Top tips for giving a candidate interview feedback…

woman and man handshake as candidate hands over resume

While it may seem that providing interview feedback to an unsuccessful candidate is an unnecessary task, providing candidate feedback after interview or submission of their CV can not only better them, but also your business. This allows your company to understand the type of candidate they are looking for and what qualities are not required.

Busy Bee Recruitment offers a couple of tips to remember…


Candidates deserve honesty

Ensure feedback is factual and useful for the candidate to take away. This will allow them to improve for when attending another interview. This could be the need for more preparation, company research etc.

You don’t have to be too honest, such as going into as much depth as they did not look into your eyes as they were speaking. Keeping feedback related to the job requirements is necessary.

Feedback should be meaningful

Making a list of attributes you didn’t like about a candidate is not helpful when going back to a candidate. Think specifically about what they could change to perform better in future interviews. Not only is this great for the candidate it is good for your company. Candidates can improve their interviewing skills and give you reasons to reinterview them in the future.

Praise when possible

False praise is never a good route to take your candidates down. If there were things that you truly liked about the candidate, say so! Feedback after an interview doesn’t have to be completely negative. Positive feedback not only softens the blow – it can be useful. Candidates need to know what they did well so they can ensure that they keep doing it.

Be tactful

Hopefully, there aren’t many interviewers who would tell a candidate unwittingly rude remarks of themselves. If a candidate’s body language suggested they were overly nervous, interviewers may be tempted to tell the candidate that they would be unsuccessful in a customer facing role.

Alternatively, an interviewer could give direct advice. For example, giving the candidate examples of what they may want to better.

Don’t appear condescending

Tone matters, being shocked, appalled or surprised by how little a candidate prepared for the interview can be off-putting. Neutral language and positive framing can help.

Sometimes it is difficult to criticize without sounding high and mighty, but it is crucial that you avoid it. It may be useful to have a colleague review your feedback message before sending.

Don’t Compare

In most cases, a candidate will be aware that they didn’t get hired because you thought someone else was better. There is no need to tell them, especially if they went through a group interview. The candidate is not interested nor in need of knowing does that someone else have a more advanced degree or showed better leadership skills.

Don’t invite litigation

When you provide them with written feedback, you should be extra careful. Even if you didn’t discriminate, your word choices could easily and commonly expose companies to legal risk. Avoiding this risk can be done by providing careful feedback via a telephone conversation. In that case, prepare to spend more time providing feedback to each candidate.

For further advice about giving interview feedback, get in touch with the recruitment team on 01353 880253 or visit our contact us page.

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Busy Bee Recruitment are 2x award winners for Best New Business of the Year! We are an independent recruitment consultancy covering permanent, fixed term contract & temporary staffing solutions throughout Cambridgeshire, Suffolk & East Anglia.

Busy Bee Recruitment Ltd