Providing Feedback to Unsuccessful Candidates

The task of advising candidates that they have been unsuccessful is generally not the most anticipated part of the process. When it has been done well however, it provides an opportunity to provide clear feedback to the candidate which may be of use to them in future career activities and will be a positive reflection of your employment brand.

Firstly, the decision that a candidate has been unsuccessful should have clearly defined reasoning without assumptions or opinions. The interviewer should know the specific knowledge and/or behaviours the candidate needed to demonstrate for each of the selection criteria during the interview and this in turn will form the basis of the feedback – you can use relevant examples from your interview notes. Provide suggestions such as researching a job more thoroughly, or seeking out more relevant challenging situations or professional development.

When closing the conversation, ensure you do not make disingenuous offers i.e. offering to keep in touch if you are not able to, and remember to provide a sincere thank you for their interest in your team and organisation.