Giving feedback after interview

Charlotte Price

| 38 Posts

Chartered Member

4 Apr, 2013 11:41

Dear all,

Following a recent interview, we rejected a candidated.  We felt they were the wrong fit with our Company in terms of team fit.  The lady was capable but was scruffy in the interview (and this is a customer facing role) and came over opinionated.  She also cried when we asked her why she was leaving her current job (because her husband is unwell).  Although this wasn't a deciding factor, we did wonder if she has the strength of character for the role, but as said, it was not the deciding factor.

She would now like feedback.  I'm not sure how to raise the issue of her appearance and even if I should, but how do you feedback about team fit?  It's just something you feel would be wrong and it's difficult to explain.

Has anyone had to feedback to candidates when there is very little to choose between the short-list and where they are capable but it just comes down to something more "soft" and subjective?

Comments and advice from your experience always welcome.

Thanks, Charlotte.

  • Suzy

    | 163 Posts


    4 Apr, 2013 13:20

    Hi Charlotte


    I always keep it brief and just explain that there were candidates whose personality and skill set more closely match the criteria we were recruiting against?


    Explain that succesful candidates were those who provided demonstrable experience of success in a customer facing role and whose personality would complement the existing teams. So, more a case of personality fit than tangible skill


    Kind Regards



  • David Bareham

    | 189 Posts

    Chartered Member

    4 Apr, 2013 15:10

    If you really want to help her, why not mention the scruffiness?  That is something you could really help her with as the rest is more subjective.

    You don't have to use that term, just that her clothes didn't give the right impression for such a customer facing role eg her suit wasn't pressed, or she would have looked smarter in a suit, or her shoes weren't polished or the pink spangly trainers weren't quite right - whatever suits really. You can allways say competition was particularly fierce and it was difficult to choose so it came down to minor detail in the end.

    I wouldn't go near the husband's illness/crying issue.

  • Peter

    | 7570 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    4 Apr, 2013 16:15

    Of course the difficulty here might be that her scruffiness was the result of sleepless nights and a rushed dash from the bedside to the interview, so in this case Suzy's suggestion may be the best option, but I do tend to agree with David too.

    If a candidate has asked for feedback then it can be for one of two reasons: Either they genuinely want to know if there are issues they need to deal with, or they are trying to set us up for a descrimination claim :-)

     Which it is may well be clear from the request, but while people should be "let down gently" I think that we need to respect the request and tell them what was wrong.

    So maybe: "...the panel was not sure your presentation at interview was quite right for a customer-facing role..." rather than: "'....'cos you're scruffy and cried....", but I would also take care if expressing lack of "team fit" as it can easily come over as: "....because you're not black and gay like the rest of the Brothers...." (Or conversely: "...because you are black and gay un-like.....").

    So be honest, but also be kind, and don't dig yourself any holes.....


  • Charlotte Price

    | 38 Posts

    Chartered Member

    8 Apr, 2013 10:34

    Thank you all for your comments.  I was thinking of going down the brief avenue!  I've been asked with the view to improving chances at future interviews, but I'm always wary.  There is no obvious cause for concern RE: discrimination (I love your comments thank you Peter!).

    Sometimes it just helps to share and get other opinions, which of course is the point of the on-line communities.

    So once again, thank you all.  Your comments are very much appreciated.


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