Interview feedback is integral to the recruitment process, but figuring out phrasing can get tricky. This article offers candidate interview feedback examples that HR professionals can use for inspiration.

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What is interview feedback?

Interview feedback is the feedback given to a job candidate after they finish the interview process with a company. While some organizations do not provide interview feedback, it is best practice to offer it, as it benefits both the candidate and the employer. 

With interview feedback, applicants can receive valuable information about their interview performance that they can use to increase their chances of success in future job interviews. 

At the same time, having a reputation for giving helpful interview feedback can contribute to a positive employer brand and help organizations with recruitment. It demonstrates that a company respects applicants’ time and recognizes the effort it takes to interview for a role.

Interview feedback best practices

When it comes to giving interview feedback, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.

  • Honesty. The most important thing in interview feedback is to be honest. Even if your feedback is critical, a candidate needs to hear it so that they may improve in the future.
  • Sensitivity. Being rejected for a job is disappointing and difficult, so it’s important to treat interviewees with sensitivity, recognizing that they may still feel the sting of their rejection.
  • Actionability. Focus on giving truly actionable feedback. When you can, provide suggestions for how the candidate can improve. 
  • Positivity. Whenever you can, don’t forget to mention the things that the candidate did well. This will make it much easier for them to hear critical feedback.
  • Deliberateness. Recognize that this conversation is important and meaningful to the candidate and their career. Take the time to prepare for it and be deliberate with what you say. 
  • Timeliness. It’s best to give interview feedback as soon as possible after the interview while it is still fresh on people’s minds. 
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Some examples of positive interview feedback

Here are some samples of positive interview feedback and how you can phrase it to offer constructive criticism. 

  • “Your positive attitude and friendliness made interviewing you a pleasure.”
  • “You spoke knowledgeably about the topics we covered in the interview and demonstrated expertise in the field.”
  • “You were confident and comfortable during the interview.”
  • “You communicated effectively and gave clear and concise answers.” 
  • “You came well-prepared for the interview and gave us the impression that you were genuinely interested in working with our organization.” 

Some examples of constructive interview feedback

In addition to positive feedback, it’s also important to give constructive feedback with actionable suggestions for improvement. Here are some tips on how you can phrase constructive interview feedback.

  • “While you answered our questions competently, your lack of questions for us gave us the impression that you may have been unprepared. In the future, it would be a good idea to plan ahead and think of questions to ask your interviewers.”
  • “Your communication was great, but your body language indicated some discomfort and nerves. Consider making more eye contact with the interviewing team to appear more confident.”
  • “Your educational background is perfect for the role, but you don’t have the work experience we’re looking for. It might be helpful to try out some internships in the field before reapplying for a position like this one.” 

Negative interview feedback examples

The hardest feedback to give is negative, as it must be phrased tactfully and respectfully to avoid being hurtful. Here are some examples of how to politely word interview feedback for unsuccessful candidates.

  • “Your performance on our interview exercises indicated a lack of the necessary knowledge for this role.”
  • “We are unable to move forward with you because your educational background does not match what we are looking for.” 
  • “With the years of experience you have in this role, we are unfortunately unable to offer you what would be a fair salary and room for growth.” 
  • “During the interview, we found that you were unable to demonstrate familiarity with the technical skills necessary for this position.” 
  • “In the process of interviewing you, we found that your personal values do not align with those of the company.” 
  • “With your current lack of essential work experience in this industry, we do not believe you’d be successful in this role.”

The importance of giving candidates interview feedback

Offering candidates detailed feedback after interviews can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth doing as a way to improve the candidate experience and earn a reputation as a thoughtful, caring employer. Next time you’re unsure about what to say or how to say it, revisit these interview feedback examples for some inspiration. 

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Tali Sachs

From Tali Sachs

Tali is a content marketing manager at HiBob. She's been writing stories since before she knew what to do with a pen and paper. When she's not writing, she's reading sci-fi, snuggling with her cats, or singing at an open mic.