter will continue sending profiles to a requisition, when in reality, it’s a game of shooting darts in the dark. If you’re involved in a hiring process, it’s important to document why you are passing on someone or moving someone to the next step. This helps your recruiter/recruiting team send you more relevant profiles, and in turn saves you time by interviewing only qualified candidates.

By providing feedback, you’re also allowing the candidate to move on from the process. Interviewing is often a stressful process, particularly when candidates do not see positive outcomes for roles they believe they are well-qualified for. What’s worse, when they aren’t provided feedback, they’re often left wondering why they weren’t selected and what’s wrong with them. In reality, the answer may have simply been that someone with a bit more experience was offered the job, their salary requirement was too high, or their skillset was lacking in a key focus area.

Additionally, when a candidate doesn’t receive feedback, it can often leave a sour taste in their mouth and therefore a bad reputation for the company. It’s easy for a candidate to leave a negative review on Glassdoor, which could be detrimental when other prospects consider interviewing for or accepting a role.

On the other hand, I’ve worked with candidates who have had such a great experience interviewing with a company, they ended up referring their network even after being told that they’re not a fit. This certainly will not happen if the candidate feels like the interview process was ambiguous or the company wasn’t organized enough to provide feedback.

Offering feedback may sound simple, but it’s surprising how many hiring managers spend countless hours interviewing candidates, yet provide no feedback afterwards. Is the role really a need for the organization? If so, why not spend a few minutes to share thoughts as to where the interviewee could have improved?

Here are a few points to consider when providing feedback to a candidate:

  • Is the candidate the right cultural fit for the organization and team?

  • Did the hiring manager and team have good chemistry with the candidate?

  • Does the candidate’s skill set align with the job description?

  • Was there a change to the job description throughout the recruitment process that did not align with the candidate’s skill set?

  • Does the candidate’s salary requirements align with the budget for the role?

  • Was there anything specific the candidate said or did during the interview process that was off-putting?

As long as it’s constructive, feedback can be as simple as one or two sentences summarizing why a decision was made. Taking a few extra minutes to write something up is sure to benefit everyone in the recruiting process.

Eva ChanComment