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  • Writer's pictureW Jaxon

Optimizing Interview Feedback - Techniques for Hiring Managers

As a hiring manager, you understand the pivotal role that interviews play in distinguishing top talent from the rest of the crowd. However, the value of interviews extends beyond mere selection and constitutes a critical piece in the holistic puzzle of talent acquisition. The interview feedback you provide to interviewees not only shapes their perception of your organization but also serves as a profound learning tool that can elevate the quality of your hiring processes.

recruiter screening the resume for feedback

The feedback you deliver isn’t just a debrief; it’s a catalyst for growth and a demonstration of your company's commitment to professional development. But without a structured approach, feedback can lose its effectiveness, and meaningful insights might not be communicated. Therefore, it’s imperative to employ various interview feedback techniques that are not only impactful but also tailored to the individual’s development needs. Let's take a look at few techniques.

The STAR Method: Painting a Clear Picture

Employing the STAR method for interview feedback ensures that candidates receive feedback that is focused and contextually rich, allowing them to understand their performance in a detailed narrative form.

360-Degree Feedback: A Wholesome View

360-degree interview feedback involves soliciting input from multiple sources who have interacted with the candidate. This method not only broadens the scope of feedback but also provides a comprehensive view of the candidate’s performance from various angles within the organization.

Behavioral Feedback: The "Why" Behind the "What"

Behavioral feedback focuses on specific actions taken by the candidate during the interview, ensuring that your feedback is based on observable and measurable behaviors, thus maintaining objectivity and clarity.

The Sandwich Method: Balancing Positives and Constructives

The Sandwich Method, or 'Sandwich feedback,' involves providing constructive criticism in between two positive points. This technique helps to balance out the tone of the interview feedback, ensuring that candidates are acknowledged for their strengths before diving into areas for improvement.

Real-Time Feedback: Strike While the Iron is Warm

Delivering interview feedback in real-time can be incredibly potent, as it allows you to capture the immediacy of the interview context, ensuring that specific details and emotions surrounding the performance are still fresh.

Specificity Method: Pinpointing Strengths and Opportunities

The Specificity Method encourages hiring managers to be precise and detailed in their interview feedback. Vague feedback can be confusing and lack the actionable insights necessary for candidates to make meaningful changes or improvements.

Developmental Feedback: The Growth Mindset Approach

Developmental interview feedback is centered around the concept of continuous improvement and maintaining a growth mindset. This technique encourages hiring managers to focus less on traditional performance critiques and more on creating a learning opportunity for the candidate.

The SBI Model (Situation-Behavior-Impact): A Three-Step Framework

The SBI model offers a structured framework for giving interview feedback incorporating the specific context of the situation and the impact the candidate's behavior had.

Balanced Feedback: Equilibrium in Critique

Balanced interview feedback is about ensuring you neither understate the strengths of a candidate nor overemphasize areas for improvement. It helps maintain fairness and objectivity, ensuring that candidates receive a complete and accurate assessment of their interview performance.

Peer Review: The Collective Perspective

Peer review involves seeking interview feedback from a candidate’s potential teammates or colleagues. This approach enriches your feedback with peer observations and provides candidates with a sense of the team dynamic they could join.

Confidential Surveys: An Anonymous Discourse

Confidential surveys can be a valuable tool for gathering interview feedback, particularly at later stages in the hiring process for senior roles. Surveys are effective in capturing nuanced and honest feedback, and by keeping them confidential, you create a secure space for interviewers to share their opinions without fear of repercussions.

Effective interview feedback is a beacon in the hiring process—it guides candidates, shines a light on their path to improvement, and reflects your organization’s commitment to personal and professional growth. By adopting and mastering these 11 feedback techniques, you will refine your ability to provide transformative responses that echo long after the interview room has emptied.

Remember, giving interview feedback is a two-way street. Just as you expect candidates to be receptive to your evaluations, be open to their feedback on your hiring process. Encourage a culture where feedback is exchanged constructively, creating a breeding ground for continuous improvement, not just for your candidates but for your entire recruiting team. As our workplaces continue to evolve, the significance of interview feedback cannot be overstated. It is an investment in your candidates and, ultimately, in the success of your organization. Embrace these techniques, cultivate the art of providing impactful interview feedback, and witness the positive ripple effect it creates in your hiring practices.

So the next time you sit down to give interview feedback, do so with purpose, structure, and empathy. Your insights could just be the push a candidate needs to unlock their potential—or the nudge your organization requires to elevate its talent game to the next level.

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