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Why Feedback After an Interview Is Essential

7 months ago - Mark Ashton


A common complaint from candidates and recruiters right now is the lack of, if any feedback that is received following an interview.  Understandably, not every employer has the time to respond to each CV that is submitted to them; but if a candidate has attended an interview, feedback is the very least that is expected.

I’m always surprised at how many people come to me and tell me they didn’t understand why they weren’t successful for a role because they received zero feedback.

Purely from my own perspective as a recruitment consultant, it’s the very least I can offer to a candidate who has taken the time to get prepared, travel and attend an interview with a prospective employer.

HR and Hiring Managers are Busy People

I get it.  I know just how demanding a job in HR can be.  Especially when there is recruitment going on within a business.  There are CV’s galore, screenings, the interviews themselves, review meetings with management and of course, all of your other day-to-day HR functions that still need to be squeezed in as well.

However, there are many reasons why it is so very important to provide feedback after an interview; either to a recruitment consultant or to the candidate directly.

The Importance of Recruitment Consultants in the Feedback Process

One of the benefits of working with a recruitment consultant is that very often; we will deliver the rejection message on your behalf.  With feedback, we stand a realistic chance of helping the candidate to develop the areas in which they appeared to fall short in.  With feedback, we can motivate them and help them to understand why this particular match wasn’t meant to be.

But wait, there’s more.

Give a Good Impression of your Business

All employers want to attract the best people.  You want and need the right people in the right jobs.  In order to secure this talent, your reputation is critical. As happens all too often, negative feedback can spread, and with the prominence of the Internet and social media; it is even more important to maintain a positive brand image, at all times.  If a candidate is not suitable for a specific role they have applied for, this doesn’t always mean they will be unsuccessful in the future for a different role for your business. Keeping them connected with your business is key.

If someone has a bad interview or application experience, they WILL tell others about this.  It is a far better approach to invest a small amount of time, to give them or their recruitment consultant specific feedback about why they didn’t get the role. This will ensure that they remember the positive application and feedback process, and exit the process knowing a little about why they didn’t get this role.  This means that should another role come up in the future, to which they could be better suited to; they do not overlook it because of a negative interview or application experience.

This article looks at exactly how to deliver a rejection message, without putting people off your brand.

Provide Closure After an Interview

Most candidates will be told at the end of their interview what the next steps are and how long they should expect to wait to hear back from you. Of course, if a candidate doesn’t hear back, they will eventually realise that they have not been successful in their interview and that they have not progressed to the next stage.

But think about it.  Let’s say that they stop their job search, stop applying for roles or worse still, they don’t accept a job offer because they are waiting to hear back from you.  This could lead them to harbour negative thoughts about your business.  What could be more damaging for the employer is that they are bound to say something to another person that could tarnish an otherwise excellent reputation of your business.  It will also mean that both the employer and the candidate could miss out on a further opportunity to work together in a different role, should one come up that is more suited to their skills and your business needs.

Providing feedback, even just briefly, will allow them to get closure and move forward.

Treating Others as You Would Expect to be Treated

If you have ever taken an exam or failed a test or assessment; getting feedback is essential for the learning process.  Imagine taking a test or exam and being told you have failed, but not being told precisely what it is that you failed on. Not only would this be thought of as inconsiderate by the examiner or testing board, but it could also be viewed as a little inconsiderate and rude. Certainly not the most endearing characteristics that you or your company would want to be associated with.

If a candidate has taken the time to interact with your business, albeit unsuccessfully; then consider that it is just good manners to let them know that they have not been successful.  It doesn’t need to be War and Peace, but a few bullet pointers to help them in the right direction is always good corporate etiquette, that is both good for the business and the individual in question.

It doesn’t matter so much to a candidate or recruiter what level of detail you go into about why a candidate has been unsuccessful for a role, but just a quick email or telephone call to either one to let them know the outcome quickly will help all parties involved.