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Latest blog posts, giving great interview feedback: examples you can use right now.

Interview Feedback

In this article, we talk about interview feedback examples is and why it’s important. In addition, we also provide tips on how to give great feedback, as well as sharing a few things you shouldn’t do when telling candidates why they didn’t get the job.

One centralised solution for all your interview feedback: Personio.

  • 1 What is Interview Feedback?
  • 2 The Pivotal Role of Interview Feedback
  • 3 13 Interview Feedback Best Practices
  • 4 How Do You Write Feedback for an Interview?
  • 5 Example of Interview Feedback You Can Use
  • 6 Document Interview Feedback the Easy Way

What is Interview Feedback?

Interview   feedback  is a  type of feedback  offered to a candidate after they finish interviewing with your company. Giving productive interview feedback can be good for your  employer brand  and general company reputation.

More often than not, interview feedback is given when a candidate did not the job. After all, you likely don’t need to give feedback when you are giving a job offer, instead.

That said, interview feedback is often not provided due to it being a time-consuming and difficult task. But, if done right, feedback can be extremely helpful for candidates who can learn from it and improve their chances of succeeding in future  job interviews .

It’s also good for  candidate experience . And it might even help you employ people more efficiently in the future: whether your first choice turns down the job offer, or if the candidate decides to apply for another role with your company in future.

More often than not, candidates actually want interview feedback. Research by Debut indicated that 77% of over 70,000 18-23-year-olds agreed that feedback should be a legal requirement, and four in five candidates claimed to never have received feedback after interviews.

The Pivotal Role of Interview Feedback

This quote by Mary Jackson, writing in  HR Magazine , sums it up: “Feedback is powerful. Anyone who takes the time to attend an interview is entitled to it.” This is why feedback is so important for your hiring process and reputation, overall.

Imagine if your preferred candidate doesn’t accept the job offer. If you haven’t given helpful and  constructive feedback  to the other candidates who were a near miss (your second or third choice), you might lose the chance to employ them, too!

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13 Interview Feedback Best Practices

Make sure to keep some of these critical interview tips in mind:

Don’t delay! Type up feedback straight after the interview.

Plan any feedback you’ll be giving. Be honest, but kind.

Keep it professional and related to the role.

Set realistic expectations from the moment you call.

Try to avoid being confrontational.

Be helpful. Make your feedback actionable and be concise.

Don’t be vague. Share specific examples.

Make suggestions about what they could do differently in future.

Offer feedback on any or all parts of the hiring process – not just the interviews.

Give positive feedback and praise to build their confidence..

Give feedback on a wide variety of things.

Be consistent. A structured interview process helps with consistency.

Provide structure. Basing things on a framework makes it easier to give accurate, consistent feedback to all candidates.

Don’t forget that you can get candidate feedback, too! This can help improve your whole recruitment process – if you’re up for it.

H.U.G 2022: Strategies to Increase Hiring Velocity and Candidate Retention

how to write an interview evaluation report

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How Do You Write Feedback for an Interview?

The following structure should serve as a strong interview feedback example when you’re offering feedback to a candidate:

First, provide an answer. (Are you hiring them? Yes or no?)

Explain their strengths. (E.g. The candidate demonstrated excellent communication skills. They were courteous and respectful. They showed good knowledge of our industry. They shared our passion for [insert relevant detail].)

Explain why they weren’t a good fit for the company or talk about areas where they can improve. (E.g. They weren’t able to show us they had the required level of experience. Their CV led us to believe they had led a large team but during the interview, we discovered that they had only led a team of two people. They appeared to lack these skills which are part of the job requirement).

Summarise the experience and next steps. (E.g. We will be delighted to employ Max and will be in touch to ask for references shortly. Or the alternative… While we enjoyed meeting Jo, we felt that they do not have the required level of skill at this stage. We welcome applications from them in a few years’ time).

Regardless of whether a candidate did or didn’t get the job, it’s worth following the same process. Not only does this improve consistency, but it also reduces your risk of any exposure from a candidate who is negative about not getting the job, and is an important part of the recruiting process.

Example of Interview Feedback You Can Use

If you’re not really sure how to provide job interview feedback to candidates, here are a few examples that might be helpful.

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What Is Positive Interview Feedback?

