Most important constructive feedback?

Vince tip: Select recommenders who can best answers the "constructive feedback" question

The Question

"Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response."

Constructive Feedback / Criticism Template


1. Problem (why did the recommender feel the need to give you constructive feedback?)

2. Recommender's feedback (what s/he told you)

3. Your reaction (what did you say and do. Add real dialogue. NOTE – please avoid having your reocommender mention what you thought of felt – how would s/he know such details unless you told him / her?)

4. Your efforts to address the feedback / improve in this growth area (include concrete action steps over a period of weeks, months, even years - longer-term is better because it proves that the feedback was not easy to fix and that you made sustained and serious efforts to improve)

5. Result (what short example best demonstrates your growth and ability to respond proactive to constructive feedback? add real details, including numbers and qualifications like first, youngest, only and best)

What is Constructive Criticism / Feedback?

Gregg Walker, Dept. of Speech Communication, Oregon State University, says: Criticism may occur within conflict situations or can foster conflict.  Criticism, or the generation of "evaluative judgments," is often painful or difficult to "give" or "receive."  If handled appropriately by both the person criticized and the person being criticized, critical feedback can promote constructive growth in individuals and relationships.

Constructive Criticism - Some Assumptions

Constructive Criticism - Guidelines for the Critic

Constructive Criticism - Guidelines for the Criticized

(found at; accessed 2010/02)

How to respond to criticism 

Stage 1: Digest what was said and do some self-reflection

Stage 2: Prepare a response to the criticism you received

Stage 3: Engage in a constructive conversation that addresses the criticism you received

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