Picking the right words for interview feedback can often feel like tiptoeing through a maze blindfolded. Recruiters, you know it: the challenge of crafting a meaningful, honest, and constructive response without crossing any lines.
It’s a subtle art that’s equally important for maintaining a positive brand image and promoting a nurturing environment for potential hires. But what if there was a simpler way? What if you could find a perfect blend of candor and courtesy, all while ensuring the feedback you give is actionable?
This guide here will walk you through the essentials of delivering feedback that’s both constructive and empowering. With real-life interview feedback examples and customizable templates, you’ll be well-equipped to make a lasting impact on your candidates.
So dive right in!
What is interview feedback, and why should you provide it?
Interview feedback is a crucial part of the recruitment process, where recruiters provide candidates with an evaluation of their performance during an interview. It’s a constructive dialogue that highlights their strengths, pinpoints areas for improvement and offers actionable advice for future job interviews.
This feedback can cover various aspects such as technical skills, communication abilities, cultural fit, and more. By providing clear and honest feedback, recruiters not only help candidates in their career development but also enhance their company’s brand reputation as a transparent and candidate-friendly organization.
But why should you make it a practice to provide interview feedback to all, be they qualified candidates or rejected ones?
1. A catalyst for growth and improvement
Interview feedback is a recruiter’s golden ticket to ensuring a candidate’s growth and development. At the end of the day, recruitment is all about fostering people and their qualities. Providing actionable feedback sets a benchmark for improvement, helping them understand what they must work on.
2. To build a strong employer brand
Your words can turn your company into a superstar. When you provide constructive feedback, job seekers will respect your company, even if they don’t get the job. It shows you care about your career, not just filling a position. This positive experience can lead them to spread the word about your employer brand.
3. The gift of clarity
Good feedback can make someone’s career journey a little less bumpy, adding a human touch to the hiring process. It clarifies to the candidate what went wrong and what was truly impressive, empowering them to make informed decisions about their next steps.
4. Encouraging a feedback culture
By giving valuable feedback, you’re also encouraging your interviewees to do the same. This two-way street can help you come across crucial insights on candidate experience you might have missed out on. Ultimately, a feedback culture can significantly improve your interview process, honing your interviewing skills for the better.
5. An initiative towards data-driven hiring decisions
Candidate feedback can also be a treasure trove of structured data. Analyzing the details of effective interview feedback can help you collaborate with hiring managers and make better hiring decisions to attract top talent. For example, if multiple applicants are underperforming in a specific area, it might be worth revisiting the job description or training program.
Key elements to include in your interview feedback template
This section should include basic details like the candidate’s name, the position they’ve applied for, the date of the interview, and the interviewer’s name.
This information helps to keep the feedback organized and easy to reference.
Job-specific skills and competencies
This part of the template should focus on the specific skills and competencies required for the role.
It could include technical skills, industry knowledge, or any other specific abilities that are crucial for the job.
Interviewers can rate the candidate’s proficiency in each area on a scale and provide additional comments if necessary.
Soft skills assessment
Soft skills are increasingly important in today’s workplace.
This section should assess the candidate’s communication skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, leadership potential, and other relevant soft skills.
Again, a rating scale and space for comments can be useful here.
Every company has its unique culture, and assessing whether a candidate will thrive in that environment is important.
Candidates can be evaluated on how well they align with the company’s values, mission, and work style in this section.
Interviewer’s impressions and comments
This is a space for the interviewer to note their overall impressions of the candidate.
They can comment on the candidate’s enthusiasm, professionalism, and other subjective factors that could influence the hiring decision.
Benefits of using interview feedback templates
1. Consistency in evaluation
One of the main advantages of using an interview feedback template is that it brings consistency to the evaluation process.
By using the same criteria for every candidate, you can ensure that everyone is assessed fairly and objectively.
2. Improved decision making
With a structured feedback template, it’s easier to compare candidates and make informed decisions.
The template allows you to see at a glance how each candidate performed in key areas, helping you to identify the best fit for the role.
3. Enhanced communication
Interview feedback templates can also improve communication within your hiring team.
