The job interview is a high-stakes event, but for many job candidates, it’s the last time they receive substantive communication from the hiring organization. This is a missed opportunity for employers to offer feedback that builds the relationship and bolsters their employer brand. The best interview feedback examples can even help interviewers refine their approach.
While most employers don’t regularly provide interview feedback, doing so can improve the candidate experience, which is an important part of a good employer brand. According to Talent Board’s 2022 Candidate Experience Benchmark Research report, offering interview feedback is a key differentiator for employers that rank highly for candidate experience. When candidates receive feedback on their interview performance, they’re more likely to assess your hiring process as fair and equitable. This softens the blow of rejection and improves their opinion of you.
Discover what interview feedback is, why it matters, and how to apply different types of interview feedback examples to enhance the hiring process.
What Is Interview Feedback?
Interview feedback is a form of feedback that's given by an interviewer or hiring manager to a job applicant after they have attended an interview. The purpose of interview feedback is to assess a candidate's performance. The interviewer shares their perspective about how the interview went and what they perceived from the candidate. Interview feedback typically addresses the candidate's communication skills, role-specific abilities, and any other relevant impressions.
Additionally, feedback may include suggestions for improvement or advice on how to prepare for future interviews. Interviewers may also ask for feedback from the candidate in return so they can evaluate their own effectiveness.
Why Is Interview Feedback Important?
Feedback is a key piece of employee lifecycle management, but it can have just as big an impact before you even make a hire. While interview feedback is an underused tool, it can help your recruiting and hiring teams in several ways. Here are some reasons to implement post-interview feedback in your organization.
Helps Candidates Improve
By providing feedback on how candidates performed, the interviewer can help them understand what went well and what they need to improve on. This type of feedback can help the candidate better understand their strengths and weaknesses. Candidates can use the insights to grow and learn from their experience while feeling that the company invests in career success — even for people who aren’t ultimately hired.
For example, an interviewer conducts a video interview for a remote customer service position. The interviewer might give feedback on how the candidate could appear more confident on camera and communicate more effectively.
Additionally, feedback can help the candidate better understand an employer’s expectations and how they can better meet them in the future.
Enhances Employer Branding
Giving interview feedback can strengthen the employer brand in numerous ways. First, it shows that the company is professional and willing to give meaningful and constructive feedback to candidates. This demonstrates to potential candidates that your organization is serious about finding the right fit for the job while supporting everyone involved in the process.
By receiving feedback, candidates are more likely to have a better understanding of how the organization works and what they can expect from the job. This can help them make an informed decision on accepting an offer, which increases the chances of a successful hire for all parties.
Receiving interview feedback as part of an ongoing dialogue can also increase the likelihood of the candidate wanting to work for the organization or recommending others.
Refines Interview Techniques
Giving interview feedback helps the interviewer to identify areas of improvement for themselves, too. For example, if the interviewer notices that candidates don’t respond well to certain questions or wording, they can adjust the type of questions they ask or the way they deliver them to make the interview more effective.
Employers can also ask for feedback directly from the candidate, either during the interview process or through pulse surveys delivered to late-stage candidates. This gives candidates the chance to let hiring managers know whether they felt the questions were fair, easy to understand, and accurately assessed their work experience and abilities.
Interview feedback shows that your company is taking the time to consider each candidate’s individual performance and give them constructive criticism. This can improve the candidate’s view of your organization and help them feel like your hiring process is fair and objective.
By giving feedback, you also demonstrate that you value each candidate’s time and effort in the interview and throughout the recruitment process.
6 Tips for Giving Constructive Interview Feedback
Most interviewers aren’t accustomed to giving candidates feedback, but with practice, it can become second nature. Here are six tips for helping interviewers and hiring managers give better interview feedback to candidates.
Frequent communication is a hallmark of good hiring processes, as candidates like to know where they stand at every stage. Timely responses show respect and help hiring managers and talent acquisition teams keep candidates engaged in the process while providing a positive experience.
