Why You Do not Receive any Damn Feedback on your Interviews

By Jack J. Kelly

A common lament we hear from interviewees is that they don’t receive any feedback after their interviews.

It used to be, in the not so distant past, when a person interviewed the hiring manager, interviewer, or human resource professionals would contact the applicant directly or through their recruiter and offer feedback about the interview. The feedback would consist of some positive aspects, and at times, critiques of the candidate with respect to their skills, background, and performance.  The candidate could constructively implement this vital information and constructive criticism.

This information is important in conducting a self-assessment to ensure you are presenting yourself in the best possible positive manner. It is similar to batting coach in baseball who helps you improve your swing. His advice may not always be positive but the goal is to make you a better ball player.

Unfortunately, in the current job market, feedback is offered sporadically, if at all.

In addition to the absence of feedback, if you’re not accepted to proceed in an interview process, it’s rare to get a rejection letter or receive meaningful input and advice from the firm as to why you were unceremoniously dropped.

In the past, it was common to hear a constructive critique of why you didn’t get the job. Those days are gone, and all the niceties are out the window. You will now only hear from human resources only if they want to move forward with you, otherwise you get silence.

There are a number of reasons why this happens.

1. Too much Data. It is so easy for people to send resumes through job websites like LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, Ladders, eFinancialCareers, Indeed, Simplyhired, GlassDoor and company job boards that Human Resources professionals get overloaded with resumes to the degree they literally could not offer feedback regarding resume submittals. This is why candidates feel that their resume disappeared into the “black hole” of human resources.

2. Fear of Lawsuits. Companies are concerned about giving negative feedback to candidates for fear that it might be misinterpreted as discrimination (age, gender, religion, disability). In today’s litigious society companies are deathly afraid of costly, time-consuming lawsuits. Also, they are worried about the possible negative social media backlash accusing them of some sort of discriminatory practices. They perceive not giving any feedback as a safer option.

3. Stalling. The corporate world of late believes that there is an abundance of qualified candidates and that simply by waiting longer, they will eventually find the perfect person suited for the role.  Therefore, the company doesn’t give you a critique because you’re technically still in the running but secretly holding out for a better candidate. This is also a big part of why some interview processes tend to take so long.

4. Downsized HR departments. The financial crisis wreaked havoc on all corporate departments, especially non-revenue-producing ones like human resources. So now there are usually less HR employees dealing with considerably more work. They simply don’t have the time to respond to you and provide critiques.

5. New Expectations. Many experienced internal recruiters were downsized by the recession. Their younger (and cheaper) replacements only know the new environment of no feedback and perpetuate the status quo.

6. Third Party Outsourcing. It has become a trend for companies to outsource their recruiting function to third party vendors who are placed on the premises of many different clients and have no vested interested in providing feedback to candidates. They probably won’t be on any particular assignment for very long, so they have no loyalty to any one company as they are constantly shuffled to new companies.

7. Rudeness.  You probably don’t need me to tell you this but we are living in a time period in which people are not that nice with one another.

8. Technology. With the phenomenal growth of social media and technology, we are losing the personal touch.  Picking-up the phone to have a real and honest conversation is becoming a thing of the past.

All of this adds up to a very frustrating climate for interviewees seeking feedback.

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