The Importance of Timely Feedback

A lot of people forget don’t they?  They forget what it’s like to be looking for a job.  They forget how vulnerable you feel when your every move is being analysed by potential employers.  You are on show, you cannot afford to make a wrong move, you are putting on your best show, all-day-every- day, no time to relax, on-the-ball, present and always on the front foot.  It can be exhausting!!

Did I turn up too early? Was I a little late? Did I wear the right outfit? Did I answer those questions the right way? Was I too keen?  Was I too confident?  On and on it goes, that constant analysis about whether you gave the right impression or not.  Could I have done better? Did I over step the mark?  Am I what they were looking for?

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you responded, or what answer you gave, you can be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  Maybe you chose to wear a navy suit and they wanted to see ‘business casual’ (whatever that is).  It can be as arbitrary as what sort of day your interviewer has had, and then they meet you!  But forget the post-mortem analysis that will surely cave your head in. It is the not knowing how you performed that is by far the worst, sometimes never finding out at all or a dismissive ‘No, not suitable’, with no further explanation.

And then of course there is the kind of feedback that just does not help. It’s either banal or dismissive. You know those familiar throwaway lines:  ‘we just found someone more suitable’ or the equally frustrating ‘you’re too over-qualified’.  Please do not underestimate the importance of your feedback, your insights will be invaluable to any candidate who is willing to actually hear what you have to say and most in my experience genuinely want to know how they impress in an interview situation. If you don’t tell them then how can they improve?

Now do not get me wrong, I am not excluding myself from this criticism. I am guilty of not getting constructive feedback to candidates in a timely manner and for that I am truly sorry.  And while I may have some very valid reasons as to why I have failed to deliver from time to time, the impact on the candidate is immense not to mention the impact on your personal and/or organisational brand can be hugely negative and frankly unprofessional.

Aghhhhhh, well I say NOT GOOD ENOUGH people and I include myself in this.  I am constantly incensed by those WITH a job who seem to forget what it’s like to be WITHOUT a job and just how difficult it is when all you can hear are ‘crickets chirping’ when it comes to finding out just how well or conversely, poorly you went… just some constructive feedback that will allow that person to either get excited and/or learn from their experience.  Let’s face it, it’s what we all would expect and yet, I find myself waiting, waiting, and waiting,  begging even, for anything that is constructive to allow a candidate to move on and grow… not difficult, just considerate.

By Susie Rogers

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