How to document interview feedback for your hiring team
Interview feedback is a crucial element of the recruitment process because timely, well-organized and easily accessible feedback can help make better hiring decisions faster. Good hiring decisions rely on effective communication and collaboration between interviewers and so hiring teams need to provide productive and fair interview feedback that is shared within the group in a consistent way. This guide helps you document interview feedback to the hiring manager and the whole hiring team, so that you reach objective, well-rounded decisions.
When interviewing candidates as a team, your hiring decisions rely on good communication and collaboration between interviewers. And this involves both giving clear, specific interview feedback and sharing it with your team in a consistent way.
Here’s a guide on how to help your hiring teams to provide productive and fair interview feedback they can rely on throughout the entire recruiting process:
How to train your hiring team to give effective interview feedback
Arrange meetings or mini-workshops with hiring teams to guide them on effective post-interview communication. Use our examples below when you want to coach team members to:
Justify their choice to disqualify or move a candidate to the next hiring stage.
✓ “I don’t think we should move forward with the candidate at this point, as they lack experience in XYZ software which is a must-have for this role.”
✗ “I don’t think we should move forward with the candidate at this point – I just get a feeling they won’t be a good fit.”
Raise concerns about candidates’ skills, behaviors, potential or overall interview performance.
✓ “This candidate has extensive work experience, but I’m not sure whether [he/she] would stay motivated in this role for long. It’d be worth discussing their career goals in the next interview.”
✗ “This candidate has extensive work experience, but I’m not sure whether [he/she] is the kind of person the team would like to hang out with.”
Make well-rounded hiring decisions.
✓ “This candidate is familiar with our company and showed interest in learning more about our upcoming projects. Considering [Hiring manager’s] notes about the candidate’s performance on the assignment, I think [he/she] will be a very good fit for this role and the company in general.”
✗ “This candidate passed the technical test, so I think we should move on with a job offer.”
Provide information that could be useful in the future (like when considering past candidates for a new role or when giving feedback to rejected candidates.)
✓ “Based on [his/her] assignment, this candidate has no experience [in specific techniques or software, like debugging in Python.] We could consider [him/her] in the future if we have an opening for [a C++ programmer] which seems to be [his/her] area of expertise.”
✗ “Based on [his/her] assignment, this candidate isn’t qualified for the role.”
How to help your hiring team share interview feedback efficiently
With post-interview communication, it doesn’t only matter what you say, but also how you share your feedback with your team members. Timely, well-organized and easily accessible feedback helps make better hiring decisions faster.
Here’s how to build systems and scores to document interview feedback for hiring managers and the whole hiring team consistently throughout your recruiting process:
Keep all comments in one place
Exchanging emails to share feedback may result in clogged inboxes and miscommunication (for example, if you forget to cc a coworker or accidentally delete an email.) Instead, use a shared document or a platform that all team members can access at any time. And ask team members to write down their feedback right after the interviews, when the conversation is still fresh in their minds.
Use interview scorecards
Share lists of interview questions per stage so that everyone on the hiring team knows what other interviewers have covered. Each interviewer should ask different questions so they can learn something new about the candidate at each stage. This helps make the final decision more informed and also makes for good candidate experience by avoiding repetitive questions.
Here’s an example:
|Phone screening call
Q: “Please name our main competitors. What are the differences between them and us?”
Q: “When are you available to start working with us?”
Standardize the skills interviewers should evaluate
Vague questions like “What did you think of X candidate?” may result in equally vague answers. For more specific and useful feedback, create categories of skills you want to evaluate (e.g. “X Software knowledge”, “Collaboration”.)
Also, use rating systems to allow for quick answers. You could use a point system from 1 to 5, a qualitative scale from “Exceeds requirements” to “Doesn’t meet requirements” or a multiple choice between “No”, “Yes” and “Definitely.”
How capable the candidate is to build relationships with potential customers and sell products.
How capable the candidate is in setting attainable and challenging goals for team members.
Allow for flexibility too
Using a rating scale for structured feedback can save your team time from trying to decipher other interviewers’ evaluations. But, make sure that hiring teams can also share any additional comments they have in an efficient way. For example, add a text field, where interviewers can draw attention to something that stood out to them about the candidate or share their overall impression.
Here’s an example from Workable’s interview scorecards:
Automate the process, when possible
Set up automated notifications after each interview to remind interviewers they need to share their feedback. To help hiring teams share their evaluations and keep every comment organized, consider investing in effective software. Workable is an all-in-one recruiting platform that lets you share interview feedback with your hiring team in a safe and collaborative environment. Learn how to:
- Design interview kits with your own or suggested questions
- Fill out your customizable interview scorecards and evaluate candidates
- Share internal comments with your hiring team
Frequently asked questions
Why is positive interview feedback important?
Positive feedback is a vital part of the hiring process, as you can provide useful insights to help inform your co-workers' hiring decisions. This makes hiring a collaborative effort, as well as a knowledgeable one.
What should I focus on in positive interview feedback?
When interviewing, you should focus your notes on aspects that prove the candidate can contribute to your workplace. These areas include: work history and experience, educational credentials and certifications, skill sets, and goals for their work.
How can I record positive interview feedback?
While taking notes during or directly after an interview is important, you should also take time to think through your thoughts and review the interviewing experience. Taking a step back can provide more clarity on the candidate.