How to Give Effective Feedback to Candidates

How to give effective feedback

How to give effective feedback

Posted on August 2017 By Ellie Somers

How to Give Effective Feedback to Candidates

Only 30% of companies today provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates after an interview.

The other 70% neglect their potential future candidates at the earliest opportunity by failing to provide any feedback whatsoever. Debut, the award-winning student and graduate careers app, has launched a petition to request that all companies should have to give feedback after a face-to-face interview.

Feedback can be invaluable to unsuccessful candidates and provides key areas for them to improve for their next opportunity. However, all feedback is not good feedback! Here are some quick dos and don’ts to make sure you’re doing it right!


  • Be specific

Any sort of vague description of what went wrong for the candidate won’t help them improve, so be specific so they know exactly what they need to work on.

  • Limit your amount of feedback

Too much information, especially negative information, may harm the candidate’s performance and confidence more than it will improve it in the long run. Give the most important feedback but perhaps restrict yourself on giving feedback on subjective behaviours.

  • Keep it interactive

Ask the candidate how they feel the interview went before providing feedback; the chances are, they may know it didn’t go very well for them and they’ll be wanting to know what they could have done better.


  • Let feedback get personal

Focus on the actions of the person rather than their personality when providing feedback to make it more constructive.

  • Make feedback about issues the employee can’t control

There is no point criticizing someone on their speech impediment because they can’t control it.

  • Wait to give feedback

If you need to see more candidates to make a decision, let the candidate know but if you know they’ve been unsuccessful, let them know as soon as possible to minimise their time feeling anxious.