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Post interview feedback is vital.

There are two sides to this – delivering the hopefully good news and then the not so good news.

You need to let your preferred candidate know straight away – remember they might be seeing other potential employers so you need to secure their interest and buy in super quick!

Plus if they turn you down (and they might) you need to contact your next preferred candidate pronto!

Once you’ve secured your preferred candidate you need to contact the unsuccessful ones.

Giving prompt feedback, however uncomfortable you may feel giving it, is essential.  Not least because in doing so you are protecting your organisation’s reputation.

It reflects extremely badly on your company if you don’t do it, and you never know, the candidate may be back for a different position at another point in time.

Plus, the unsuccessful candidates will have spent time, effort and money (travel costs, potentially invested in new clothes and a hair cut) to do all they could to impress you.  The very least you can do is to take the time to give them some meaningful feedback.

It’s not easy to tell someone they have not been successful but these pointers will help you deliver the news:

Be timely and efficient

Having to wait more than a few days can be difficult when you’ve had an interview, so try and be efficient when giving feedback.  The longer you leave it the more likely the candidate will assume it is bad news.

Also, the candidate may be waiting on your feedback before accepting other job offers, or applying for other positions, so keeping them waiting unnecessarily is not very polite or fair.

Ideally, you should tell candidates at the interview stage when they can expect to hear from you. A good benchmark to aim for is around a week, or five business days after the interview.

Choose the right method

There are a few ways that you can give feedback, face to face, in writing or on the phone.

You should choose the method which is most comfortable to you, and allows you to get across what you mean.

Here at WMJobs we recommend giving feedback over the phone.

The benefits of this method are that it allows for a detailed breakdown and allows the candidate the opportunity to ask questions.

A face to face approach may seem more personal but given time factors it’s probably more efficient to do it over the phone.  At least with verbal feedback even if not in person any queries the candidate may have can be answered immediately.

Be as detailed as possible

Make every effort to provide honest feedback.

Don’t tell everyone they came a close second, people will only learn and improve from honest feedback.

If you do decide to write to the candidate remember to keep it personal an email titled “Dear CANDIDATE” will show how little thought and effort you’ve put into something.

Be helpful and constructive

It can be useful to have a list of points you wish to feedback to an interviewee if you plan on speaking to them on the phone/in person.

If you’re choosing the email method, take time to construct a helpful letter that contains lots of positive advice that the candidate can take away with them.

However you deliver the news try to remain upbeat in tone, especially if the candidate performed well but wasn’t quite right for the role.

The aim is not to destroy their confidence but to give them some useful feedback that might just help them to land the next job.