How to give interview feedback (and how not to)

By Ross Huggett, Developer at Design Pandr

Warning: This article contains profanity.

The title may sound obvious but I remember I got some interview feedback once which made me feel really upset at the time. I did a technical test and they described what I had done to be

“a bit messed up”

and that I had done

“another evil singleton.”

It went on to say it was

“weird”

and that I had done a

“very wrong implementation.”

This came after weeks of chasing the organisation for feedback. I wished I hadn’t at the time. Having your work being describes as messed up, evil and weird really fucking hurts.

But then I realised that I wasn’t a good cultural fit for that organisation. If I had gone there, I would have only get frustrated.

Comparing that with another piece of feedback I got from another company, there was a big difference.

The feedback came almost instantly, and it started with positives. It described where I went wrong with respectful language, and suggested how I could improve things. It offered words of encouragement like:

“I believe that you are totally capable to get there.”

and

“You just need a bit more practice.”

It suggested books to read, meetup groups to go to where the hiring manager looked forward to seeing me there.

Makes a difference, doesn’t it?