Giving feedback after an interview

We all love making the phone call where we tell the person they got the job. That is the best feeling. What isn’t easy is telling the person who didn’t get the job why.

So you have two options on how you notify the candidate – on the phone or by email. If it’s early in the process, then an email is acceptable. However, if someone has made themselves available for a few interviews, then a phone call is more appropriate.


By giving your candidate feedback after the interview, you will help them in their next interview, and they will appreciate your help.

  • Don’t put it off
    If you know the outcome of an interview, then pass that information on to the candidates. Remember that these candidates are looking for a job so the sooner you can let them know the sooner they can continue with their job search.
    The longer you leave it, the harder it is to give constructive feedback. 24-48 hours to provide feedback is typically long enough. If you need longer, let the candidate know, so they don’t feel forgotten about.
  • Prepare
    Knowing what you want to give feedback on and how to say it a candidate is so important. The last thing you want to be seen as is hurtful or rude. Think about how you can phrase the feedback so that it comes across constructively. So rather than saying “You didn’t get the job” you might consider saying “We like that you have experience in ABC, but we are looking for someone with experience in XYZ.”
    You want your feedback to benefit the candidate and improve their skills for the next interview, and hopefully, it will help them land their dream job.
  • Interview notes
    Take notes during your interviews or shortly after they’ve finished, so that you don’t forget the more important details.
    This means that when you meet with the hiring manager, you have detailed feedback on each interview and who to move forward with. And when it comes to each candidate, you will be able to give plenty of constructive feedback to refer to with clear examples.
  • Bring in the positives
    Feedback doesn’t have to be all negative. If there was something about the candidate that everyone liked to make sure you let them know.
    Positive feedback will give that person a lift, and it will soften the blow. People like to hear about what they did right, and they want to have something positive to take away.

So whether you decide to give feedback over the phone or email, be sure that any feedback you provide is constructive. You want to give them something useful to work on, and hopefully, they will brush up on their skills and nail the next interview.

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