Why feedback is crucial for candidates who were unsuccessful during executive searches

At PIXCELL, when a candidate is eliminated from a hiring process, we do not just send out a run-of-the-mill rejection email. We believe that it is important and beneficial to provide every aspiring leader with real, honest, and constructive feedback after each interview. Here is why.


What did not work?


As headhunters, we are constantly looking to get as much information as possible from our clients. Our main goal is, of course, to fill the position with the best candidate. Every piece of feedback we receive from the client allows us to fine-tune our approach. Why not give candidates the benefit of constructive feedback as well?

If you are not selected, remember that the reasons why you ultimately did not get the job that you wanted may not be entirely within your control.

Some reasons for rejection have more to do with the company, its expectations, or the other candidates in the running for the position. For example:

  • The position was offered to someone who has more experience than you or whom the company already knew.
  • Other candidates have background experience that better complements the executive committee.

Other reasons may be directly related to your interview performance. For example:

  • You were not able to articulate your accomplishments well to showcase your skills.
  • You lacked confidence in your knowledge of the company’s business challenges.


There are many reasons why a candidate might be rejected. After all, an interview is only an hour or two in the lives of two human beings. Of course, the person making the decision tries to be as objective as possible. Many factors, however, can affect how both sides perceive each other, and what you said may not have come across as you would have liked.

While some aspects of the process are beyond your control (the company, the other candidates, the mindset of your interviewer), others are within it, and you can and should work on those before your next interview.

How can I improve my interview skills?


Let’s start by making one thing clear: we would never recommend that anyone change their personality to get a job. You can adjust the way you come across in interviews without changing who you are.

Ask the headhunter questions to find out what the determining factor was in the selected candidate being chosen. An accurate and honest answer will help you work on your weaknesses.

From the thousands of interviews we have conducted, we have identified some common areas for improvement. Here are some tips:

  • Project more self-confidence, of course without veering into arrogance.
  • Be mindful of your body language as it can reveal the awkwardness you might feel or your lack of confidence.
  • Sell yourself well. Learn how to showcase your professional accomplishments effectively.
  • Show genuine interest in the organization by asking the right questions. Do your research beforehand and show that you understand the organization’s challenges.


With our expertise and executive search experience, we can readily provide guidance to candidates who wish to develop better interviewing skills. So, if you want to improve your interview performance with experts before your next professional opportunity, PIXCELL can help you.


Honesty is good for the employer brand


Our clients trust us to provide a comprehensive selection process, from screening to hiring. We believe that providing honest feedback to all candidates is an integral part of our thorough and rigorous service. Many clients do not realize that closing the loop on candidate journeys is an asset for their company.

Picking up the phone to speak openly with candidates sends a clear message that the company’s management is grateful for the candidates’ interest in the organization and the position. Regardless of the reasons why the unsuccessful candidates were not chosen to fill a position, thanking them for the time and effort they invested shows courtesy and respect. While too many companies and recruiters leave their unsuccessful candidates in the lurch without ever explaining why, providing constructive feedback can only be beneficial to the company’s brand and reputation.


A benefit to candidates, recruiters, and headhunters


As an executive search firm, we know that taking the time to speak with candidates who were unsuccessful in a hiring process can open doors. By having a brief conversation with them while they are back at square one, we can learn about their career aspirations and keep in touch with them for future openings.

With the current shortage of skilled labour, the next career opportunity for qualified candidates is never far away. Every interview is a chance to improve, get to know ourselves better and adjust the way we come across. It is best not to look at the hiring process in a linear way, where everything is black and white, hired or not hired. Instead, look at it as a learning opportunity and draw lessons from it for your next interview.


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