Interview Feedback Examples: A Guide for HR Managers

Interview Feedback Examples

In this article we dive into the nuances of interview feedback and its importance while also providing examples for you to better understand this vital aspect of the recruitment process.

What is interview feedback?

Interview feedback is an integral part of the recruiting process where hiring managers provide insights about a candidate's interview performance.

It gives candidates an understanding of their technical skills, communication skills, and overall comportment during the interview.

Whether the feedback is positive, constructive, or a blend of both, it serves as a tool for improvement, honing one's abilities, and refining the interview process.

Useful Read: Types of Job Interviews and Strategies for HR Professionals

The role of interview feedback in the hiring process

Before we delve into the specifics, let's take a moment to understand interview feedback's central role.

  • Improves Candidate Experience: Constructive interview feedback allows candidates to learn from their experience, making the entire process more fruitful and less intimidating.

  • Enhances Communication Skills: Detailed feedback can help candidates improve their communication skills, providing them with specific areas to work on for future interviews.

  • Encourages Continuous Learning: With insights into their strengths and weaknesses, candidates can focus on improving their technical skills and other areas, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

  • Streamlines the Hiring Process: By providing interview feedback, hiring managers can document interview feedback to refine their hiring process and ensure they're effectively evaluating candidates.

  • Builds Trust and Transparency: Giving interview candidate feedback promotes openness and honesty, fostering a trustworthy relationship between the candidate and the company.

  • Supports Employer Branding: Companies that provide effective interview feedback can positively impact their employer brand, signaling that they value all candidates, even the unsuccessful ones.

Different types of feedback and their significance

Red Ring Binder with Inscription Feedback on Background of Working Table with Office Supplies, Laptop, Reports. Toned Illustration. Business Concept on Blurred Background.In interviews, feedback usually falls into three categories: positive, constructive, and mixed.

  • Positive Feedback: This type of feedback focuses on the candidate's strengths. It emphasizes what the candidate did well and reinforces the technical skills and behaviors that made them stand out. Positive interview feedback is critical for building confidence and honing in on areas of expertise.

  • Constructive Feedback: Constructive feedback, also known as constructive criticism, pinpoints areas where the candidate can improve. It’s not meant to discourage but to construct a path for the candidate's growth, highlighting areas for improvement.

  • Mixed Feedback: Mixed feedback combines elements of both positive and constructive feedback. It provides a balanced view of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses, providing a comprehensive roadmap for improvement.

Useful read: Revolutionizing Workplace Success: The Importance of Employee Feedback

The importance of constructive feedback in interviews

Constructive feedback plays an indispensable role in interviews. It’s a window into the areas that need improvement, presenting candidates with actionable feedback to elevate their performance in future interactions.

The role of constructive criticism

Constructive criticism focuses on specific behaviors and skills, giving candidates a clear vision of what they need to work on. It’s not about highlighting shortcomings but providing a constructive approach to personal and professional development.

Benefits of receiving feedback post-interview

  • Facilitates Learning and Growth: Constructive feedback fuels learning, helping candidates enhance their skills and grow professionally.

  • Promotes Self-awareness: Feedback helps candidates gain self-awareness about their skills and behaviors, encouraging introspection and self-improvement.

  • Aids in Performance Improvement: Actionable feedback guides candidates towards performance improvement, making each interview a stepping-stone toward success.

  • Enhances Preparation for Future Interviews: Feedback equips candidates with a better understanding of what hiring managers look for, thereby aiding in better preparation for future interviews.

  • Strengthens Interview Strategy: Feedback can help refine interview strategies, making candidates more effective and confident during interviews.

How can feedback influence future interview performance?

Giving and receiving interview feedback serves as a catalyst for change. Feedback can dramatically influence a candidate's performance in future interviews, from providing insights about the interview process to highlighting the need to improve certain technical skills or communication abilities.

10 interview feedback best practices

Young business colleagues working as a team sitting together at a desk sharing a laptop computer with focus to a smiling friendly woman

Giving and receiving feedback is a nuanced process that can shape a candidate's career trajectory and a company's hiring process. To harness the power of feedback, let's explore ten best practices for providing effective interview feedback.

1. Be specific and clear

When giving feedback, being specific is crucial. Avoid generic comments like "You need to improve." Instead, describe the area they should focus on, for example, "Your technical skills are strong, but you could work on presenting your thoughts more clearly."