It is easier to reach a consensus on the hiring decision by having a clear record of each candidate’s performance.
4. Reduced bias
By focusing on specific, relevant criteria, an interview feedback template can help to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process.
This leads to more diverse and inclusive hiring practices.
5. Time efficiency
Finally, using a feedback template can save time in the recruitment process.
Instead of writing lengthy notes or trying to remember details about each candidate, interviewers can simply fill out the template, making the process quicker and more efficient.
What does good interview feedback look like: Dos and don’ts
1. Be specific, not vague
“Good job” or “Not a fit” won’t cut it. Be specific in your feedback. Did the candidate answer a question particularly well? Did their experience not align with the role? Give them the acute details of everything noteworthy. Appreciate the follow-up questions to solve the exact bottlenecks a job seeker might face.
2. The sandwich approach
Start with positive interview feedback, then discuss areas for improvement, and again end on a positive note, establishing a proper balance. This sandwich approach ensures unsuccessful candidates don’t feel overwhelmed by criticism yet have something meaningful to take back home–a positive candidate experience.
3. The right words at the right time
Don’t let feedback marinate for too long. The sooner you provide it, the fresher the job interview will be in the candidate’s mind. Coming up with detailed feedback at the right time can help them connect the dots better. This makes your suggestions more likely to be implemented by the interviewee.
4. The art of honesty and transparency
There’s a fine line between being honest and being brutal. Even if the candidate bombed the interview and you want to be candid about the areas they need to improve, don’t be harsh. Stick to the facts, but don’t let the personal bias of your hiring team creep into the feedback. A sprinkle of positivity can go a long way to building rapport.
5. Listen carefully and take notes
Don’t make it a monologue. Be open to the candidate’s thoughts and questions and “listen to understand” when they speak. This can help clear misunderstandings and ensure your feedback is well-received. Further, remember to document every word in the conversation to stay accountable to hiring managers.
What to include in an interview feedback form + ready-to-use templates
1. Candidate information
Include basic information such as the candidate’s name, the position they applied for, and the date of the candidate interview. This helps keep the data organized and easily retrievable, confirming that the document has been addressed correctly.
2. Rating scale
Consider using a rating scale for various competencies and skills. This provides a quantifiable measure and helps in making objective candidate assessments. It is also a great way to communicate clearly with job seekers regarding their position in the interview process.
3. Strengths and achievements
Highlight the candidate’s strengths and achievements during the job interview. This section should focus on what they did well to impress you. Some features to highlight include behavioral aspects, an add-on skill, communication forte, presence of mind, etc.
4. Areas for improvement
This section should focus on areas where the candidate could improve. Be specific and provide suggestions on how they can polish these areas. However, you must be careful with using words while delivering negative feedback to avoid any misinterpretation of intentions.
Drop some practical recommendations for the candidate to implement in due course of their career. This could include resources, courses, or advice to help them climb the corporate ladder. Be mindful and ensure the applicability of your suggestions before you pass them on.
Now, let’s look at some ready-to-use examples of interview feedback templates to help you get started.
#1 Interview feedback template: The comprehensive analyst
Subject: Assistance with job search through interview feedback for [position] – [candidate name]
Hi [candidate name],
Thank you for taking the time to interview with us for the [position] at [company name]. We appreciate your interest and effort. Below is a detailed analysis of your performance.
- Interview preparedness: Your preparation was evident, especially in your knowledge of our products and services. However, brushing up on industry trends could add depth to your responses.
- Technical proficiency: Your technical skills are commendable. We suggest staying updated with emerging technologies to enhance your expertise further.
- Problem-solving skills: Your approach to solving complex problems is methodical, lacking the practical aspect. Indulging in brain teasers and logical puzzles could sharpen your analytical skills.
- Leadership qualities: You demonstrated leadership potential. Engaging in leadership workshops or reading books on leadership could be beneficial.
- Interpersonal skills: Your ability to connect with interviewers has room for improvement. Showing up at networking events and making an effort to communicate can improve your interpersonal skills.
- Future Aspirations: Your career goals are well-aligned with the industry. Regularly reassessing and setting new goals can ensure continued growth.