Positive interview feedback involves highlighting all the elements that the candidate handled well during the interview. For example, you might like to give feedback and examples of how they showcased their technical skills, communication skills and project management skills.

Remember, never compare them to other candidates and if you can, share some tips for their next steps, whether it's with your company or their career lies elsewhere. You can also ask them for feedback from their experience of the interview process.

What Are Some Examples of Negative Feedback After an Interview?

A lot of candidates you meet may not be the right fit and you need to be able to deliver clear, constructive feedback in a meaningful way to them. Communicate this over a phone call rather than email and be specific with both your compliments and your critiques.

For example, if their experience isn't a match, pinpoint the exact addressable skills that they can work on with online courses. If you see their value, suggest staying in touch – connect on LinkedIn and see if they may be suitable for a different role down the line.

What Not to Do When Giving Feedback

Candidates who didn’t get the job will probably be disappointed. Here are a few tips about what you shouldn’t do, so you can make sure your feedback is both valuable and constructive:

Don’t give them feedback if they don’t want it. Check with them to see if they’d find it valuable before you send it.

Don’t make it personal. It’s natural to hire people we like but if you just don’t like them, don’t tell them. It’s not helpful and it won’t leave a good impression.

Don’t be rude or condescending. Make sure the tone of your response is neutral.

Don’t give them false hope. If you have no intention of considering them for a role in future, don’t tell them that or say you’ll keep their CV on file.

Don’t provide too much information or be careless with your response. If in doubt, consult a legal representative to make sure you’re not opening yourself up to any future come-back from an un-hired candidate.

Document Interview Feedback the Easy Way

Admittedly, it’s time-consuming and can be painful to conduct multiple interviews – never mind giving detailed interview feedback. If you’re ready to automate your recruitment process, take a look at what Personio’s  Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)  offers today.

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7 Tips How to Design a Candidate Interview Evaluation Form

Juste Semetaite

Simplifying and speeding up the time to hire is something every hiring team loves. Talent teams can work smarter, standardizing and streamlining the interview process by using a candidate interview evaluation form. The evaluation form helps teams get on the same page about prospective candidates plus reduce bias .

To help your team make the right choices quickly, we’ll share best practices for designing interview evaluation forms that hook top quality, professional candidates.

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

  • What is an interview evaluation form ? It’s a standard form that interviewers use to evaluate a candidate against a particular set of criteria.
  • What is an interview rubric ? Interview rubrics are included in the evaluation form to enable everyone to assess a candidate fairly, based on a set scoring system.
  • What are the benefits of these evaluation forms? Along with reducing personal bias, they can help to speed up interviews and enable teams to make more data-driven decisions about potential new hires.
  • Lastly, we explore 7 tips to design an interview evaluation form that everyone on the team can use, such as agreeing on success criteria, following a structured interview approach, and leaving enough space for comments or notes on any red flags you might spot .
  • To power up your recruitment process, ensure candidates perform skills assessments before or after interviews. With Toggl Hire’s skills tests, your organization can spot the real talent fast!

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What is a candidate interview evaluation form?

A candidate interview evaluation form is an organizational document that lists a set of fixed criteria for assessing an applicant. These forms help members of the hiring team document their thoughts on each candidate’s performance in an interview.

Since everyone on the team answers the same set of questions and uses the same method to score applicants, it helps make the process more standardized, fair and can ultimately speed up the overall recruitment cycle.

An example of a basic evaluation form to keep the process simple for interviewers.

What is an interview rubric?

An interview rubric , also called a hiring or candidate scorecard , is a scoring tool that enables interviewers to rate specific categories, like education level and communication skills , for each candidate.

It is key component of an interview evaluation form and provides a quantitative way for the hiring team to decide who they want to progress to the next step in the hiring process . The interview rubric can help reduce bias as the team objectively measure, score, and analyze each candidate with the same rating system.

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The team must understand the ratings system and agree on the rating standards, such as 5 – Exceptional, 3 – Average and 1 – Poor.

What is typically included in the interview evaluation form?

Every organization, and possibly each department, may create their own variation of the form. Typically, however, interview evaluation forms include components such as:

Basic details — the date, candidate name and interviewer name, the job title.

An interview rubric — for scoring candidates on each section.

