Get the best tips for your career, job search and your life. Subscribe today (we send one email every 2 weeks)

How Do You Write Feedback for a Candidate?

candidates Mar 16, 2023

Looking for the right candidate for your company can be challenging. With hundreds of applicants aiming for the same role, hiring managers have no choice but send rejection letters to those who don't fit the company culture.  

In fact, there are several other reasons why a person doesn't fit a role in the company. Competency is one thing, attitude, and cultural fit are always the things managers first check in with each jobseeker.

But, how do you send these people that they don't land the job? You won't say something simple like "we can't hire you," which would be bad for corporate branding in the long run.

HR professionals should prepare a turn down message to build a positive brand reputation in the industry.

This is why providing feedback to job candidates is important. Giving feedback not only helps candidates improve their skills and performance but also enhances their overall job-seeking experience.

» FREE TRIAL: Get Started with LoopCV & Send Out 100s of Highly-Targeted Job Applications in <10 Minutes

In this article, we will discuss five effective ways to give feedback to job candidates that will attract more top talents in the future.

1. Highlight what went well in the interview

When drafting a feedback message to your candidate, you may start by highlighting what went well in the job interview paper. This helps establish a positive tone in the feedback and makes the candidate feel appreciated.

For example, you can mention how impressed you were with the candidate's communication skills, their ability to think on their feet, or their knowledge of the industry. Be specific and give examples of situations where the candidate excelled.

This helps the candidate understand what skills and qualities they should continue to showcase in their future job applications.

You can say, "We agree that the overall presentation is excellent, and the candidate speaks well during the interview. However, we find his skill set doesn't match what we're looking for at the moment."

2. Express appreciation

Expressing appreciation for the candidate's time and effort is another important aspect of providing feedback. Thank the candidate for taking the time to attend the interview and for their interest in the position.

Let them know that you appreciate their effort and that you value their skills and expertise. This helps improve corporate branding, as people know a company appreciating candidates must be a good place to work.

You should also encourage the candidate to apply again in the future if there are other opportunities that match their skills and interests. It's crucial that they get this message, so if it's the first time you're emailing them, make sure to use an SPF checker to ensure deliverability.

For example, you can say, "Thank you for the time and effort you put into this interview. Unfortunately, we decided not to move forward with you this time.

However, you have the right skills for other roles in our company. Please check [company's job page information] regularly if you are interested in another role."

3. Provide specific examples

It is critical to be specific in your message and point out examples to show that you're being serious about giving feedback. Avoid using general statements like "you did well" or "you need to improve."

Instead, provide specific examples of what the candidate did well and where they can improve.

For example, if the candidate struggled with answering a particular question, tell them that they need to improve on specific types of questions related to the industry. You may use concrete examples to illustrate your points and be clear and concise in your feedback messages.

4. Avoid sounding accusatory

You should also avoid sounding accusatory in your feedback. Instead of using "you" statements, use "I" statements. For example, rather than saying "you didn't answer the question properly," say "I felt that I didn't fully understand your answer to the question."

This helps avoid putting the candidate on the defensive and makes it easier for them to receive negative feedback. It also shows that you are taking responsibility for your own perception of the interview.

5. Offer suggestions for improvement

Finally, when providing feedback, make sure to offer suggestions for improvement. Give specific and actionable feedback that the candidate can use to improve their skills.

For example, if the candidate needs to improve their copywriting basics, suggest that they should attend copywriting classes and practice using a real sample from a business.

If the candidate needs to increase their knowledge of the industry, suggest that they read industry-related articles or attend relevant workshops.

Providing specific suggestions for improvement shows that you are invested in the candidate's success and willing to help them build a career.

10 dos and don'ts for writing candidate feedback

Providing interview feedback to job candidates is a vital part of the recruitment process. It not only helps candidates understand their strengths and areas of improvement but also strengthens the candidate experience.

Still, giving feedback can be challenging, as it requires balancing honesty with tact and empathy. These are quick dos and don'ts when writing ones.


  1. Be specific: Point out specific examples of the candidate's performance during the interview. This will help the candidate understand where they excelled and where they need to improve.
  2. Be timely: Provide feedback as soon as possible after the interview, while the conversation is still fresh in the candidate's mind. This will also show that your company values the candidate's time and effort.
  3. Be honest: Honesty is essential, but it's important to provide feedback in a constructive and empathetic way. Avoid criticizing or attacking the candidate's character. It's best to focus on their behavior and performance.
  4. Be supportive: Make sure to write supportive and encouraging messages for candidates, so they can continue developing their skills. Highlight their strengths and offer suggestions for improvement.
  5. Be professional: Keep the tone of your feedback professional and never use overly casual or colloquial language. Remember that the feedback is part of your company's branding and reputation.


  1. Don't be vague: Avoid providing generic feedback on the candidate's performance. This can be frustrating for them and may not help them improve.
  2. Don't make assumptions: Avoid making assumptions about the candidate's skills or experience. Base your feedback on the candidate's actual assessment during the interview.
  3. Don't be too negative: While honesty is important, avoid being overly negative or critical. This can damage the candidate's confidence and motivation.
  4. Don't be too general: Avoid using vague or general statements like "you did well" or "you need to improve." Be specific and provide concrete examples.
  5. Don't avoid feedback altogether: Providing no feedback can be just as damaging as providing negative feedback. If you are unable to provide feedback due to legal or policy constraints, explain this to the candidate and offer alternative resources that may help them.
» FREE TRIAL: Get Started with LoopCV & Send Out 100s of Highly-Targeted Job Applications in <10 Minutes


Giving feedback to job candidates is an important aspect of the recruitment process. It helps candidates boost their performance, increase job-seeking experience, help companies find great talent, and build a positive brand image in the industry.

By using these five feedback patterns, you can help candidates boost their skills and confidence as well as create a cordial connection with them, even if they were not selected for the job.

Author's Bio:

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.