ilovesf wrote:I don't think there's anything wrong with giving constructive advice. You could say something like "unfortunately we have decided not to interview you. As a PI organization, we seek candidates who have a proven dedication to PI with PI experience, and we feel as though you have not expressed this in your application. We recommend in the future that to be a successful candidate for a PI org, you highlight your desires to work for a PI org and your past experience in the field." or something like that
I don't think one could expect negative employer feedback to ever come in a nice and pleasant manner.
Think of course evaluations. When you guys had negative comments, how often do you word it nicely? I certainly don't expect someone to write for my course "as a professor, you should show that you have a good grasp of the material, and I recommend you familiarize yourself with the course curriculum before starting lectures."
It's a high stakes, high stress industry. More often than not, when you make huge mistakes (such as generate interest in no one in your target audience) you would get chewed at pretty badly. Hand holding and breaking it nicely probably don't happen much.