2. Provide timely feedback

Providing feedback promptly helps candidates remember their performance better and shows respect for their time and effort.

3. Balance the positive and constructive

While it's essential to highlight areas for improvement, it's equally important to acknowledge what the candidate did well. This balance makes feedback more palatable and effective.

4. Keep it actionable

Feedback should be more than just a commentary on the candidate's performance. It should provide actionable insights for candidates to improve their performance in future interviews.

5. Be empathetic and respectful

Remember that interviews can be stressful. Deliver your feedback with empathy, ensuring your tone and language are respectful.

6. Focus on behaviors, not personality

When giving feedback, focus on the candidate's actions or behaviors, not their personality. This ensures the feedback is objective and not personal.

7. Avoid biases

Ensure your feedback is based on the candidate's performance in the interview and not influenced by any personal biases or prejudices.

8. Encourage questions

After giving feedback, allow candidates to ask questions. This opens up a dialogue and helps them understand your feedback better.

9. Document your feedback

Keeping a record of your feedback can be useful for future reference, both for the hiring manager and the candidate. This practice supports the continuous learning and development of the hiring process.

10. Offer resources for improvement

Suggest resources like books, courses, or articles that the candidate could use to work on the areas highlighted in the feedback. This shows your commitment to their growth and development, even if they don't fit the current position.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your feedback is a constructive and valuable part of the candidate's interview experience.

6 examples of interview feedback

Portrait of a serious businesswoman using laptop in office-3Providing interview feedback that's clear, actionable, and respectful can sometimes be a daunting task. If you're unsure about how to communicate your observations effectively, here are six examples to guide you:

1. When a candidate lacks the necessary skills: 

"Thank you for your interest in the role. In the interview, we noticed that you're not yet proficient in [insert skill], which is crucial for the position. We encourage you to develop this skill for future opportunities."

2. When a candidate is overqualified: 

"Given your comprehensive expertise and experience in this field, we believe this role may not fully leverage your talents or provide you with the growth opportunities you likely seek."

3. When a candidate's interview performance was strong: 

"Your ability to articulate your ideas clearly and your in-depth knowledge of [insert specific field or skill] made a strong impression during the interview. Your enthusiasm for the role was also particularly noticeable."

4. When a candidate needs to improve communication skills:

"While your technical skills are impressive, we observed that you could work on your communication skills, especially when explaining complex concepts. This is a vital skill for this role, and improving in this area could significantly enhance your future interview performance."

5. When a candidate's cultural fit is questionable: 

"We appreciate your interest and time. However, we believe that our company culture may not align perfectly with your work style. Culture fit is important to us, as it ensures that both the employee and the company can thrive."

6. When a candidate was close but didn't quite make it: 

"Your qualifications and experience were impressive, and we enjoyed our conversation. However, the selection process was highly competitive, and we have decided to move forward with a candidate who slightly edged out based on our current requirements. Please do not be disheartened as we found your profile to be strong and encourage you to apply for future positions."

Remember, the goal of giving feedback is not just to justify a hiring decision but to provide candidates with a learning opportunity. Each piece of feedback is a stepping stone for the candidate, helping them inch closer to their career goals.

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Interview feedback is a crucial bridge between candidates and hiring managers, fostering growth, learning, and improvement. This guide is aimed to help you navigate the nuances of feedback effectively. 

Always remember feedback, whether it's positive or constructive, is a stepping stone toward professional development. Embrace it with openness and let it guide your path to success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While requesting feedback, a candidate should be professional and appreciative of the opportunity. The request can be made via email and should focus on understanding areas of improvement. It could read something like, "I appreciate the opportunity to interview for the role and would be grateful for any feedback that could help me improve for future opportunities."

  • No, it's not mandatory for companies to provide feedback, and some companies may even have policies against providing interview feedback to avoid legal complications. However, many organizations understand the value of providing feedback and make it a standard part of their recruitment process.

  • If a candidate disagrees with the feedback, it's important to approach the situation professionally. They can seek clarification on specific points, asking for examples or further explanations. The key is to engage in a dialogue, not a debate. Remember, the intention of feedback is to learn and grow, not to defend or argue.

Topic: Interview
Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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