- Final Assessment: You have a strong skill set, but some areas need improvement. We encourage you to work on the suggestions provided.
Thank you once again for your time and effort.
#2 Interview feedback template: The constructive coach
Subject: Your interview performance and next steps – [candidate name]
Hello [candidate name],
Thank you for interviewing for the [position] at [company name]. Here’s a breakdown of your performance and some coaching tips.
- Presentation skills: Your presentation was engaging. To take it up a notch, consider using storytelling techniques to connect with the audience.
- Industry knowledge: You have a good grasp of the industry. Subscribing to industry journals can keep you ahead of the curve.
- Attention to detail: Your attention to detail needs improvement. Engaging in activities that require focus, like puzzles, can help.
- Conflict resolution: Your conflict resolution skills are promising. Role-playing exercises can help you in honing this skill.
- Cultural alignment: You align well with our company culture. Taking an interest in company events can help in assimilating into the culture.
Wishing you the best on your career journey.
Subject: Navigating your career post-interview – [candidate name]
Hi [candidate name],
Thank you for interviewing with us for the [position]. Here’s a roadmap to navigating your career post-interview.
- Communication skills: Your communication was clear. Joining a public speaking club can help you master this art.
- Technical knowledge: Your technical knowledge is solid. Engaging in open-source projects can keep your skills sharp.
- Team collaboration: Your teamwork skills are good but could be better. To enhance this skill, involve yourself in team sports or group activities.
- Critical thinking: Your critical thinking skills need improvement. Signing up for debates or discussions can help you develop this skill.
- Customer orientation: Your customer-centric approach is impressive. Enroll in customer service training to build on it even further.
- Learning agility: Your eagerness to learn is evident. Engaging in online courses or certifications can keep you abreast of new developments.
Best of luck with your endeavors.
#4 Interview feedback template: The “enhance your skills” expert
Subject: Enhancing your skills to crack suitable opportunities – [candidate name]
Dear [candidate name],
Thank you for interviewing for the [position] at [company name]. Here’s how you can enhance your skills going forward.
- Negotiation skills: Your negotiation skills are good. Registering for negotiation workshops can make you a pro.
- Data analysis: Your data analysis skills need improvement. Engaging in data analytics courses can sharpen your skills.
- Emotional intelligence: Your emotional intelligence is high. Practicing mindfulness can further develop this trait.
- Project management: Your project management skills are commendable. Earning a PMP certification can add value to your profile.
- Sales techniques: Your sales techniques need polishing. Taking part in sales training programs can enhance your skills.
- Networking skills: Your networking skills are impressive. Attending industry events can expand your network.
- Decision-making: Your decision-making skills are good. Engaging in decision-making exercises can improve your judgment.
Wishing you success,
#5 Interview feedback template: The performance evaluation leader
Subject: Your interview performance evaluation – [candidate name]
Hello [candidate name],
Thank you for your interest in the [position] at [company name]. Here’s a detailed evaluation of your performance.
- Research skills: Your research skills are excellent. Staying curious and asking questions can further enhance this skill.
- Coding skills: Your coding skills need some work. Engaging in coding challenges can improve your proficiency.
- Innovation and creativity: Your innovative thinking is commendable. Participating in brainstorming sessions can spark creativity.
- Time management: Your time management skills need improvement. Using time-blocking techniques can enhance productivity.
- Leadership Potential: Your leadership potential is high. Involving in leadership roles in community organizations can develop this skill.
- Final assessment: Your performance was strong in several areas. Focus on continuous improvement for career growth.
#6 Interview feedback template: The career mentor
Subject: Mentoring your career ahead – [candidate name]
Dear [candidate name],
Thank you for interviewing for the [position] at [company name]. Here’s some mentoring advice for your career ahead.
- Active listening: Your active listening skills are good. Engaging in active listening exercises can make you an expert in effective communication.
- Technical expertise: Your technical expertise is worthy of appreciation. Subscribing to tech forums can keep you updated on industry trends.
- Public speaking: Your public speaking skills need improvement. Joining Toastmasters can help with building confidence.
