How feedback after job interviews can improve your travel business

Everyone wants feedback these days. Buy anything online and you’ll receive a survey about your purchasing experience. It can be tiresome, so it’s not surprising that many of us click delete. But, what about if you’re going for a job interview? Should you expect to give and receive feedback?

We say definitely yes. Post interview feedback is essential. And it shouldn’t be seen as tiresome. Specialist recruitment is an area in which both sides can benefit from feedback following a job interview. These days candidates are demanding it. As a company, you can use candidate and recruiter feedback to improve your travel business. Think of it as a chance to see how people perceive you. A candidate entering your business for the first time can offer fresh insight into office culture and how the company comes across.

Feedback to candidates

For travel candidates, constructive feedback helps improve their interview technique. We should all be invested in improving how potential travel employees act, in order to make the industry as good as it can be.

Sometimes, it’s a tiny detail that loses someone a job. I had a case where someone was interviewing for a fairly corporate-style business and I suggested they wear a suit, which they did, but their chipped, bright blue nail polish lost them the job. For the interviewer to give personal feedback like this is tricky but it allows the candidate to learn and rectify the issue for next time. Other basic-level problems were a candidate chewing gum throughout the interview, and someone sitting with their coat on. These are all examples where the smallest improvements could secure the job and where impressions count.

As travel recruiters we can provide tools to prepare candidates for interview but once inside that room, it is their time to shine. I think it’s only fair to tell them how they did. I suggest that both positive and negative feedback is given, whether someone got the job or not. If they’re a close second, tell them why they were good, and why they didn’t make it. This could simply be because someone else was more suitable – but let them know. Knowledge is power.

Other common problems with candidates that clients have fed back include a poor cultural fit. This is a difficult pill to swallow, because you might be perfect for the role but not quite right for their business or the team. But it’s useful to know, too.

Another common problem is the candidate’s wardrobe. In these days of casual wear, it is more common for a candidate not to be appropriately dressed in the eyes of an employer.

A further issue is when the candidate hasn’t done enough research. As a travel job recruiter, I always make sure I send them company info, recent business updates, the LinkedIn link for their interviewer so they can put a face to the name and see their career history, and any other relevant information. But it’s up to each candidate to research the company and come up with sensible questions. Read our What Not to Say in a Travel Interview blog for more on that.

Giving interview feedback to me to pass to the candidate shows good business practice and appreciation of the candidate’s time and interest in their business. For that reason, I always want thorough and honest feedback. Naturally people want to focus on positive points and find it awkward to criticise someone’s performance, especially when they can see they have tried their best. But it’s in the interest of the candidate.

You’re much more likely to get this feedback if you’ve used a travel recruiter, as I can easily ask the client for feedback. I suggest they imagine themselves in the position of the job seeker – we can all be in a position to help someone onto the next rung, and let them know if they’ve made an error. As a recruiter it’s our job to ensure feedback is given constructively.

Feedback to clients

I also always ask candidates for their feedback to pass to clients. Hiring managers are ambassadors for their business, and every candidate will form an impression of them and the company at interview, whether they’re successful of not. Businesses succeed through referral, word of mouth and reviews – so treating every candidate respectfully can improve your travel business and its reputation.

It’s helpful for me too, so I can gauge the interview technique of the hiring manager, which allows me to brief future candidates. I also want to know whether the candidate enjoyed the process, and if they were welcomed in a friendly manner.

Criticisms can include the interviewer not paying attention or being preoccupied. I’ve also had an example where the questioning style was quite aggressive which made the candidate uncomfortable. I feedback all information sensitively, but honestly. It can help to explain a candidate’s behaviour in the interview.

A client could take advice on board and shift the prevailing office culture by adopting a less aggressive interview and management style, or by showing more genuine interest. These things can affect how a company is run. During the hiring process, there are opportunities for truths to come out, and help improve your travel business.

Interviews are a two-way process. Each side has valuable insights to offer. Naturally as recruiters, we always ask candidates the burning question: ‘So, how did it go?’ A response of, ‘Great, I love the offices, I got on well with the hiring manager and I met the team,’ is ideal. But sometimes candidates say, ‘It’s not for me’ or ‘I didn’t gel with the hiring manager’, or ‘I didn’t get a warm welcome’. The big decision can come from both directions, and so should the feedback.

Feedback to the recruiter

As recruiters, we also seek to better ourselves in terms of client and candidate experience, so we need feedback, too. Clients and candidates can do that via LinkedIn, Feefo and also Google and Facebook. LinkedIn is a particularly important feedback tool these days, particularly for recommendations, which most employers will browse before interview.