With so much enthusiasm, I listened on. The recruiter profiled the job and how I was well suited for the role. How the hiring manager profiled me and how I was a good fit for the company. A couple more minutes and the tone change……By the way.

His ‘by the way’, heralded a deeper tone, a more serious one, very affirmative and concise and suggestive of something serious.

I pressed my phone closer to my ear, it was a ‘but’ situation, but in a different kind of way. He continued on how they company was desirous of more growth, a notch higher on skill set and some fundamentals which they were looking out for. How as usual most candidates feel they meet all the criteria but someone else had a more relevant strength or experience. The conversation was coming to an end. This time more negative than it had started, tones dropped, pitch lowered, It landed roughly, maybe he didn’t know how to say it, maybe it was suggestive, it just wasn’t quite clear.

This situation plays out often within the recruiter and the candidate. If a recruiter has decided to give feedback, it needs to be given quickly so the candidate doesn’t keep hanging on. Or the awkward feeling of simply hoping the candidate gets the message when they don’t hear anything back from the recruiter.

An important part of the recruitment and selection process is the opportunity for applicants to have good quality, constructive feedback following interviews. However, feedback is rarely given, partly because organizations fear legal risk or because they do not know how best to convey it. However, it’s highly important to share feedback after an interview especially when the candidate has gotten to the final selection process.


Feedback can be shared orally or in written form. Here are a few essential steps to giving feedback:

  • Clearly and quickly stated – candidates need actionable, constructive feedback, get to the point without being brutal. Ensure the applicant understands the feedback by asking them questions and summarising.
  • Descriptive rather than evaluative – describe what the applicant said or did and the impact that had on you or others, but do not make judgements
  • Specific – by providing examples with specific reference to the person spec criteria which were not met or where the evidence was weak.
  • Sensitively delivered – identify strengths and weaknesses, giving equal time to each. Make difficult messages easier to receive by alternating them with the positive points.
  • Sufficient – to ensure that feedback is helpful. Candidate must understand the information and be able to do something about it.
  • Thank the applicant. – for their time, energy, resources and interest in your organization

It is very important that feedback is prepared before contacting the applicant, usually notes from shortlisting/interview or application forms would come in handy.

More organisations today are beginning to value the importance of giving feedback as it acts as good PR and also helps the candidate understand their weaknesses and strengths. It is advisable to take feedback positively, look on the bright side as there’s always room for improvement. People’s (candidate’s) own ideas about how they think they are perceived and how they actually are perceived in interviews can differ greatly, feedback gives an opportunity to close the gap.

Write A Comment