We often talk about the benefits of feedback at work and how to provide and receive feedback in a positive and constructive manner. Yet, we rarely mention the importance of giving and receiving feedback after a job interview.

In most cases applicant are warned in advance that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. Some companies pride, that they contact all applicants, even rejected ones, to inform them about their progress in the recruitment process.

Unfortunately, even if recruiters follow through, usually the response applicants receive isn’t timely at all and is a template, which doesn’t say anything about the candidate’s personal performance. To make things worse, in the rare cases where an applicant actually seeks feedback, recruiters seem to be rather annoyed and reluctant to answer directly.

Recruiters seeking feedback from rejected applicants, or applicants who have declined the job offer are white whales. This miscommunication gap between applicants and recruiters during all of the recruitment stages creates quite a few issues and is paid rather expensively by both parts.

Giving feedback to good applicants after a job interview

Sometimes the situation seems clear – you are a good applicant, we chose you, so we like what you have to offer. Why bother telling you so?

Actually, this is a good opportunity for recruiters to point out which characteristics of that applicant they found appealing and thus set the first layer of expectations.

Furthermore, those are also the best people to ask why did they choose your company and what is that you do right as recruiters. You can always improve, but is good to know where you did right.

Then we have the less clear situation of having good applicants, bud deciding not to hire them. Logically those would be the applicants most unclear about the reasons recruiters have rejected them and most settled upon finding out what went wrong.

The humane thing to do is let them understand they are good applicants and likely to be hired under slightly different circumstances instead of making them feel like rejects. Another reason to give those people feedback after the job interview is creating a honest and reputable image of yourself in front of perspective employees.

Giving feedback to bad applicants after a job interview

Why would recruiters bother giving feedback to applicants obviously unapt for the job in question?

Because if enough recruiters start doing that more often, it’s highly likely this method will start serving as a preemptive measure against wasting their own time by unsuitable candidates. Applicants would be able to create a clearer picture about the job situation at the moment and which employment possibilities could be a match for their skillset.

Receiving feedback from applicants after a job interview

Lastly, why seek feedback from job applicants, especially rejected ones?

Because by listening to whatever they have to say, recruiters would be able to start shaping their job advertisements in a manner, which will attract a more appropriate crowd and keep all the rest at a distance.

This is only the first step of wasting less time and resources with the recruitment process and re-shaping it into a pleasant and efficient activity. Furthermore, by following through with the applicants’ career paths and connecting those with the initial feedback, recruiters could correlate eventual success or lack of such with initial expectations and ideas about the company.