Technical interviews can often be long-drawn affairs featuring multiple rounds of assessments with different interviewers.
At every stage of the interview process, candidates are assessed on various skills, both technical and non-technical or behavioral.
For successful candidates, the interview process ends with a job offer.
Unsuccessful candidates, on the other hand, can be rejected at any point of the process. Candidates are not usually intimated if they are rejected.
Not receiving a call back for the next round of interviews is considered a tacit implication of rejection often leaving candidates unsure of why they haven’t heard back from the hiring company.
Heres why tech companies don’t give candidates feedback after interviews.
- It doesn’t serve a company's purpose
This is a major reason why companies don’t give candidates feedback after an interview.
Companies conduct interviews to fulfil a hiring ‘goal i.e. to find the right candidate for an open position within the organisation.
A company’s hiring process ends when a candidate is either accepted or rejected for a prospective position.
Companies don’t perceive any value addition in incorporating feedback to candidates as part of their hiring process.
Although this doesn't sit well with candidates, top tech companies e.g. FAANG companies don't face a dearth of talent to worry about candidates’ interview experiences.
- Legal implications
Offering feedback in verbal or written formats can prove binding on companies.
Candidates may regard the reason for rejection as being discriminatory and contest the same legally.
Although this is not a common occurrence, companies always try to safeguard themselves against any and all legal fallouts.
Even minor infractions can impose unwanted strain on company resources and time, and negatively impact its brand value and reputation.
- Lack of a structured feedback process
Companies may not have a formal process or practice of delivering feedback to interview candidates.
- No feedback parameters
Some companies don't have a formal method of recording feedback or defined parameters to provide feedback.
This makes it difficult to communicate the outcome of the interview to candidates in an objective and useful manner especially when candidates are assessed on multiple skills by multiple interviewers.
- Interviewers don’t know how to give feedback
Interviewers are not necessarily trained to provide feedback to job candidates.
At companies which don't have a dedicated hiring team, an interviewing panel can comprise employees from varying positions and departments within an organization depending on the skills to be assessed for a prospective role.
In this case, interviewers may be able to conduct interviews but are not necessarily professionally equipped with skills to deliver feedback.
- Interviewers forget to provide feedback
Even if a company is open to providing feedback to candidates, with no formal process or set timelines to do so, interviewers or recruiters can easily forget to revert to candidates.
This is especially true of large companies that regularly interview a sizable number of candidates.
Unless a company has a structured feedback mechanism, interviewers can easily lose track of candidates once the interview is over.
- No specific person assigned / lack of anonymity
Companies which utilise multiple interviewers and recruiters may not assign the responsibility of recording and communicating feedback to candidates to a single person.
Individual interviewers tend to shirk the additional responsibility of giving feedback for lack of anonymity and the fear of being singled out when an interview goes awry.
- Candidates get defensive
Providing feedback to candidates is not an easy task.
Candidates don’t usually view their performance from an interviewer’s point of view.
Recruiters and interviewers often find candidates take constructive or negative feedback very personally.
These reactions occur even in situations where candidates themselves request feedback making interviewers very wary of highlighting any observations.
Given that a considerable amount of effort and time is required to prepare for a technical interview, candidates tend to get easily frustrated if they are unsuccessful.
Interviewers prefer to avoid triggering unnecessary conversations or discussions over an interview experience with candidates.
- No real feedback to give
In many cases, candidates don’t receive commentary about their performance in an interview because interviewers or recruiters have no useful or constructive feedback to offer.
- Lack of consensus among interviewers
Often an interview process, especially technical interviews, involves multiple rounds of interviews handled by different interviewers.
A candidate is assessed differently by each interviewer.
Candidates may not get a call back simply because interviewers held divided opinions about a candidate’s skills.
There can be no real feedback to provide when there is no unanimous conclusion about a candidate’s performance.
- The interviewer and candidate just ‘didn’t click’
Sometimes qualified candidates may be rejected simply because of a ‘lack of chemistry’ between the candidate and interviewer.
This can cause interviewers to doubt whether they can have a successful working relationship with certain candidates.
An interviewer may reject a candidate based on instinct or a perception that cannot be clearly articulated.
- Internal policies
Candidates who are suitably qualified, and who have performed well in an interview may be passed up in favour of another candidate for a variety of reasons. e.g. companies focusing on workplace diversity may base their selection on non-skill based attributes to meet an internal requirement.
Companies wouldn’t offer candidates insights on internal company policies that affect hiring.
- Embarrassing or awkward observations
A candidate could be rejected for a reason an interviewer feels uncomfortable conveying to the candidate e.g. if the candidate created a bad impression by wearing inappropriate clothing, or had poor hygiene.
Finicky, unprofessional interviewers have been known to reject candidates for flimsy reasons which can’t be communicated to candidates e.g. the interviewer didn’t approve of a candidate’s hobby or interests, or found their social media profiles controversial.
- Candidates don’t ask for feedback
As simple as it sounds, candidates may not receive feedback about their performance in an interview simply because not many candidates follow-up for or request feedback.
Even if interviewers or recruiters don't provide candidates a detailed assessment of their performance, they may, on request, provide a generalised reason for their rejection.
- It’s a time-consuming process
From shortlisting resumes, to screening and interviewing candidates, hiring is a lengthy process for most companies.
Larger companies deal with thousands of candidates annually. Tracking rejections, collating assessments, reaching out to and communicating feedback to every candidate requires extra manpower and time.
The additional effort required to achieve this makes the entire hiring process less efficient.
Especially if the interview process comprises multiple rounds conducted by different interviewers.
Simply put, interviewers and recruiters may be too busy to reach out to candidates once they’re rejected.
- The company is still interviewing candidates
Larger tech companies interview thousands of candidates annually.
