Give Interview Feedback: It Can Save Your Next Hire

March 3rd, 2015 | Hiring Resources | No Comments »

Interview Feedback

Imagine you’ve just interviewed a candidate. He or she is a perfect technical fit and passes all your own personality requirements. You’re smitten, but you need to get approval from further up the chain. Several days or a week pass. When you finally reach out to the candidate or your recruiter, the window of opportunity is gone. That perfect candidate has already moved on to another job.

It’s a common situation for anyone who has tried to fill a position. However, is the fix as easy as providing interview feedback to candidates?

The Psychology of Waiting

Surprisingly, we can find our answer in studies of the retail world. In the early-to-mid 90s, UC Berkeley psychologists explored how a person’s experience in a simulated queue affected the outcome. Basically, they wanted to learn what made waiting in line a positive or negative experience?

These researchers found that one negative experience can doom the process. In their dissertation, they explained that a “momentary negative affect may result in reneging (leaving a queue).” In laymen’s terms, if a queue appeared to be stalled, people were far more inclined to leave. Apply that to prolonged hiring practices and it’s no surprise that candidates go elsewhere.

However, when people perceived positive change, as if the queue was moving in the right direction, they were more inclined to feel that time spent waiting wasn’t so bad. That’s why giving feedback to candidates is so important.

Interview Feedback is a Huge Reassurance

Ask any candidate about their greatest complaint during the hiring process and it always boils down to interview feedback. Positive feedback lets candidates know that their time is being well spent. It tends to be a precursor to the job offer, thus encouraging candidates to hold out for the best results.

No interview feedback, on the other hand, implies a negative response. No news is bad news in this situation. That’s what encourages so many good candidates to move on to the next opportunity before you have the time and approval to extend the offer.

Using Recruiters to Give Interview Feedback

When juggling hiring with all of your other responsibilities, it can be difficult to keep a candidate constantly reassured. Yet it has to be done. That’s where working with a recruiter can be advantageous.

He or she can take all of your initial interview feedback and remind candidates to hang tight as you wait for the hire to get greenlighted by your superiors. That way, when you bring back a job offer as quickly as you can, the candidate will still be around to accept it.

by James Walsh

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