Adopting a Feedback Culture: The Power of Interview Feedback

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • What interview feedback is.
  • Why it is important that employers deliver interview feedback.
  • How interview feedback can be used positively.

Ever been to a job interview and not heard back from the employer? Not only can this be highly frustrating, it can also cause a lot of confusion for an interviewee and leave them not knowing where they stand within the recruitment process.

According to StandOutCV, 30% of candidates say that they have attended at least one interview where they have never heard back from the employer, which demonstrates that it is a significant issue for candidates.

In our latest blog, we’re uncovering why it’s important for employers to deliver insightful interview feedback and how candidates can use this feedback constructively to further their career development.

What is interview feedback?

Interview feedback refers to the comments and information that a hiring manager will relay to an interviewee after a job interview.

It is common courtesy for an employer to feed back to an interviewee after they have participated in a job interview, even if they have not been successful in securing the role.

Employers should ensure that their feedback is specific, personal, actionable and respectful. 

Sending out generic feedback to all unsuccessful candidates is not productive to individuals looking to improve their interview skills and won’t help them learn what to do and what not to do in an interview.

Likewise, sending feedback that could come across as overly negative or disrespectful is unlikely to show the employer in a good light.It’s imperative that employers comply with legal and ethical considerations in order to avoid unfair practice or discriminatory behaviour. 

Whilst not all employers have policies in place to facilitate providing feedback, doing so can be a valuable tool for both candidates and employers alike. 

Why is it important that employers deliver interview feedback?

There are a number of reasons for an employer to provide an interviewee with feedback, whether this be to help the individual's professional development or to draw a line under their application for the role.

It’s important for employers to deliver interview feedback for the following reasons:

  • To bring closure to the interview process. 
  • To provide an interviewee with constructive criticism.
  • To be completely transparent.
  • To maintain the reputation of being fair.
  • To demonstrate effective communication.

To bring closure to the interview process

Interview feedback is crucial for bringing closure to the interview process, as it not only clears up if a candidate has not been successful, but also the reasons why.

An insight into the decision making process is useful for a candidate to understand why they have not been offered the role, and will help them to gain closure on the situation. 

Closing the communication loop with clear, concise and constructive feedback is essential for managing a candidate's expectations and building a positive employer brand. 

Closure will also allow candidates the opportunity to continue their job search elsewhere and focus their efforts towards other applications. 

Despite closure being important, we advise that employers and candidates don’t completely burn bridges. Accountancy recruitment specialist, Matt Byrne-Fraser, says “It’s important for candidates and employers to maintain a positive relationship. If a candidate falls short, they might be able to gain any missing experience and then return for an interview at a later date, so it’s vital not to burn bridges.”

To provide an interviewee with constructive criticism

Providing a candidate with interview feedback is an essential part of giving them constructive criticism and helping them with their professional development. 

Feedback is a great tool for self-reflection and therefore enables candidates to objectively assess their performance and work out how they could improve in the future.

Accountancy recruitment specialist, Adam Pickering, explains “It’s crucial to remember that any negative feedback isn’t personal, it’s simply a professional judgement that should be used in a constructive way.” 

Beyond helping a candidate with professional growth, constructive criticism is also an effective way to end a candidate’s interview process on a positive note, even if they have been unsuccessful with their application.

Constructive criticism is also a vital part of providing a candidate with evidence as to why they have not been offered the role. Rather than simply stating they have been unsuccessful, detailing reasons as to why and how they can improve is essential for a professional end to the interview process. 

To be completely transparent

Providing interview feedback helps employers to be completely transparent with candidates. 

Feedback offers insights into the decision-making process and highlights any factors that influenced the employers decision.

Complete transparency is key for assuring a candidate that the decision has been made fairly and professionally, without any form of bias. 

In return, this helps to foster trust between the candidate and the employer and demonstrates that the employer holds themself accountable to a stringent and ethical recruitment process. 

To maintain the reputation of being fair

Providing interview feedback is instrumental for employers in maintaining a reputation of fairness.

Matt Byrne-Fraser says “Candidates who receive constructive feedback, even if it includes areas for improvement, are much more likely to view the process as fair.”

How an employer handles their recruitment process can say a lot about how they present themselves as an organisation. 

Matt continues, “This can positively impact their morale and overall perception of the company, regardless of the outcome.”

If a candidate feels as though they have been subject to an unfair recruitment process, they might choose to make this known by leaving the company a negative review or badmouthing them to their peers.

Consistent, respectful and constructive feedback on the other hand, will reinforce the notion that an employer's decision is based on merit and aligns with principles of honesty and fairness.

It’s also important for employers to provide feedback, either good or bad, in a timely manner.

Accountancy recruitment specialist, Lauren Bailey, explains “Speed is the most important part of the recruitment process; a great candidate will usually have multiple options, interviews, and offers on the table.”

Lauren continues, “If an employer likes a candidate, they should get in touch with them as soon as they can to avoid the disappointment of them going elsewhere.”

How can interview feedback be used positively?

Even if a candidate has not been successful in the recruitment process, receiving interview feedback can be very positive for them.

We advise paying attention to the feedback and using any comments for professional development. Here’s how a candidate can use interview feedback positively:

  • Identify patterns.
  • Create an action plan.
  • Track progress.
  • Create a growth mindset.
  • Positive reinforcement.

Identify patterns

Paying attention to interview feedback is a crucial way for candidates to spot patterns or recurring challenges. If multiple interviewers are providing similar comments, this might indicate an area that requires attention and improvement.

Lauren Bailey, says “Some people may not have interviewed for quite a long time, so this feedback can give them pointers to prepare for future interviews that take place.”

For example, if a candidate is frequently told that they need to provide more structure and evidence within their interview answers, they should consider researching the STAR technique and adopting this method in future interviews. 

Create an action plan

Interview feedback can be utilised to help candidates create a detailed action plan for the future of their job search. Once areas for improvement have been identified, candidates should set themselves small goals to overcome these challenges.

For example, if an employer suggests that a candidate seemed nervous, the candidate might benefit from rehearsing mock interviews with a friend, so that next time they can face a hiring manager with confidence. 

Adam Pickering says “Candidates should use an employer's feedback and the areas they highlighted for improvement, to work on their interviewing skills and go into future interviews with confidence.”

Track progress

There is nothing more satisfying than reflecting on professional growth. Keeping a record of interview feedback is a great way to acknowledge how interview skills have improved with practice.

We advise candidates to regularly assess how they are addressing interview feedback and to celebrate small victories.

Create a growth mindset

Receiving a job rejection might initially feel like a step back within a job search, however, with a growth mindset, challenges and feedback can be viewed as opportunities for learning and development.

Creating a growth mindset is a fantastic way to remain positive throughout a job search and remember, just because one job interview wasn’t successful, it doesn’t mean the next will have the same outcome. 

Positive reinforcement

When an employer provides a candidate with interview feedback, they should not only focus on areas for improvement, but also on the interviewees strengths. Identifying where a candidate performed well is essential for positive reinforcement.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Since 2017, we've been changing the face of recruitment. From our employees, to the way we do business, to the culture within our office, we're determined to make a difference and create a positive impact on everyone around us.

Recruitment to us isn't just about matching candidates and clients; we’re passionate about finding candidates the perfect job which has the ability to boost their salary and standard of living, better their work life balance and improve their mental health. 

Similarly, we understand the impact which an experienced and skilled employee can make to a business and we love seeing clients thrive through the hard work of candidates which we have placed with them. 

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