By receiving timely feedback (and a timely rejection, in many cases), candidates can move forward with their job search while gaining valuable insight into their interview performance.
Give candidates clear, honest feedback so that they can understand what they did well and what they need to improve. Feedback should offer clarity and closure, not introduce confusion or cause resentment. The candidate should come away with a better understanding of your hiring decision.
If you interview a candidate for a role requiring strong problem-solving skills, for example, the hiring manager might give specific feedback about how the candidate communicated their ability to recognize and solve complex problems.
Lead — and Close — on a Positive Note
Feedback can be difficult to give and receive. Start positively by emphasizing your appreciation for the candidate’s time before getting into feedback. Similarly, end the conversation by reiterating your appreciation for their effort, regardless of the hiring outcome. Don’t hesitate to give positive feedback when warranted, as you’ll give the candidate confidence and insight into their strengths.
Offer Actionable Advice
Provide candidates with advice that can help them improve their interview performance in the future. This might include tips on answering certain types of questions, staying calm under pressure, or what types of topics to expect.
Providing actionable advice is helpful because it gives the candidate the tools they need to improve their performance. It also allows the candidate to take ownership of their development by applying the feedback.
For instance, a candidate might lack the technical skills required. The interviewer could provide suggestions for how the candidate might improve their qualifications and how to discuss their credentials during interviews.
Be Honest and Kind
Honesty is necessary to ensure that the candidate understands where they need to improve and, in many cases, why they weren't selected for the position. This honesty should focus on constructive criticism that the candidate can act on.
Being kind is important, too. You can offer constructive advice without making the candidate feel bad. Be tactful and professional when offering criticism, and don’t be harsh or cruel. Where there are positive aspects of a candidate's performance, note those, too.
As a general rule, respect the candidate’s time, and share your appreciation for the time and effort each candidate put into the hiring process.
Feedback can easily become subjective, biased, and stray from job-specific comments if interviewers and hiring managers aren’t careful. An objective approach involves collecting evidence and discussing facts rather than opinions.
Additionally, providing multiple examples of a candidate’s performance during the interview can help to ensure objectivity. For example, if a candidate performed well in one area but poorly in another, an objective approach would involve discussing both. This helps the candidate receive a balanced assessment of their performance.
2 Types of Interview Feedback
Interview feedback generally falls into one of two categories: strengths and weaknesses. Here are some examples to show how to deliver each type of feedback.
Positive Interview Feedback Examples
Example #1: "You have an impressive level of knowledge about the job requirements and the company. Your answers to the questions were thorough and demonstrated a clear understanding of the role."
In this example, the interviewer praises the candidate’s preparation, which produced a richer, more nuanced conversation and showed how much effort they put in.
Example #2: "You have a great attitude and enthusiasm for the job. Your enthusiasm was evident throughout the interview, and you exuded a positive energy."
In this example, the interviewer offers positive feedback on the candidate’s intrinsic attributes that made them stand out and made the interview more productive.
“Room for Improvement” Feedback Examples
Example #1: “You have a good understanding of the subject matter, but you could work on expanding your knowledge to better answer more complex questions.”
In this example, the interviewer shares how the candidate could improve their depth of knowledge on job-specific topics. This skill could be especially important for technical roles or problem-solving scenarios.
Example #2: "Your answers were clear and concise, but you could have been more assertive in making your case for why you're the right candidate. Practicing your presentation skills could help you make more of an impact in upcoming interviews."
In this example, the interviewer notes where the candidate could improve their presentation skills, which could be a deciding factor for hiring teams.
Implement Effective Interview Feedback Examples With Enboarder
Giving feedback to candidates is an integral part of the hiring process, and an action that supports a more human and connected candidate experience.
When candidates understand the motivations behind your hiring decisions and walk away with actionable advice for improving their interview performance in the future, they won’t feel like just a number. Providing interview feedback leaves candidates feeling valued and even interested in applying to future job openings.
Discover how Enboarder’s Human Connection Platform can help you automate and scale a more human candidate experience.