Top tech and FAANG companies interview thousands of candidates a week.
It’s not uncommon for candidates to have to wait between various stages of the interview process to hear if they succeeded to the next round.
A candidate may presume they have been rejected during this period and have doubts about their performance. This has been known to happen with candidates interviewing for tech roles with FAANG companies.
However, it’s possible the company they’re waiting to hear from is still in the process of interviewing other candidates and will only revert once the entire process is over. Some candidates at FAANG companies have been known to wait for months before hearing back about their hiring status.
- Possibility of future hiring
Often candidates with the right qualifications and skills don’t quite make the cut during the interview process. However, these candidates are not rejected but shortlisted as possible future hires for another role or department. Candidates, in this case, are not provided any specific feedback.
- End of process
Some companies deliberately choose not to respond to interview candidates.
Their interview process is considered closed once a candidate is either accepted or rejected for a role.
These companies don’t encourage follow-ups from candidates about their performance or status in the interview process limiting communication to successful candidates only.
- Interviewing intent
Some companies interview candidates without the intention to hire but to keep abreast with the talent available in the industry.
In such cases, companies don't provide feedback because these interviews are conducted more with the intention to glean information than to assess a candidate's skills.
- The interviewer made a bad decision
Interviewers may reject qualified candidates believing they don’t fit the bill, possibly holding out for a better candidate or owing to unrealistic hiring criteria. However, they may subsequently realise they incorrectly rejected a suitable candidate. In this case, interviewers wouldn't provide feedback to candidates.
Companies adopt different ways to assess candidates at interviews. Candidates are usually graded by the interviewer based on their performance. Candidates are not privy to a company’s interview grading process, however, interviewers may offer feedback to candidates based on their performance.
Should candidates seek feedback after a technical interview?
Feedback is very useful to candidates preparing for technical interviews.
Technical interviews, unlike non-technical interviews, are very challenging, testing candidates on multiple aspects.
It takes many candidates multiple attempts to succeed at technical interviews especially at Tier 1 tech companies.
Feedback about interview performance can help candidates -
- Identify strengths and weaknesses to help improve performance at subsequent interviews.
- Get new insights into interviewing styles, behaviours, and knowledge and skill levels.
- Improve preparation processes by focusing on areas that require attention.
- Foster a professional image. Seeking feedback shows an interest in personal and professional development and candidates ll may be considered for an alternate role or future recruitment.
How job candidates can get feedback after a technical interview
- Ask for it
The best way to get feedback from an interview is to formally request it. Few candidates follow-up after an interview, losing out on an opportunity to get valuable feedback.
- Create a feedback loop with the interviewer
Candidates are usually given a few minutes at the end of an interview to ask the interviewer(s) any questions they may have.
Candidates can use this time to elicit feedback from interviewers about their performance.
- Follow-up with recruiter or interviewer
a. Candidates can follow-up after an interview to enquire about their hiring status.
Ideally, candidates should wait for a week or two before reaching out to the interviewer or recruiter.
Drafting a polite email or placing a follow-up phone call thanking the company for the experience and requesting feedback is one way to elicit a response.
b. Candidates can build a relationship with recruiters by asking them about the interview process at the onset, keeping them updated about their interview preparation, and asking intelligent questions about the interview process as the interview date approaches.
After the interview, candidates can maintain contact by intimating them about completing the interview and enquiring about the next steps of the process.
Candidates can subsequently follow-up to understand their status and request for feedback.
Recruiters are more likely to oblige candidates with whom they have a conversational flow.
- Connect with an employee of the hiring organization
Recruiters or interviewers may not directly engage with candidates. However, if candidates have or can establish a connection with an employee of the organization, they can indirectly connect with the recruiter or interviewer.
Interviewers may be more willing to give feedback or insights, informally, to an employee acting as a go-between.
- Attend starter interviews
Before attempting to interview at a Tier 1 tech or FAANG company, many aspirants attend interviews at Tier 2 or Tier 3 companies to get a feel of how technical interviews are conducted.
As leaders in the industry, interview processes devised by Tier 1 companies are often emulated by Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies, albeit with more relaxed interviewing and hiring criteria.
Candidates attend interviews at these companies to assess their performance in a live interview setting.
Feedback from these companies provide candidates insights on their interview performance and a reference point if rejected by a top tech company.
- Self-analysis or peer reviews
Since getting feedback after an interview can be a challenge, there are ways to obtain it indirectly during the interview.
Candidates can read interviewers’ verbal and non-verbal responses as they interact with them during the interview.
Positive and negative signals will tell candidates how their interview is progressing. Interviewers tend to be more interactive if they are interested in a candidate.
- If an interview or recruiter isn’t forthcoming with feedback, candidates can make a note or do a mental review of the interview experience immediately after the interview to identify areas they were confident in and areas they felt were potential pitfalls.
- Alternatively, candidates can analyse their interview experience with a peer or a mentor and use their inputs and opinions as feedback.
- Practice mock interviews
One of the best ways for candidates to get feedback about their performance in technical interviews is to practice mock interviews.
The most effective mock interviews are those that simulate the actual interview experience as closely as possible and those that are conducted with hiring managers or tech leads and recruiters from top tech companies.
By simulating a live interview experience, with professional interviewers and hiring personnel, candidates can get professional feedback.
This will help candidates better understand their performance during the actual interview and reasons for their rejection. Mock interviews can be practiced with peers or with professionals from the industry.
Feedback acts as a game-changer for most candidates attempting to crack technical interviews at top tech and FAANG companies. If candidates don’t hear back from a hiring company, the best strategy to stay on track to ace technical interviews is to move on and work on possible areas of improvement.
Learn all about how to navigate technical interviews at FAANG companies with our detailed guides on their interview processes and tips on how to succeed at technical interviews.
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