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Post selection feedback

The panel should nominate a member (usually the chairperson) to provide post selection feedback where requested by an unsuccessful interviewed applicant. It should be offered as soon as possible after the applicants have been notified of the decision.

How should you provide post selection feedback?

It is helpful to use the following interpersonal skills while conducting post selection feedback:

  • Actively listen to the other person's perspective.
  • Ask questions that facilitate good communication.
  • Be sensitive to emotions that may arise during the feedback.
  • Structure the discussion to ensure the session stays on track.
  • Pay attention to body language.
  • Provide information as freely and honestly as you can.

A suggested structure for post selection feedback is:

  • Arrange a suitable place to meet and offer suggestions of possible venues.
  • Welcome and thank the applicant stressing why the decision had been made and reiterate the purpose of the meeting.
  • Identify the selection capabilities where the selected candidate was considered in general terms to have greater claims for selection.
  • Go through each selection capability not met by applicant and explain why they were assessed as not fully meeting these.
  • If the applicant met all the selection capabilities, but not to the same extent as the recommended applicant, this should be stated.
  • Provide constructive feedback on general areas such as the application, interview presentation or areas of strength or weakness apparent from selection process.
  • Discuss possible action they could take to realise their career aspirations.
  • Allow questions from applicant.
  • Wish them luck in future career opportunities and bring session to an end.
The feedback session should be given in a friendly, direct and positive and constructive manner. It should be descriptive rather than judgemental. The feedback can cover several aspects of the selection process including:
  • Applications and interview techniques and where and how improvements could be made for the future. For example, the written application may not have addressed the selection capabilities or qualifications; the applicant could have sought more information about the work unit, branch or organisation prior to interview; the applicant did not use opportunities fully during the interview to 'sell' their skills and experience.
  • The relative 'strength' of the field. Applicants should be made aware that applicant fields for different positions can vary enormously and they should be encouraged to maintain interest in applying for desired positions/assignments for which they are appropriately qualified and skilled. In this context, they need to carefully consider their skills and make realistic assessments of positions for which they may have a competitive show. This does not mean that the applicant should be provided with information regarding the performance of other applicants. This information is confidential and cannot be discussed with other applicants.

How well the applicant satisfied the selection capabilities and any advice on how they might achieve their career aspirations. Applicants may have met some of the criteria well, but be lacking in others. This can be because of particular experience, training, qualifications and skills, or the lack thereof, of the different applicants. They should be encouraged to address areas of perceived weaknesses and explore development and promotional opportunities.


The material on this page has been adapted from information created by the Department of Human Services Human Resources Branch.

Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).