Sharing feedback with a candidate after the interview is critically important. This process does two things.  First, gathering feedback on the candidate from your interview team helps you decide if the candidate is the right fit for the position. Second, it allows the candidate to better understand how their skills fit, or don’t fit with the firm and provides them need context regarding their skill and their interview abilities.

Here are three tips to remember when preparing and providing feedback to a candidate.

Feedback should be relatable to the job

Inform the candidate how their skill and experience relate to the needs outlined in the job description.  There should be a direct correlation between what a candidate says they have done related to the job and the requirements of the job. Sometimes the experience may not match 100% as two jobs cannot be the same, but the candidate should at least be experienced in the core requirements of the role. Any further relevant experience is considered a “nice to have”.  Let the candidate know this.

Also, let the candidate know where their experience did not meet the need, and where they may need to grow and train more.

Feedback should be detailed

When delivering candidate feedback, you may realize that the details you jotted down during the meeting are not adequate. You are struggling to remember all the details of the conversation you had. To overcome this, it is helpful to have a list of focus areas and jot down all the relevant details during the interview.  These more detailed notes are helpful when sharing with your team and hiring directors as well as when you provide feedback to the candidate.

Jotting down the details during the interview is important as it helps you recall what the candidate did in their previous roles and how it matches your firm’s needs. If a candidate is explaining their role in generic terms, make sure to follow up and dig deeper. Follow-up questions are the most important ones in an interview.

Here are some examples of outstanding follow-up questions:

  • What was the thinking behind the decision?
  • How did you test the decision and define success?
  • What specific challenges came up and how did you resolve the issue?
  • When dealing with customers, how did you overcome pushback?

From your notes, you should be able to provide very specific and detailed feedback to the candidate.

Feedback should be quantifiable

Why is the candidate the right hire? Why are they not?  If you believe the candidate is right, you should be able to quantify it. Yes, there is a matter of gut feeling, i.e. you liked the candidate, and they seemed to gel with the team. However, there should be a balance between quantifiable metrics and gut feelings when providing feedback to the candidate.

Providing candidates with clear, and quantifiable feedback is an important part of the interview process.  Doing this starts with the interview and your interview team.  Asking questions that involve data makes it easier for you to measure the aptitude of the candidate, and as a result, helps you make the right decision faster.  Asking open-ended questions and then giving the candidate space to answer is also important.  And take note, always.  These notes will be used as you and your team evaluate the candidate for the role as well as when you are providing feedback to the candidate.

By using these simple steps next time you interview, you can have a more insightful interview and make better hiring decisions.