Interview feedback is key to creating a successful workforce

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I agree with this as I think it can be very difficult for some candidates to develop their interview skills without valuable feedback. Unfortunately in my experience of delivering feedback, ...


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Never receiving feedback can cause employability issues because people will struggle to improve for the next interview

To bring the best candidates into an organisation it is crucial that an efficient recruitment process is in place. Without effective interview feedback it can become a rejection cycle for both the candidate and the employer.

A major part of the recruitment process that is often overlooked by recruiters is provision of interview feedback. There is a common frustration among candidates regarding interview feedback, as revealed by student and graduate careers app Debut – four out of five respondents had never received any feedback after attending a face-to-face interview, and this has become the norm.

Today recruiters have a wider range of interview methods, including online applications, assessment centres, video interviews, psychometric testing and other industry-specific tests. As the selection process becomes more rigorous candidates need to be prepared for anything. They are often expected to do a lot of research, several rounds of interviews, as well as preparing presentations. The hoops they are asked to jump through can seem endless. If they are ultimately successful and get the job they are likely to receive some positive feedback. If they are not successful they will be even keener to get something out of the process, rather than the feelings of disappointment and frustration.

Those who have attended countless interviews and never received feedback can experience employability issues because they will struggle to improve and develop their skills ready for the next opportunity. We are always glad to see a candidate apply for another role with Fujitsu, having learnt from the feedback previously shared.

Performance, whether that is in the job or within an interview, is driven by effective experience. With no previous interview feedback to reflect upon a candidate will only recall the questions and answers that stood out to them. A recruiter may have a completely different view of those answers, which can drastically alter the candidate’s future performance when shared. Our greatest success is often built on a series of failures we have learnt from.

Feedback is powerful. Anyone who takes the time to attend an interview is entitled to it. Debut’s research shows that the amount of time candidates spend preparing for a face-to-face interview is anywhere between 30 minutes to five or more hours. With no feedback from a previous interview the preparation for the next one is a difficult task. On top of that, the average cost of attending a face-to-face interview is £41. This cost can include travel, new clothes and dry-cleaning. This average cost excludes potential annual leave from their current employer. With all the time, effort, and money spent on an interview, candidates deserve our feedback.

Employers need to see the holistic value in giving feedback. The experience of receiving feedback will have a positive impact on the quality of interviewed candidates in the future. It will cut down the time it takes to find the right person, and eventually the UK workforce will benefit as more people will be in employment.

As an employer we also have to consider our reputation. Candidates are an important stakeholder group, just as our clients are. We would not ignore our clients so why should we ignore candidates? We are always asking for feedback from our clients, so why shouldn’t we give feedback to candidates? Reputation is vital in securing top talent. If a candidate has a negative experience during the interview process it will spread in seconds via word of mouth or digital platforms.

A survey by Debut revealed that 77% of people aged 18 to 23 in the UK think it should be a legal requirement for employers to share feedback after a face-to-face interview. It has launched a national petition urging the government to set rules for employers on sharing interview feedback with all candidates. We strongly support the campaign and believe it should be enforced among all employers, HR departments and recruiters.

Mark Jackson is EMEIA lead for internal mobility and junior talent acquisition at Fujitsu

Comments

I agree with this as I think it can be very difficult for some candidates to develop their interview skills without valuable feedback. Unfortunately in my experience of delivering feedback, especially if it is around areas for development, candidates can become quite defensive and in some cases argue that they don't agree! I think this puts people off from giving negative feedback as you need to be quite robust yourself when delivering negative feedback and being prepared to be challenged. Of course I am summarising here but I know that not giving difficult feedback can be the easy route out. Perhaps more training of key staff on delivering feedback is required so it is done in a tactful way without the candidate being put off by the company or damaging the company brand.


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