How to Give Constructive Feedback on an Interview

We received an email from a new client giving us feedback on our candidate’s interview. The feedback was so helpful that it was screaming to be turned into a “how-to” blog post. Here is what he said:

X and I just wrapped up the interview. Here are my thoughts:

• Cultural fit: 2

• Good attitude

• Would be able to partner well internally and externally

• Likes X, likes Y

• Creative: 2

• Seems to lean more towards his creative side

• Shared some good examples of out-of-the-box ideas he’s implemented

• Analytical: 4

• He had difficulty talking through D2C sales funnel and model

• Metrics he spoke through were high-level, more engagement metrics

• Didn’t appear that he had experience working closely with an advanced analytics team

• Digital Acquisition: 4

• Had some understanding of SEM and Display, although scared me when he said that he didn’t think they worked or drove enough value

• Has experience with Facebook, but more along the lines of driving engagement and audience.

• Retention: ? • We didn’t get this far.


• 1 – expert

• 2 – good, has deep experience and really understands the space

• 3 – understands the space and has some experience

• 4 – has some understanding, but little to no experience

• 5 – no experience, little to no understanding

Overall, mixed feelings coming out of the interview. I can punt on a high result for analytics, however I’d like them to at least be a 3. The low on digital acquisition worries me a lot though. Given this, my decision is to pass on X.


Here are some of the many things that this hiring manager did right:

1. He stopped to consider the 5 most important criteria for his open role: Culture fit, Creative, Analytical, Digital Acquisition and Retention.

2. He prioritized the criteria

3. He brought the outline into the interview with him and asked used them as the outline for the conversation

4. He took notes on the responses and reflected on them afterward

5. He not only shared the rankings with us but the reasons for the rankings

Now we know exactly what to do. We know exactly what he is looking for, we know exactly why he feels this way about our candidate and we know who to target going forward. What a concept! What a partner!

With clients like this we could fill 90% of our positions.

The average hiring manager would have said, “I liked him but we are going to pass. Do you have anyone else?” This does not advance the search at all.

The average HR Manager would say nothing. We would call them 4-5x and eventually apologize to our candidate on their behalf.

If you are hiring digital measurement professionals (or ANY type of professionals), help yourself, help your search firm and follow this manager’s example.


0 thoughts on “How to Give Constructive Feedback on an Interview

  1. As someone who you tried to place and went through an interview for one of your positions I echo your sentiments but this time from the candidate side.

    After my interview I felt as though it went well but I knew I had made one misstep. When I asked you guys if you heard any feedback, you forwarded me something that looked a whole lot like the above. While it was difficult to see my misstep clearly highlighted (or should I say lowlighted) and as a key reason for them passing, it was still hugely helpful to read those comments as well as the positive ones.

    That feedback shaped subsequent interviews and helped not only in how I responded to various questions but also in understanding when I was a good fit or not for a role.

    So constructive feedback like the above is clearly a win for the agency, but also for the candidate…pass it on!


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