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You’ve completed your selection process, made your decision and informed the unsuccessful candidate that they have not been selected for the position. You’d like to close the loop by allowing this candidate to receive useful feedback, as promised during the interview process.


Why take the time to give feedback to a candidate who won’t be a part of your organization? There are several reasons. First, if you’ve promised to do so during the selection process, your credibility and corporate image are in question. In today’s job market, this candidate may come back later for a different position, speak favourably about your organization, or even become a client. Furthermore, this feedback may be useful for them in future interviews and help in developing their skills.


In the case of an internal candidate, you’ll likely want to be proactive in managing the impact of this decision by offering a career management plan, a development plan or added responsibilities related to their strengths. This situation must be managed properly, to avoid creating feelings of disengagement or rejection, which may be toxic for the entire team.


  • Feedback must be planned from the moment of the interview: we commit to properly analyze the candidate’s application and thereby reduce the risk of being stuck with unjustified biases. There’s a big difference between giving feedback like “I don’t feel a connection” or “I don’t think it’s going to mesh with the personalities we have in the team,” and a decision based on rigorous criteria that reduce subjectivity.
  • It’s better to present this feedback some time after telling the candidate their application was unsuccessful. They’ll likely be more attentive to what you have to say after this emotional moment has passed.


  • Remember that even if you’ve given a candidate the opportunity to hear your feedback, choosing to receive it and taking it seriously is their own responsibility.
  • In the case of an internal candidate, opt for an in-person meeting. For an external candidate, you can use an online scheduling platform, and invite the candidate to select a time to get the call. This will automate the process and empower the candidate.
  • Prepare your key messages in advance.
  • Let the candidate know you’ll also ask for their feedback on the selection process.



Giving feedback isn’t easy. You want a more solid background before talking to a candidate about what they should watch out for? This book will give you several context-specific, tangible keys: Le candidat viscéral : un guide pratique en sélection pour un regard approfondi sur le candidat. M. Guénette et C. Bédard, Éditions Yvon Blais, 2017 (In French)

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Catherine Bédard

Catherine Bédard s’intéresse à la gestion et au développement des compétences pour faire des organisations des milieux humains et porteurs de sens. Avec Mathieu Guénette, elle a coecrit en 2017 et à titre personnel « Le Candidat viscéral: un guide pratique en sélection pour un regard approfondi sur le candidat ». CRHA,…

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Mathieu Guénette

Conseiller d'orientation depuis 1998, j'oeuvre autant auprès des organisations (à travers des processus d'évaluation de potentiel pour de la sélection) que des individus. Je suis l'auteur de plusieurs ouvrages dont le guide en sélection "Le candidat viscéral" co-écrit avec Catherine Bédard. Le livre a reçu le prix professionnel de l'Ordre…

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