How to provide good feedback after a job interview?


After a job interview, the candidate sits on pins and needles, waiting for feedback from the recruiter. They spend days wondering how they did, whether they could have done something better, and what their chances of employment are. A week, two, three go by… the phone remains silent, and the email inbox is empty. In an ideal world, feedback after a job interview would be an integral part of every recruitment process. Unfortunately, many companies still do not provide feedback, thereby damaging their professional image in the job market. Why is feedback after a job interview so important? How to provide a negative response? And how quickly should it be done?

Feedback after a Job Interview – Why is it so important?

Feedback, or feedback after a job interview, is an important element of the entire recruitment process. By providing feedback to rejected candidates, we build the image of a reputable, professional, and fair company that treats all stakeholders with respect. Today, in the era of the job market favoring candidates, it is an incredibly valuable tool that facilitates the building of a strong employer brand. A satisfied candidate, even after being rejected, is willing to leave a positive impression of the company, for example, on industry forums, social media, or dedicated portals.

The candidate can also benefit from feedback. A message that presents both the weaknesses and strengths of the candidate is a valuable tool in shaping their image in the job market. Thanks to a professional, comprehensive, and carefully constructed feedback message, they know where they stand and what to expect in the future. Knowing what went well and what needs improvement will help them improve their professional profile, making it easier to prepare for future interviews.

It’s important to remember that while waiting for a response from the recruiter, the candidate may reject other job offers or temporarily suspend their job search. By not providing feedback after the interview, we expose them to losses and make it difficult for them to find good employment.

Informing the candidate about the status of their application is a sign of respect. Feedback makes them feel valued, which translates into a positive candidate experience, something that employers should actively pursue. What does this mysterious concept entail?

Candidate Experience – A Valuable Element in the Recruitment Process

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the so-called “candidate experience,” at least in HR circles. Candidate experience literally means the candidate’s experience. The term refers to the sum of all the experiences a candidate has with a particular company as an employer. In other words, it includes all the impressions a potential employee has about the company. Candidate experience is an integral part of employer branding.

Creating a company’s image as an employer in the eyes of a potential employee is a process influenced by many factors. The candidate comes into contact with the company in various ways. Someone interested in working for a particular company reviews its website and social media profiles, as well as carefully analyzes job postings. A company that wants to present itself as a good employer must ensure the best possible impression in each of these places.

However, it’s no secret that the job interview itself is of the utmost importance. And it’s not just about the interview itself but also the feedback the candidate receives after the recruitment process. The candidate’s feelings after the interview affect their overall opinion of the company.

Recruitment Process

Why is negative feedback often omitted?

According to the “Candidate Experience in Poland 2019” report, as many as 8 out of 10 candidates would like to receive feedback from recruiters when they are rejected. Unfortunately, many companies do not provide feedback. The most commonly cited reason is a lack of time. In such a situation, it’s worth carefully analyzing the recruitment process and optimizing the time it takes. The old saying goes that there is always time, and the key to success is good organization!

The lack of feedback is a significant risk

By not providing feedback after a job interview, we expose our company to many negative consequences. A potential employee disappointed by the lack of communication from the recruiter may share their negative opinion with others, in direct conversations or on social media. This, in turn, can harm the company’s reputation. In today’s employee-oriented job market, employers must compete for the best candidates. A company that consistently makes mistakes has a lower chance of hiring outstanding individuals, which translates into less favorable conditions for development.

The lack of feedback after the recruitment process can be perceived as a lack of respect for potential employees. A person who feels mistreated is unlikely to reapply to the company. Furthermore, they may discourage their friends and acquaintances from participating in future recruitment processes.

It’s essential to remember that every dissatisfied candidate is also a lost potential customer. According to research, as many as 1/5 of specialists who have negative experiences with a brand during the recruitment process will not buy its products or services.

How to construct negative feedback?

Every potential employee should receive feedback after a job interview. How to inform a candidate of a negative recruitment outcome? Much depends on the stage at which we reject the potential employee. If it’s early in the process, a short email informing the candidate that they haven’t qualified for the next stage of the recruitment can suffice. The email should thank them for submitting their CV and encourage them to reapply to the company.

Things look somewhat different when the recruitment process comes to an end. How to craft a good rejection message? The cardinal rule for creating such messages is personalization! The content of the communication should be tailored to the relationship established with the candidate during the recruitment process. If you adopted a more informal tone and switched to a first-name basis at the beginning of the meeting, you should maintain it until the end of the recruitment process.

negative feedback

The feedback should be substantive. It’s good to specify the reason for rejecting the candidate – briefly describe the tasks in which they didn’t meet the company’s expectations and present the competencies they should work on.

Equally important is highlighting the aspects that went well. Praising the candidate’s pleasant demeanor, rich experience, or high level of engagement will boost their spirits and increase their confidence for future job interviews.

The message should include thanks for participating in the recruitment process and encouragement to reapply in the future.

What phrases to use?

Feedback after a job interview must be tactful. This means that we should use polite phrases that emphasize the company’s professional approach and show respect for the candidate. Sentences like “We have decided to select candidates who demonstrated higher competencies…”, “We would like to emphasize that your competencies in the field of… were very positive,” or “We wish you good luck in your continued job search” will work perfectly.

When should you provide feedback after a job interview?

There is no single rule for when to provide feedback after a job interview. Much depends on the specific nature of the entire recruitment process.

The most important thing is to stick to the set deadline! This will certainly provide the candidate with a sense of peace, and it will help the company in creating a positive employer brand.

Constructive feedback after an interview should be an integral part of every recruitment process. Providing feedback brings many benefits not only to the company but also to the candidate. An employer who cares about good employer branding has a better chance of success in the job market!

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