Honest interview feedback – Is it possible to receive?

This post is perhaps more of a rant than a bit of advice. I’m sure you can sympathize with me on this one. When I was heavily engaged in the interview process about a year ago, my biggest frustration was not getting rejected. Sure, nobody likes to be rejected. It’s a big knock to the self-confidence. But for me there was something even worse than this. Something that used to annoy me to no end. Dishonest interview feedback. Interview feedback lacking any sort of moral fibre. This is something which I feel companies conduct really badly at present.


Of all my rejections (and I got quite a few), I’d say that 90% of the feedback was useless to me. It simply wasn’t feedback. It was just some generic email telling me how unfortunately on this occasion I had been unsuccessful, but that I should continue to look for opportunities with Company XYX in the future. I can understand if you get this kind of email after the first or second round of interviews when the volume of applicants is still really high. To get this kind of feedback after the final interview is diabolical. How can you ever be expected to progress and develop your business persona when you don’t have any constructive feedback to go by? Graduate programs are the worst for this! I just wish companies would be honest. How can one provide the solutions when you have no idea what the problem is to begin with?

“Sorry, but you had really bad halitosis. We feel that it could cause some problems in the work place” Solution: Listerine mouthwash


“When you were asked what your weaknesses were you said, disrespecting authority” Solution: Become an entrepreneur.


“I thought that you might pose a threat to my position within the company, as you seemed to answer everything perfectly” Solution: Don’t try and be too much of a smart ass. Prospective employers want to see that you are fallible.


Personally, I would welcome this sort of feedback, because then one can go into the next interview having addressed and solved the issues raised. I think a lot of the time a candidate might just be slipping up on one little thing, but because it is never brought to his/her attention, they continue to make the same mistake interview after interview.

Have you experienced the same thing with interview feedback?