Fuller Minds

Minds that are not always empty

Constructive Feedback

This post is again inspired by one of the posts I read in LinkedIn, just like the previous one: Interview Feedback Decoded (https://saudhaminimylaram.in/2020/06/07/interview-feedback-decoded/). The author of this post was idealizing one HR who was doing everything right and the rest of us should follow in her footsteps. While I agree with the author and also diligently share the feedback to all my candidates. I could not simply ignored the post since it reminded me of the incident that happened with me few months back.

Candidates expect the HR to share the interview feedback once the interview is completed. And when we do call the candidate to share the feedback most candidates will be happy they got a call from the HR expecting positive news (most of the time it is positive!) But I when share constructive feedback they will be taken aback and not have much to say except thanks for the feedback.

But not all candidates take the feedback in the way it is intended. My feedback to the candidates will be more in the lines of “you did well in the interview but the interviewers felt you could get a bit more exposure on certain skill and apply back to this position in six months time.”

If I reflect on this message, it is pretty clear I am leaving the window/opportunity to the candidate should he/she wishes to work on their skills.

But there was one very senior candidate who was interviewing for a senior role and did not qualify in the first panel interview. His coding skills were not up to the mark. I called him back to share the feedback, he went off in a tangent and asked “how can your company policy allow someone so junior to interview for a senior position? If this is your company ethics and policies I am glad I am not shortlisted and joined your company.”

Only an HR and professionals in senior positions can understand the wrongness of these statements. And the reasons these statements did not sit well with me were:

1. When you are interviewing for a product based company, the coding interviews will be a bit stringent than services companies. And product companies have 3600 interviewing style just to get a good read on the candidate in terms of company/cultural fitment.

2. For someone who comes with 11+ years of experience as developer should be able answer questions by a junior team member. By his logic, junior members are not so experienced. I mean, how difficult questions can he ask? And at some point in time even he was also a beginner and should have worked on basic codes. Ideally this candidate should be able to solve the codes given by junior team member.

3. For a senior candidate, this person lacked maturity while talking to a prospective job giver. Note: Never burn bridges when making contacts through job interviews. If not this organization, your paths may cross in future and it would be awkward at best to work together.

In the end, the feedback we share will ultimately help you crack an interview few days down the line, should the candidate choose to work on the given feedback. No point being nasty to the messenger after all!

By this I do not mean to shrink away from sharing feedback. We are moving away from the time where feedback was not provided, to it being provided in timely manner. It is now time to educate the job applicants the etiquette of communicating with the companies they are interviewing with! Agree?

Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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