Posted on 4th November 2016 by Jon Terry

Don't be Scared of Feedback

Don't be Scared of Feedback

It is unfortunately very common for candidates to not receive any feedback if they were unsuccessful after an interview. However, not receiving feedback makes candidates question where they went wrong, who filled the position and why they were chosen over them? - is it due to their Sex? Age? Sexuality? Race?

Without constructive feedback, disappointed candidates start to imagine all kinds of negatives and may express the situation with their friends and family, or even post their frustrations on social media. Suddenly, the company that was concerned about giving the wrong impression, has done just that, whilst getting a negative review for the world to see.

So why aren’t candidates receiving appropriate feedback? Is it due to laziness? Or fear of feedback being misinterpreted, resulting in a legal tangle?

Whatever the reason, we believe that not giving feedback does more harm than giving it.

Yes, it may be daunting

We know that you may find it daunting to give feedback to unsuccessful, upset candidates. There is also the risk that rejected candidates won’t take no for an answer and threaten organisations with discrimination claims. However, if handled correctly, you can make sure candidates feel no need to complain.

For example, “I am afraid that you did not present yourself in the right way. The role requires significant relationship building skills and yet the interviewer did not feel that you were able to deliver that. For example, you seemed incapable of holding eye contact during the interview and looked uncomfortable.

“Your experience is good but your apparent lack of confidence means that we felt other candidates interviewed better.”

Yes, this may seem slightly brutal but it is constructive, understandable and fair, and if candidates decide to take the feedback on board, they will work on it and benefit when the next interview arrives.

Prepare your feedback

Prepare your feedbackThere are many procedures that will help you collect relevant information and make giving feedback that little bit easier. For example, take notes during the interview of what needs improving or what the candidate is missing, this will leave you with relevant examples to fall back on if the candidate is to question them.

Be honest

Be honest and tell them something useful. If they haven’t got the right skills or lack of experience for the job, tell them - they’re never going to know if you don’t tell them and they are most likely going to be appreciative of your feedback.

When giving your feedback, it is important to make sure you don’t sell the candidate false hope. Terms such as ‘it’s a no for now’ can make the candidate feel as though when the next position opens, the job is as good as theirs. This will not benefit either party as its wasting both their time and yours. With this being said, if a candidate does look promising for the future it’s a good idea to keep their CV on file, but don’t make too much of this when talking to them in case someone better comes along.

If you’re still unsure, contact an executive recruitment consultant who can offer you expert advice and guide you through the recruitment, interview and feedback process.

Be more confident in giving feedback

Not giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate may do more harm than informing them on where they went wrong and what they could improve on. So it’s essential that you be more confident on giving feedback if you are the interviewer, and you take it on board it if you are the interviewee.

Wright Solutions offer executive recruitment services and have a team of expert executive recruiters that specialise in placing candidates for executive roles within Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development.

For more information or to discuss our services please feel free to get in touch either by telephone on 0121 222 5599 or by email to Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn or sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

Jon Terry

By Jon Terry

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