Try A Praise Sandwich
Feedback doesnât just show a candidate where they need to improve it also emphasizes what they do well so they can keep doing it. Your candidate certainly has strengths. After all, they got the interview in the first place because there was a lot about them that you felt enthusiastic about. Reminding them of these things gives them the encouragement to move forward in their search, and lets them know what to continue to highlight in themselves.
The praise sandwich begins on a positive, offers critical feedback and advice for improvement, and ends on a positive again. Thank the candidate for the opportunity to get to know them. Recognize the time they took to prepare. Point out their strengths and tell them what you value about their experience. As with constructive criticism, give specific examples of what you were impressed by. This sets the tone of the conversation and lowers defenses, opening the candidate up to really hearing your feedback.
Show Gratitude For Their Interest
To get to the interview round of the application process, candidates typically must exert a significant amount of effort. They often dedicate energy to showing their interest in an organization, proving their qualifications and gaining a better understanding of an organization’s culture. Therefore, showing gratitude for the unsuccessful candidate’s time and interest is a respectful way to begin a conversation when providing feedback.
Sample Two Offer Acceptance Email Template
Subject line: Job Acceptance Email Anabel SmithDear Mr. Simon,Thank you for getting back to me and offering me the position of Head of Marketing at Square Space. Kindly accept this email as a formal acceptance of the position. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you and prove myself to the team. As the job offer email depicts, I accept the starting salary of $7,000 monthly and an increased salary of $8,000 after a successful two-month probation period. Im excited to meet the team and begin work officially on June 1. If you need further information from me, please let me know. You can reach me at 456-7890 or by email at Thank you again for the opportunity to prove my value to the team. Best Regards,Michael Spade.
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Positive Interview Feedback Examples
So now we have covered the dos and donts, how do you put these positive feedback theories into practice? How can you structure your feedback in such a way that will inspire, uplift and motivate your recipient to improve? In this section, I will cover how to best manage your delivery with some positive interview feedback examples.
Start on a positive
Even after the most awful of interviews you CAN set a positive tone. An example in this instance would be,
Thanks so much for attending your interview this morning. It was great to meet you and I really appreciate the effort you made to get down here.
Something as simple as this will set the tone of the discussion and will make the candidate feel valued. If you begin your conversation on a positive note, it will balance any negativity you may later encounter and will also lower the defences of your applicant. You are then able to go on and deliver your more critical points.
Avoid using accusatory language
As you deliver your feedback into the areas in which your applicant could improve, avoid a critical tone. If you wish to communicate that a candidate did not explain themselves well consider using I to describe your positions and feelings. For example use:
I was not clear of your meaning, rather than you did not make yourself clear.
The latter statement will induce a defensive response.
Use Your Interview Notes
Human memory is unreliable at the best of times. Thats why if youre going to be serious about giving useful interview feedback to unsuccessful candidates, its essential you keep your notes from the interview itself.
How useful those notes are depends a lot on your interview style. If you run unstructured conversational interviews that lack a clear sense of direction, your notes probably wont be very helpful. Theres clear evidence that hiring managers make better hiring decisions when interviews are structured .
Using a structured interview format means your notes will indicate where and how the unsuccessful candidate performed poorly.
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Why Is It Important To Give Feedback To Unsuccessful Candidates
It’s important to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates who interviewed for a role so they can improve their strategy, develop their skills and find more success in future interviews. Constructive, actionable feedback can make a significant difference regarding a candidate’s self-awareness and ability to grow over time. Even more, providing interviewees with this type of growth opportunity is typically a respectful way to end their candidacy process.
In addition, feedback can boost an organization’s reputation and allow candidateseven those who are unsuccessfulto develop a positive association with the organization. This can help organizations differentiate themselves from those that don’t offer feedback, as it’s common for organizations to receive higher ratings regarding their candidacy experience when they do. From here, an organization may be able to attract more talent during future searches.
Focus On Professional Attributes Not Personal Impressions
She has strong technical knowledge and would be a very desirable candidate for any business in this industry. If appointed, we should discuss her career goals to make sure she is engaged and challenged in the role.
She could do the job, but seemed bored and a little aloof during our chat. I wonder if she really wants this job.
