Tactful feedback for rejected candidates

I have quite a few candidates that I need to reject
because of poor communication skills and/or not being a cultural fit 

can I feed this back verbally and not get into trouble and not offend anyone .

Grateful for any suggestions  

 Thanks y'all!  


  • Hi Angela

    Giving feedback after interviews, in my mind, is an important step in the recruitment process.  From experience, when I have been unsuccessful in getting a role, there is always the initial disappointment however the feedback given to me has helped me improve and refine my interview skills. 

    I would suggest that if you are giving negative feedback, counter it with something positive, for example, "thank you for attending our interview last week, unfortunately we are not in a position to take your application further at this time as it was felt that your core skills were not an exact match for our requirements.  However, our interviewees did mentioned that you were well prepared for your interview and able to communicate well / your CV was very professional / *add positive message of choice*...

    Obviously the feedback would have to be tailored for the role / grade etc, but I hope that this helps you a bit.  


  • In reply to Fionnuala Kilcoyne:

    Hi Angela

    Sorry - I meant to say "our interviewers" not "interviewees" in the 2nd paragraph!


  • Robey

    | 1584 Posts

    Chartered Member

    15 Dec, 2014 11:28

    "Not being a cultural fit" is a tricky one to explain and justify in feedback.  It's also deeply unhelpful to candidates, because one cannot, fundamentally, change who one is.

    This will be easier if you can define what you were looking for in someone who did show a strong cultural fit in concrete terms (more outside interests, evidence of continuous professional/personal development, smart appearance, not turning up smelling of booze, turning up smelling of a better quality of booze... etc).

  • Many thanks Robey and Fionnuala


    I'll make sure they get the positive/negative sandwich response :)


  • Hi Angela

    I am with Fionnuala on this one, in that its one of the important steps in the recruitment process.  For me, the whole process should be handled carefully, as I see it as a 2 way process so its about creating the right impression throughout so that the person eventually selected wants to work for us as much as we want to eimploy them. 

     As well as giving the positiive/negative feedback, I would also give suggestions on how they could improve/refine the areas that they didnt do so well in so if its around communication skills, are there are courses in their local area they could attend to improve this skill or their existing work place may have something suitable that they may be able to participate in.


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