- Adaptability: Your adaptability is good. Indulging in diverse projects can further improve your ability to adapt to different environments.
- Networking: Your networking skills need some work. Connecting on LinkedIn and joining professional groups can expand your network.
#7 Interview feedback template: The growth advocate
Subject: Advocating for your professional growth – [candidate name]
Hi [candidate name],
Thank you for interviewing for the [position] at [company name]. Here’s how you can advocate for your professional growth effectively.
- Self-reflection: Your ability to self-reflect is essential. Time-blocking for regular self-reflection can help with personal growth.
- Marketing skills: Your marketing skills are commendable. Engaging in marketing webinars can keep you updated on best practices.
- Stress management: Your stress management skills need improvement. Indulging in yoga or meditation can help in managing stress.
- Analytical thinking: Your analytical thinking is impressive. Participating in analytical thinking exercises can sharpen your mind.
- Collaboration: Your collaboration skills are good. Engaging in collaborative projects can improve your ability to work in teams.
- Learning agility: Your learning agility is high. Enrolling in diverse learning platforms can keep your skills fresh.
- Goal setting: Your goal-setting skills need some work. Taking up SMART goal setting can help you in achieving your objectives.
- Final advocacy: Advocate for your growth by setting goals, continuously learning, and reflecting on your experiences.
Wishing you the best,
11 specific examples of interview feedback statements to put to use right away
1. The constructive critic
“Your presentation was well-structured, but you seemed a bit nervous. Practicing in front of a mirror or with friends could help build confidence.”
2. The skill-building enthusiast
“You have a strong background in sales but need to gain work experience in digital marketing, which is crucial for this role. Taking an online course could bridge this gap.”
3. The encouraging force
“You answered the interview questions with clarity. Although not selected, your skills would be a great fit in a role more aligned with your experience. More power to you in your job search.”
4. The detail-oriented
“Your attention to detail in the technical assessment was impressive. However, elaborating more on your thought process could give better insights into your problem-solving skills.”
5. The culture fit
“You have great skills, but your values and work style differ from our company culture. Finding a company with a culture that matches yours could lead to a more fulfilling career.”
6. The potential spotting agent
“You show great potential but lack work experience. Consider internships or volunteer opportunities to build your portfolio.”
7. The soft skills advocate
“Your technical skills are top-notch, but improving on soft skills like communication and teamwork could really make you stand out.”
8. The go-getter
“You came across as highly motivated and driven. Keep harnessing this energy, and you’re bound to make waves in your career.”
9. A boost of confidence
“Your confidence was infectious and made the conversation enjoyable. However, be mindful of not overshadowing it with overconfidence. Balancing confidence with humility can create a lasting impression.”
10. The critical thinking buff
“You demonstrated excellent critical thinking in your responses. Keep honing this skill for a smooth career graph.”
11. The team player
“Your emphasis on teamwork and collaboration was truly a sight. Keep building on this recruiter-favorite skill; it can put you ahead in your career prospects.”
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
1. When should I provide feedback?
Ideally, feedback should be provided within a week of the interview. This ensures that the interview experience is still fresh in the candidate’s mind.
2. How to deliver feedback?
Feedback can be delivered via email, phone call, or in person. The medium should be chosen based on the depth of the feedback and the candidate’s preferences.
3. What if the candidate exhibits a negative reaction?
It’s important to remain calm and professional. Explain that the feedback is meant to be constructive and based on interview observations.
4. Is there a standard format for feedback?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all format. But it’s good practice to include specifics about performance, areas for improvement, and suggestions for development.
5. How can I ensure my feedback is objective?
Using a feedback form with specific criteria can help in ensuring objectivity. Additionally, avoiding personal biases and focusing on performance can contribute to objectivity.
6. Can feedback impact my employer brand?
Absolutely! Positive and constructive feedback can enhance your employer brand, while negative or non-constructive feedback can harm it. It’s important to be mindful of the impact your words can have.
With the insights, specific examples, and templates we’ve explored, you’re now poised to deliver feedback that’s both constructive and compassionate.
All you need to do is implement the right way to drive results that truly make a difference.