Evaluation criteria or rating explanations — so there is no confusion about scoring.

Interview questions — on core areas, such as appropriate educational qualifications, work experience, interpersonal skills, and knowledge about your company.

Space for adding comments and recommendations — so nobody forgets their thoughts on each applicant.

Companies can save time by using free templates to base their interview evaluation forms on.

🔥 Don’t want to build your candidate scorecard from scratch?  Download our FREE scorecard template for interviews  and check out  assessment template library  for technical screening.

candidate interview scorecard

5 Benefits for creating simple interview evaluation forms

When companies don’t use an evaluation form during the interview process, the process could become more complex and lengthy, resulting in bias creeping in and selecting new hires that may not be a good fit in the long run.

Considering that it takes an average of 42 days to fill a role , anything that drags the process out further will cost the company more time and money.

Plus, to help modernize HR recruiting practices , the team need more quantitative data to make data-driven people decisions. Without a standardized interview evaluation form, the team may rely on gut feel to inform their decisions.

Ultimately, both the business and candidate benefit from this shift to more quantitative data, as it reduces the risk of bias and speeds up the hiring process, among other benefits (like these below).

1. Standardization

Standardization is important in recruitment.

By using standardized interview evaluation forms, it provides a level playing field for all candidates. They’re all assessed based on the same criteria , so it’s consistent no matter who is conducting the interview, and the same scoring method makes it more fair for candidates.

As a result, hiring teams can collate candidate data faster and remove any roadblocks that may slow down the recruitment cycle.

2. Reduce bias

Reducing personal bias in the interview process — like scoring someone with a higher score solely because they went to the same uni as you — can help ensure all candidates are treated equally .

The structured approach and exclusion of personal information, such as age and gender, ensures everyone follows the same procedures, and reviews candidates as objectively as possible.

how to write an interview evaluation report

3. Talent records for easy reference

Hiring teams can quickly and easily review the core info about an applicant by revisiting their evaluation form. This is particularly useful if there are hundreds of applicants for a particular role, or the candidate is considered for a future role. What’s more, clear, quantitative records support the teams’ ability to make data-driven decisions.

4. Improve candidate feedback

Candidates always want to know how they’ve performed in an interview. And they don’t want to wait weeks or months to hear whether they were successful or not. Having all relevant info available immediately on the evaluation form makes it quicker and easier to provide feedback to candidates and deliver a good candidate experience .

5. Ensure compliance

Having records of each candidate interview can simplify any compliance or audit processes . Evaluation forms should provide the evidence needed for any HR compliance related issues, such as litigation concerning the fairness of an appointment.

Interview evaluation forms may be a helpful resource, but how do you create ones that everyone can use? Here are a few tips to guide your approach as you create evaluation forms for your organization.

7 Tips for designing an effective candidate interview evaluation form

Your company’s interview evaluation forms should be easy to use and help the hiring team make quick, analytical decisions on which candidates will go to the next step in the recruitment process. Consider these tips to help you kick-start the process.

1. Prep your interviewers

Before you start designing your evaluation form, you may need to prepare some of the interview team beforehand. First time interviewers, especially, may need some basic training on aspects like:

How to conduct interviews

What bias is and how to avoid it

Body language

What not to ask in interviews

15-Step Interview Training for Hiring Managers

2. Agree on success criteria

Before designing the interview evaluation form, the team needs to decide what success looks like. In other words, what criteria the ideal candidate for the position will need. For example, a good candidate for a project manager role needs a degree in business management, strong leadership skills , five years’ experience, and excellent problem-solving skills.

ideal candidate profile

The team can decide which particular competencies , experience , skills and other requirements to include. And these will shape the questions that you include on the form.

3. Use an interview rubric

An interview rubric is a crucial part of the form. To get everyone on the same page with the scoring method, the team will need to:

  • Quantify the key job skills by using a numerical rating system. For example, a candidate with all five selected skills scores a 5/5.
  • Decide on the rating scale or what each score means so that scoring is consistent across the team. For example, 1 – poor and 3 – satisfactory.
  • Double check before the interview that everyone understands the rating scale and debrief afterwards to ensure everyone followed it correctly.

It’s important that all interviewers use the rubric, so that all candidates are evaluated fairly — against a consistent set of expectations. Plus, it’s a good idea for all interviewers to input on what constitutes a quality answer to add what they’ve learned from their experience.

