Getting Feedback From the Interview

I can usually set my clock once a candidate’s scheduled job  interview ends. And yes – I do want to hear from the candidate right after the interview to make sure I get their feedback. It’s important to make sure nothing gets lost in translation by waiting a day or two. That’s way too much time. Besides, it doesn’t matter anyway. They will call. They always do.

What I have found to be consistent year after year is that rarely does a candidate call me and say “it went terrible” or “it just didn’t feel good.” Nope it’s more like “I NAILED IT!” or “THEY LOVED ME!” A quick calibration/debrief call to the client usually dispels all rumors, innuendos or fairy tales. Nope. They always seem to have a different story. Their version is usually (ok always) brutally honest and with a fair amount of detail as to how well or poorly a candidate performed.

As candidates – what can we learn from feedback and what should we be asking ourselves?

Remember, interviwing for a new opportunity IS a two-way street

Make sure you “feel good” about the company and the person you would be reporting to. If the feedback you get is positive then go for it! Make sure they know you are interested and follow up with a quick hand written note (they never go out of style) to each person you interviewed with. If your news is not good and they decide to pass – get tangible feedback that you can learn from.

You can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken.

However, once you know where the wheels came off in the interview – go fix it! Period.

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.


  • Tim – this is a great post and it is spot on. I write often on the value of feedback and I have come to realize that the best performers on my team are great at getting feedback and at adjusting based on that feedback!

  • Thanks Joe. The challenges arise when a candidate does not want to hear honest /candid feedback – choosing instead to put their head in the sand and not listen or improve. Bad plan.

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