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How To Give Feedback To An Unsuccessful Candidate

Candidate feedback is vital for maintaining a good employer and candidate relationship right up until the end of the hiring process. Providing feedback that is generic is no help to the candidate and not replying at all — is even worse!

Candidates appreciate constructive and informative feedback that will help them in their next interview.

Be honest

Candidates are used to hearing the same thing ‘unfortunately you have been unsuccessful as there was another candidate who we felt had more experience.’ 

Whilst in some cases this is true, you can elaborate and recommend areas of improvement they can work on in order to be successful in future interviews. If you thought their interest and passion for the potential job role didn’t shine through in the interview — then tell them! This is far more valuable than generic answers that don’t provide constructive criticism.

Be prepared

The best way to provide beneficial feedback is to make sure you have the notes to do so. Many employers and hiring managers fail to provide feedback because they simply do not have the resources to justify their reasons for not hiring the candidate. This is why it’s important to take notes during or after the interview. By making a note of the candidate’s performance it’s easy to refer to this once the candidate requests feedback.

Mention their strengths

Feedback can be hard to hear. The unsuccessful candidate has just found out they didn’t get the job and explaining the reason why they didn’t get it is bound to cause disappointment. However, including the candidate’s strengths and areas where you thought they did well, is a great confidence boost.

Keep it friendly

Receiving a job rejection is never a pleasant experience for anyone. So by keeping it friendly and kind it can make a real difference to a candidate’s hiring experience. This in turn also helps contribute to an improved candidate and employer relationship. Which may encourage unsuccessful candidates to re-apply again in the future for a different role within the same company.

Answer their questions

Once you have sent the requested feedback, the candidate may have additional questions. They might not agree with the things you have said or they may require more clarity on your reasonings. It’s polite to reply and ensure their questions are met with a helpful response. If the candidate still isn’t satisfied, you could arrange a quick phone call to talk more in-depth about their interview performance.

Continue the relationship

Often employers tell the candidate they’ll ‘keep their details on file‘ but more often than not this commonly overused phrase doesn’t have a lot of truth behind it.

However, if you’re serious, ask for the candidate’s permission (consent it key with upcoming GDPR regulations!) to store their data for 6-12 months or until they continue with their job search. So when a new role does arise, they can be the first point of contact for the new opportunity.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs.

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