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Why Giving Feedback To Rejected Candidates Matters
Thereâs the obvious reason for feedback, which is respect and professional courtesy. But here are a few other reasons why giving feedback is an important element of candidate rejection:
âIt improves your candidates. Providing interview feedback allows candidates to grow professionally. We hear what youâre thinking: why would you spend valuable time helping the candidates who are going to find work elsewhere improve? Because when candidates are offered constructive feedback, theyâre 4x more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity. So think of this current work as benefiting your future pipeline.
âIt improves candidate experienceâand therefore, your talent brand. Offering feedback after an interview process shows that your company values the professional development not only of its future employees, but of the talent market as a wholeâand of them, specifically. This fosters goodwill and enhances the candidate experience.
âIt strengthens your hiring process. Having a structured system in place for delivering feedback means you have a detailed process for sorting out finalists. It demands clarity on what makes a good candidate, because youâre forced to articulate why certain candidates donât make the cut. And the more clarity you have on what makes a good candidate, the better you are at spotting them and inviting them in. Identifying patterns in your candidate feedback can also help you observe weak spots in your hiring process.
Allow Personal Biases To Skew The Picture
Its just human nature regardless of how good your interview skills are, its almost impossible to be totally objective about every applicant in the talent pool. Sometimes we develop a personal preference for one candidate over another, or allow our experiences to unconsciously bias us against well-qualified candidates.
Analyzing the results of your candidate feedback surveys using AI means that when you come to deliver your feedback, you can be sure youre offering the candidate a fair and balanced picture of why they did or didnt progress in the hiring process.
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Ask For Feedback From Rejected Candidates
Feedback is a two-way street. Ask rejected candidates to assess your hiring process. How was the interview for them? What did they appreciate? Was there anything they were disappointed by, or would have liked to see done differently? This is a place to gather valuable insights to pass on to your hiring manager and interview teams to iterate on, and strengthen, your process. Maybe you ask them for this feedback over the phone and record their answers. Maybe you let them know that a candidate experience survey is coming their way, you value their opinions, and youâd be grateful if theyâd be candid in their answers.
Candidate experience improves by 148% when candidates are asked to give feedback on their interview process. We suspect this is because your request for feedback indicates that you respect their professional insights, and youâre invested in a good candidate experienceâincluding theirs.
Narrating Anecdotes Is Always A Good Idea:
One of the best ways to put the person at ease, before you actually go about giving constructive feedback, is by narrating a few anecdotes, from your own experience. Such anecdotes are always fun to hear, so you can use these as ice breakers which will really allow the other person to open up and at such a time you can see the individual for who he really is.
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Great Impression For Your Brand
Whether in the managerial or entry level position, you are still in the market for other positions. Employers get head hunted too, so when you get to an interview and dont have proper feedback, your image of the company is determined with how they handle your recruitment process.
This goes the same way for your interviewees. A candidate is likely to recommend your company to a friend if you happen to have an open position in the future, when they get proper channels of communication.
In some instances, an appropriate opportunity may arise for the rejected candidate in future and if your relationship ended on a bad footing, you may find it hard to contact them again or they may reject your offer. A good impression is still a gain for your company so cultivate it by offering feedback to interviewees.
Rule #4 Honesty Is The Best Policy
For most hiring managers, avoiding the real reason for not hiring someone is a lot easier than facing the truth.
But as straight-shooter Sarah Corboliou, Head of Employee Success at Unito, found out when she accidentally sent her raw interview notes to a candidate â sometimes even the ugly truth can get a great response.
âIn my âimpressionsâ Iâd written that I found the candidate pretty arrogantâ¦ So I was expecting a super bad Glassdoor review or something . But instead, the person replied saying âWell, you must be pretty embarrassed, but itâs actually refreshing to hear what recruiters really think of me for once. Would you mind jumping on a quick call to discuss how I can present myself better?ââ
âI called him back and had a super constructive discussion that ended up changing my opinion of him. work permit I would have definitely invited him for an interview after that!â says Sarah.
Interview feedback sample #4:
We believe telling the absolute truth about our hiring decisions is the only way to help you succeed . Your technical skills were completely on-point but your approach towards developing new skills didnât fit the bill. Happy to jump on a call if you want to prove us wrong for next time!
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Try To Avoid The Clich
Be creative in your language. Avoid stock phrases such as we were looking for someone with more experience. Instead, be specific, and use examples from THEIR interview. This will demonstrate your desire to help the individual improve with meaningful, constructive evaluation and will avoid the appearance that your comments are generic, impersonal and being thrown out to every unsuccessful interviewee.
