Leave a lasting impression with our concise guide on giving constructive interview feedback, complete with examples and templates.

Read on!

interview feedback

What is interview feedback, and why should you provide it?

The ultimate interview feedback guide

Interview feedback is a crucial part of the recruitment process. 

Over 90% of candidates want to know why they didn’t move forward, but less than 50% actually receive those answers. 

Recruiters evaluate candidates’ performance during an interview. 

It’s a recruitment skill that helps you highlight 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 making this part of your recruitment methods, you 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 candidates, whether qualified or rejected?

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.

Also read: Intake meetings – What is it, and how do you use it right?

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 interviewing 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 a top talent pool. 

For example, if multiple applicants are underperforming in a specific area, it might be worth revisiting the job description or training program.

Read more: How can recruiters help candidates nail their job interviews? 

5 dos and don’ts of a good interview feedback

The ultimate interview feedback guide

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 your hiring team’s personal biases 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.

Read more: What is an applicant tracking system? Your one-stop guide [Updated for 2024]

What to include in an interview feedback form + ready-to-use examples 

The ultimate interview feedback guide

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 and confirms 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. 

5. Recommendations

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.

Read more: What is remote hiring? [6 steps to success]

#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.

  1. 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.
  2. Technical proficiency: Your technical skills are commendable. To enhance your expertise further, we suggest staying updated with emerging technologies.
  3. 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.
  4. Leadership qualities: You demonstrated leadership potential. Engaging in leadership workshops or reading books on leadership could be beneficial.
  5. Interpersonal skills: Your ability to connect with interviewers can be improved by showing up at networking events and making an effort to communicate.
  6. Future Aspirations: Your career goals are well-aligned with the industry. Regularly reassessing and setting new goals can ensure continued growth.
  7. 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.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Company name]

#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.

  1. Presentation skills: Your presentation was engaging. To enhance it, consider using storytelling techniques to connect with the audience.
  2. Industry knowledge: You have a good grasp of the industry. Subscribing to industry journals can keep you ahead of the curve.
  3. Attention to detail: Your attention to detail needs improvement. Engaging in activities that require focus, like puzzles, can help.
  4. Conflict resolution: Your conflict resolution skills are promising. Role-playing exercises can help you hone this skill.
  5. 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.

Warm regards,

[Your name]

[Company name]

#3 Interview feedback template: The career navigator

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.

  1. Communication skills: Your communication was clear. Joining a public speaking club can help you master this art.
  2. Technical knowledge: Your technical knowledge is solid. Engaging in open-source projects can keep your skills sharp.
  3. Team collaboration: Your teamwork skills are good but could be better. To enhance this skill, involve yourself in team sports or group activities.
  4. Critical thinking: Your critical thinking skills need improvement. Signing up for debates or discussions can help you develop this skill.
  5. Customer orientation: Your customer-centric approach is impressive. Enroll in customer service training to build on it even further.
  6. 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 endeavours.


[Your name]


#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 in the future.

  1. Negotiation skills: Your negotiation skills are good. Registering for negotiation workshops can make you a pro.
  2. Data analysis: Your data analysis skills need improvement. Engaging in data analytics courses can sharpen your skills.
  3. Emotional intelligence: Your emotional intelligence is high. Practicing mindfulness can further develop this trait.
  4. Project management: Your project management skills are commendable. Earning a PMP certification can add value to your profile.
  5. Sales techniques: Your sales techniques need polishing. Taking part in sales training programs can enhance your skills.
  6. Networking skills: Your networking skills are impressive. Attending industry events can expand your network.
  7. Decision-making: Your decision-making skills are good. Engaging in decision-making exercises can improve your judgment.

Wishing you success,

[Your name]

[Company name]

Read more: 8 free templates for candidate experience surveys that give you the right insights

#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.

  1. Research skills: Your research skills are excellent. Staying curious and asking questions can further enhance this skill.
  2. Coding skills: Your coding skills need some work. Engaging in coding challenges can improve your proficiency.
  3. Innovation and creativity: Your innovative thinking is commendable. Participating in brainstorming sessions can spark creativity.
  4. Time management: Your time management skills need improvement. Using time-blocking techniques can enhance productivity.
  5. Leadership Potential: Your leadership potential is high. Involving in leadership roles in community organizations can develop this skill.
  6. Final assessment: Your performance was strong in several areas. Focus on continuous improvement for career growth.

Best regards,

[Your name]

[Company name]

#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.

  1. Active listening: Your active listening skills are good. Engaging in active listening exercises can make you an expert in effective communication.
  2. Technical expertise: Your technical expertise is worthy of appreciation. Subscribing to tech forums can keep you updated on industry trends.
  3. Public speaking: Your public speaking skills need improvement. Joining Toastmasters can help with building confidence.
  4. Adaptability: Your adaptability is good. Indulging in diverse projects can further improve your ability to adapt to different environments.
  5. Networking: Your networking skills need some work. Connecting on LinkedIn and joining professional groups can expand your network.

Warm regards,

[Your name]

[Company name]

You might also like: 40+ FREE email templates for recruiters to win in 2024!

#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.

  1. Self-reflection: Your ability to self-reflect is essential. Time-blocking for regular self-reflection can help with personal growth.
  2. Marketing skills: Your marketing skills are commendable. Engaging in marketing webinars can keep you updated on best practices.
  3. Stress management: Your stress management skills need improvement. Indulging in yoga or meditation can help.
  4. Analytical thinking: Your analytical thinking is impressive. Participating in analytical thinking exercises can sharpen your mind.
  5. Collaboration: Your collaboration skills are good. Engaging in collaborative projects can improve your ability to work in teams.
  6. Learning agility: Your learning agility is high. Enrolling in diverse learning platforms can keep your skills fresh.
  7. Goal setting: Your goal-setting skills need some work. Using SMART goal setting can help you achieve your objectives.
  8. Final advocacy: Advocate for your growth by setting goals, continuously learning, and reflecting on your experiences.

Wishing you the best,

[Your name]

[Company name]

Read more: What is a hiring platform? [10 best recruitment platforms to choose from]

11 interview feedback examples 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.”

Read more: 10 email templates for recruiters to keep candidates warm

And there you have it. 

Use the templates and remember these interviewing tips to provide the best candidate experience possible and build the talent pipeline of your dreams.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the best time to give interview feedback?

The optimal time to provide interview feedback is within 24 to 48 hours after the interview has concluded. 

This timeframe ensures that the details of the interview are still fresh in both the interviewer’s and the candidate’s minds, making the feedback more relevant and actionable. 

Prompt feedback demonstrates respect for the candidate’s time and interest in the position, contributing to a positive candidate experience.

2. How can feedback impact an employer’s brand?

Feedback can significantly impact an employer’s brand by showcasing the company as transparent, respectful, and committed to candidate development. 

Also, remember to take your candidate’s feedback to find room for improvement.

Positive experiences can enhance a company’s reputation, attracting more quality candidates and potentially generating positive reviews on platforms like Glassdoor.

3. What key elements should be included in interview feedback?

Key elements of effective interview feedback include specificity, balance between strengths and areas for improvement, actionable advice for candidate growth, and a respectful and positive tone. 

This approach not only aids the candidate’s development but also enhances the employer’s brand.

4. When should I provide feedback?

Ideally, feedback should be provided within a week of the interview. This ensures that the candidate’s experience is still fresh in their mind.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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 constructive and compassionate feedback.

All you need to do is implement the right way to drive results that truly make a difference. 

Happy recruiting!