Why is so hard to give and receive feedback following a job interview?

During these uncertain economical times of most retail context especially within the European market, always more professionals, from different working sectors and with the most various experience background are actively job seeking. Almost everyone is relooking at their resume, updating their social network page, and creating new and more attractive profiles on LinkedIn to land the so called “dream job” or just a new and interesting challenge to transfer their skills, develop the existing ones further and learn new ones.            It is common knowledge that the resume itself will only create the opportunity for a job interview, given that the objectives and what the candidate is seeking, and the summary on the top of the resumes will impress the recruiter or at least create interest for further information.

In most cases candidates will obtain their first interview, either face to face or as it is happen lately, with the workforce-increased mobility via Skype.

 Once that happen, if from a candidate perspective is mandatory to research the company the brand and its core values and of course their target market and products, the recruiter should identify trough some structured questions if there is a match between the candidate and the company values and objective and obviously the skills and expertise match the position to be filled.

What is coming from the field seems to be slightly different.


First most candidates will not review their resumes, we are talking about spelling mistakes, incorrect phone numbers, objectives that are far from the targeted company and even not so professional email addresses and will not do the appropriate research about the company moved in most cases just from the need of landing a job, on the other hand most recruiter will follow different templates and interviewing techniques that are just not good enough in most cases to identify and attract that much sought-after talent.

Talent cannot be summaries in ticking few boxes, or not trying to understand what the candidate is like, talent can be found in many different ways sometimes easily however not merely with a paper exercise.

Once all the above obstacles that might occur or not depending on the cases, each candidate and recruiter alike will select the approach, behavior or technique that they see fit, the common issue seems to be another one: The feedback.

This word has been used, learned, and at the same time abused for years in the retail industry, in training rooms, interviews or questionnaires but most employees and employers just admire the sound of it or like to fill phrases without seeing the real power and meaning of it.

As result following an interview where the candidate was maybe not the right fit for the company, which is absolutely normal, natural and professional if you like, why don’t give a structured feedback? Is there anything to lose? We think there is not. It might actually be a missed opportunity.

Few examples of the positive impacts of a structured feedback can have:

▪   Professional image of the company in the outside world, a company who cares about individuals and appreciate effort and interest.

▪   Will retain interest in the candidate towards the company or brand for the future and create loyalty regardless.

▪   Will create a positive general free advert for the company in the job seeker world.

▪   Will make the candidate feel valued and appreciated, and not treated in an unprofessional manner.


However this seems to be in a very high number percentage wise not the case.

So this begs a very hard question to answer

Are people ready to receive feedback even before being able to give one?

The answer seems to be a grey area.

 Feedback are in most cases, this might be due to inexperience or inappropriate training, only associated with negative news, and is believed to be just a reprimand or to highlight something just not right, in fact if you ask us there’s no such thing as the most heard: Negative Feedback

Most candidates will feel the feedback to be personal and not appropriate, as result the culture of just in most cases ignoring all the form of communication between companies and unsuccessful candidates has become unfortunately a common practice with all the non-positive impact on both retail organization and job seekers.

What are your thoughts?

Share your experience!


Published by Raffaele Felaco

I am an enthusiastic leader with strong background in direct and indirect sales with an exten- sive experience in both retail and wholesale business. I have been fortunate to have worked alongside teams in structured environments both in Italy and abroad over the last 20 years, en- abling me to develop strong leadership skills, a natural approach in effective communication, the ability of positively influencing others and master complex business negotiations.

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