Heres A Simple Example Of What This Post
First of all, I want to thank you for coming out for the interview and for all your work in preparing. It means a lot to see that from candidates. During the interview, we were very impressed by the strategy you proposed when we introduced the customer case and you did it spur of the moment! Most people just tell us theyll fix things, and you showed the ability to zoom out and see the big picture. It was cool to see.
One thing we were missing in the interview were concrete examples of conflict resolution. In this job, youre going to deal with angry customers and stressed out colleagues, and we didnt get the sense that you have a lot of experience in this area yet. If you build on this skill we think youll be a much stronger candidate in the future.
Overall, we really liked you and we saw some great strengths you could bring to the team, but we dont think youd enjoy the role until your conflict resolution skills were a bit higher. I would recommend taking some time to talk with the customer service team in your current role, ask for their advice, and see if you could spend a couple of hours a week working with them to build your skills.
In this case, youve rejected a candidate, which isnt fun, but youve given them the information they need to be better at their job.
Giving post-interview feedback like this will help them in the long run and provide a better candidate experience, which in turn will improve your employer brand.
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Establishing The Feedback Process For Candidates
We did a quick poll of webinar attendees to learn how they currently approach giving feedback to candidates and employees, and the results were eye-opening.
Only 20% of participants said their organization has guidelines or a formal process for giving feedback to both candidates and employees, while 34% said they just do their own thing.
When it comes to feedback for candidates, Greenhouses Recruiting Manager Ariana Moon says, Dont just wing it. Its important to be very intentional about your process.
How can you do this? Here are a few of Arianas suggestions:
- Hold your recruiters accountable to being transparent and communicative throughout the hiring process make sure candidates understand the interview stages, purpose of each discussion, and overall hiring timeline.
- Keep your hiring managers and other interviewers informed, too. Let them know the purpose of the interviews or assessments theyll be involved with and set expectations for the type of feedback you expect from them.
- Create a scalable approach to giving feedback. At Greenhouse, this means offering to have feedback phone calls for any and every candidate who has participated in the onsite interview.
- Give your recruiting team the chance to practice feedback conversations. Role-playing takes some of the awkwardness and anxiety out of the mix.
Make Sure Your Criticism Aligns With The Companys Values
Sometimes we have our own personal preferences about how someone should conduct themselves or act. But if these arent necessarily out of step with the goals of the company, they may not be worth pointing outjust because you dont like something doesnt mean theyre doing it wrong.
You may not like that a candidate rambled during the interview, but the hiring manager might have found it informative. A hiring manager might seem too picky, but if theyre looking out for the companys best interests, it might be the right decisioneven if its annoying. Seek out other perspectives and make sure that youre not just projecting your personal preferences on someone else.
Learning how to give constructive criticism isnt just beneficial to you as a recruiter: its a helpful skill in your day-to-day life and personal relationships. Feedback is meant to make a differencemake sure youre making the right kind of impact.
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How To Help Your Hiring Team Share Interview Feedback Efficiently
With post-interview communication, it doesnt only matter what you say, but also how you share your feedback with your team members. Timely, well-organized and easily accessible feedback helps make better hiring decisions faster.
Heres how to build systems and scores to document interview feedback for hiring managers and the whole hiring team consistently throughout your recruiting process:
Keep all comments in one place. Exchanging emails to share feedback may result in clogged inboxes and miscommunication Instead, use a shared document or a platform that all team members can access at any time. And ask team members to write down their feedback right after the interviews, when the conversation is still fresh in their minds.
Use interview scorecards. Share lists of interview questions per stage so that everyone on the hiring team knows what other interviewers have covered. Each interviewer should ask different questions so they can learn something new about the candidate at each stage. This helps make the final decision more informed and also makes for good candidate experience by avoiding repetitive questions.
Heres an example:
Heres an example from Workables interview scorecards:
Provide Examples As A Justification
When offering feedback, try to provide specific examples from the candidate’s interview to back up your claims. For instance, if you choose not to move forward with a candidate due to a gap in their skills that became evident through a skills test, explain how their skills test results were unsuccessful and they may need to work on building certain competencies. These examples can help justify your decision for candidates and allow them to identify ways to improve their strategy in the future.
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How To Send An Engaging Follow
After a job interview, it’s only natural to want an update on the hiring process, particularly if you feel it went well. However, there are several potential pitfalls to avoid when sending a follow-up email after the interview. If you come across as pushy, sloppy or too informal then you could damage your chances of landing the job.