Throughout your career, it’s not uncommon to experience dozens of different interviewing processes. After all, the average Baby Boomer holds roughly 12 different jobs throughout their career. And for Millennials, the average worker holds six different positions by the age of 26. As a result, most candidates have experienced a handful of turndowns throughout their job search.
When faced with a turndown, it’s wise to ask for advice from the interviewer or hiring manager on how you can improve in the future. However, what if the shoe is on the other foot? Is it professional to offer advice to an employer you interviewed with when you do not accept the job offer?
Is it professional or appropriate?
As a candidate, you have every right to provide interview feedback to a prospective employer. However, it can be challenging to provide honest feedback after a job interview. It is difficult to offer constructive criticism without worrying about offending someone or possibly even burning a bridge. But how does an employer know there is an issue or speedbump in their interview process if nobody tells them? They may be utterly unaware that part of their process is turning away great candidates, like yourself.
Whether the interviewing process is slow, or they have poor communication, an employer may not know there is an issue if they don’t receive feedback. In today’s tight labor market, employers must streamline their interviewing process and ensure everything goes smoothly. If you offer professional, honest feedback, many employers will be thankful for your input in today’s environment.
How to do it correctly
So, now that you know it is appropriate to provide feedback after an interview, how do you do it professionally? Here are a few tips for delivering your feedback the right way:
Provide feedback in a timely manner
If you want to share your thoughts on how the employer could improve their hiring process, do so promptly. Whether you get the job or not, you must wait for a decision to be made. However, don’t wait for weeks or even a month to give them feedback. Do so shortly after they made a decision. Hiring managers are busy, and to be honest, if you wait too long, they may not remember you or how your interview went. So, if you decide to share your experience, do so shortly after the conclusion of the entire process.
Be precise and clear
With your feedback, be direct and concise. You do not need to sugar coat your thoughts, yet you want to keep your input professional and positive. For example, if you declined a job offer because the employer took too long to decide and you accepted another opportunity, let them know. As long as your feedback is honest, beneficial to the employer, and delivered professionally, you should feel confident in sharing your experience. Never single anyone out or berate the company. Remember, the goal here is to provide advice, not to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a hiring manager.
Overall, delivering feedback to an interviewer is just as tricky as it is for a hiring manager to give to a prospective candidate that failed to receive an offer. But if you genuinely believe that you can share your experience to help an employer improve their process in the future, go for it. If you want to provide feedback but are still uncomfortable with doing so directly to your interviewers, there are sites like Glassdoor that allow you to anonymously share your interview feedback. Just be sure to follow these guidelines, to ensure you deliver your message in an appropriate, professional way!