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Giving interview feedback – why would you want to do that?

The common belief is that employers can’t be bothered giving candidates feedback after interviews.  Most people who are actively applying for jobs and attending interviews will tell you that they don’t hold out much hope of hearing back from the company unless they’ve been successful.

So employers aren’t bothered about giving interview feedback.  I don’t buy it.  The reason I don’t buy it is because this page is by far the most popular page on our website.  That’s right – this page is all about how to give interview feedback.  The Google search terms used to find this page include:

“interview feedback”

“how to give interview feedback”

“giving feedback after interview”

“providing interview feedback examples”

“how to give feedback after an interview”

And a number of variations on the above.

The number of searches and hits indicates to me that employers are bothered and do want to give feedback.  They just need to know how.

The trouble is that giving feedback is perceived as a difficult conversation and can be risky in itself.  Telling someone that you don’t think they’re right for the job is essentially telling them that they’re not good enough.  If that’s not a difficult conversation then I don’t know what is.  There’s the risk that the candidate takes it badly.  They want to know more detail than the employer wants to share with them.  Or they want to know upon what objective criteria the decision has been based.  Worse still, they take objection to the feedback and decide that it’s worth pursuing a discrimination claim.

I can see why employers would think that giving interview feedback is just too risky.  Better to have people think that they can’t be bothered rather than put their necks on the line.  Besides, no one else is giving feedback these days so really, is it worth it?

The fact that not many employers give feedback after interview is the perfect reason to do it.  After all, what better way to stand out from the competition by valuing candidates’ time and efforts and rewarding them with constructive feedback?  Giving feedback is a skill that can be learnt and learning to do it well will make any employer stand out from the crowd.

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