What’s more, rubrics can help reduce bias by supporting a more analytical approach to interviews. Considering that up to 65% of tech recruiters feel that there is bias in tech recruitment, hiring teams using an interview rubric can help mitigate this.

Scoring candidates numerically can help reduce bias, but final decisions shouldn't be based on candidate scores alone.

4. Follow a structured interview process

A structured interview format is another tool that facilitates fairness in the interview process. With structured interviews, the team uses a pre-defined set of interview questions for every candidate interviewed for a particular role.

What’s great is that this format can help speed up the interview process, as interviewers get less sidetracked (hopefully) with irrelevant details, like the candidate’s favorite type of pizza! If the team are interviewing a boatload of candidates for a role, saving time and staying on track is definitely a must.

Structured interview questions can include:

  • Skill-specific questions , such as ‘What programming language do you prefer and why?’.
  • Behavioral questions , such as ‘Describe a time you had to motivate a team or team member to manage a shorter deadline’.
  • Company culture questions , such as ‘What did you like most about your last company?’. But be careful not to focus too much on ‘culture fit’ and instead look for positive signals of organizational fit.

By asking open-ended questions — ones that start with ‘Why, How, Explain, Describe’ — you’ll get more info from the applicant than basic yes/no type questions.

Unsure about the difference between structured and unstructured interviews? Find the answers here:

Structured Interview vs. Unstructured Interview: Differences Explained Simply

5. Leave space for notes and comments

During an interview, you may hear the candidate say something that piques your interest, for the right or wrong reasons, that you want to discuss with the team afterward.

For example, you notice immediately that the candidate is very braggy about their achievements. And you jot this down as an interview red flag to unpack later.

That’s why it’s a good idea to allow plenty of space on the form for comments , notes, and your overall impression — since remembering something you noticed six candidates ago is not easy for everyone… (except that braggy guy, of course!).

Nobody can remember everything so leave space on your interview evaluation forms for notes and final comments

6. Regularly review your forms

At some point, you and your team may notice that your interview evaluation form needs a few changes, such as adding a section on coping with remote work. Keeping your forms up to date could help minimize any interviewer frustration as the content is up-to-date and ready for them.

In addition, you may need to adjust the form depending on the position. If it’s a junior position, a simple evaluation form will suffice, but for a managerial or leadership position, the form may need more detail, such as delving into the person’s specific experience and abilities.

For a more senior role, including technical skills for instance, can help narrow down the best qualified candidate.

7. Debrief immediately

Our final tip is for interview teams to debrief immediately (or as soon as possible) after interviewing each candidate. Even if it’s only for five minutes. That way, you can compare scores, check everyone’s still on track using the rubric correctly and recalibrate as needed, or correct any team behavior that detracted from the interview.

How to supplement your interviews with skills assessments

Creating an interview evaluation form that is relevant and easy to use will help the hiring manager ensure consistency and a more fair approach when evaluating candidates .

Another key aspect of the recruiting cycle is skills assessments. Skills tests focus on applicants’ actual skills and capabilities, filtering out those with high potential . With 49% of today’s employees working in jobs unrelated to their formal education, there’s a lot of scope for a skills-first approach in hiring .

Skills assessments fit in well in two different spots in the recruiting cycle:

You can assess candidates’ skills before the interview. And use the test score to identify the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, which the panel can discuss with the applicant during the interview.

Or, you can assess candidates’ skills after the initial interviews. That’ll be once the high-level technical and cultural fit has already been confirmed.

work sample vs interview

The great news… Toggl Hire can support both of these skills-first approaches with our easy-to-use skills platform! Plus, help your organization stamp out bias and deliver a candidate experience that hooks a diverse range of mega talent. Browse our assessment library to find what you need !

Juste Semetaite

Juste loves investigating through writing. A copywriter by trade, she spent the last ten years in startups, telling stories and building marketing teams. She works at Toggl Hire and writes about how businesses can recruit really great people.

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  1. FREE 7+ Interview Evaluation Samples in PDF

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  3. FREE 7+ Interview Evaluation Samples in PDF

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  6. FREE 14+ Interview Evaluation Forms in MS Word

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