How To Write Interview Feedback for Hiring Teams (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

During the recruitment process, companies conduct interviews to evaluate the candidates and make hiring decisions that best suit the organisation. One of the important aspects of this process is providing interview feedback to the hiring panel to help in hiring decisions. By understanding how to write well-structured and unbiased interview feedback, you can offer valuable inputs to other company personnel about the candidate's skills. In this article, we describe how to write interview feedback, explain its importance and provide some tips to keep in mind when writing interview feedback.

How to write interview feedback

Assembling feedback for an interview occurs during the interview process while the interviewer prepares notes on the candidate's skills and answers. The interviewer details the candidate's response to each question and their opinion about the candidate in the notes. After completing the documentation, the interviewer shares these notes with the hiring team for making hiring decisions.

It's essential to follow a structured and consistent format while writing interview feedback. This helps the interviewer prepare the feedback quickly and makes it easy for the hiring panel to understand and review the notes. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to write interview feedback:

1. Make notes during the interview

Write notes during and after the interview. For this, you may use a form or answer sheet to capture all the points in an objective manner. Capture the candidate's answers, strengths and weaknesses and your overall insight about their ability to contribute to the company. Assemble the feedback as soon as possible, ideally within a few hours of the interview. This gives you enough time to think and document while also remembering the interview clearly.

Read more: How To Prepare for an Interview

2. Review and update your notes

After you have prepared the notes, review them to clarify your feedback. When you take time to reflect on the interview and analyse the candidate in-depth, you can be thorough in your review. This allows the panel to decide with little confusion.

3. Compare the job description with the candidate's qualifications

A job description contains details regarding the duties and responsibilities required for a particular role. The candidate's qualification needs to match with the job description to qualify. Refer to the job description and any additional requirements for the role while writing the interview feedback. Compare the candidate's qualifications against the job description and the interview experience to document the feedback.

4. Add notes on whether the candidate reflected the job requirements

Based on your assessment of the candidate against the job requirements, add points regarding the strength and weaknesses a candidate might show if hired. Add quotes and examples from the interview or details from the resume. This assists the panel in analysing the benefits and risks involved while hiring a candidate.

5. Compile notes and create a structured document

Include your initial interview evaluation, the candidate's strengths and weakness, and create a detailed feedback document. Creating a structured document helps the hiring panel understand the interview details and the candidate's professional attributes. Along with the interview notes and the candidate's qualities, add your insight about whether the candidate is suitable for the role in question.

Read more: How To Give Feedback on an Interview (With Examples)

Why is it important to write interview feedback?

Writing detailed, structured and unbiased interview feedback helps the hiring team evaluate and choose the right candidate. Here are some reasons why interview feedbacks are essential:

Helps interviewers organise their thoughts

After completing the interview, the interviewer needs time to think and evaluate the candidate and their qualities. Writing interview feedback helps the interviewer structure their thoughts and document all the details of the interview. This could include first impressions, answers, specific skills and overall performance of the candidate.

Contribute to making the correct hiring decision

Sometimes the entire hiring team may not take part in all the evaluation sessions. In such situations, this feedback fills the gap and gives the panel a complete picture of the candidate. The interview feedback also helps to decide between multiple candidates. Even if the interview committee makes the evaluation and hiring decision after the interview, these feedback documents can serve as reference materials.

Communicate to candidates about their attributes

The hiring team can use the interview feedback documents to communicate the reason for hiring the selected candidates. For the rejected candidates, you can either share this document with the dismissal mail or share the positive remarks alone to let them understand the areas they performed well. This can create a positive interview experience for all the candidates involved.

Read more: 21 Tips for Interviewers (Plus 5 Interview Techniques)

Contents of the interview feedback

Here's a list of items you can include when writing interview feedback:

  • First impression: Share your initial observation about the candidate. This can be about their character, skills or personality, and you can also add if you found a change in the first impression as the interview progressed.

  • Interpersonal skills: While conducting an interview, notice and evaluate the interpersonal skills such as active listening, verbal communication, flexibility and collaboration. The interviewer can observe these during the interview and note them in the interview feedback document.

  • Technical skills: Along with interpersonal skills, the interviewer also writes about the technical skills of a candidate in the interview feedback form. For instance, if you're interviewing a candidate for a project management role, mention details about the candidate's proficiency in project management, data management and the use of various software tools.

  • Interview summary: One of the sections in the feedback document can be a summary of the interview and the candidate's conduct throughout the interview. This supports the hiring team if they're reviewing the feedback documents of multiple candidates.

  • Suggestions about the next step: Following the summary section, provide an opinion on the next step. The interviewer can mention whether they can remove the candidate from the hiring process or progress them to the next level of the interview.

When to write interview feedback

Time is crucial when writing interview feedback. It affects how you write the feedback and what opinion you make about the candidate. Write feedback within a few hours or on the same day of the interview. This helps to capture all the details from the interview. Also, do not immediately share the document with the panel. Instead, try to review the feedback thoroughly. This may help in adding or updating more points beneficial for the hiring. Also, interviewers often review the interview feedback before making recommendations to hiring teams to prevent biased or subjective decisions.

Interview feedback best practices

To provide valuable inputs, the interviewer can adopt few best practices while writing the interview feedback. Some of the helpful tips are:

  • While writing, imagine as if you are reading the feedback aloud to the panel.

  • Follow a standard structured format for all the candidate feedback. This helps the panel to understand and compare the candidates quickly.

  • Give rational feedback without making any assumptions.

  • If required, include general examples or cases from the interview itself to provide more clarity.

  • The team may use computer software so that the feedback is available to all the hiring panel members easily and quickly.

  • Be very precise and clear while writing the details of the interview and your opinion about the candidate.

  • Use a conversational, positive tone in the interview feedback.

  • Maintain a balance between objective feedback and your opinion.

  • Try to complete the feedback within the same day of the interview. This decreases the chance of missing out on information.

  • Discuss the interview with the hiring team only after sharing the feedback document.

  • Focus on the candidate rather than compare the skills and qualities of the candidate with the other participants in the interview.

  • Be specific in your responses by including relevant details.

  • Be concise with your notes and try to keep your responses on one page.

Interview feedback example

Here's an example to help you understand how to write structured interview feedback:

Initially, Paul Chan seemed nervous and quiet. But as the interview progressed, he became more confident and articulate.

He has done research on market segmentation and pricing. His knowledge about the industry and competitors is also commendable. Throughout the interview, he showed good communication and analytical skills.

Overall, I feel John is suitable for the role of marketing analyst. He is experienced and has in-depth knowledge about the latest market analysis tools.

I recommend contacting John for the panel interview.

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