In this study, the transient multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) is proposed to detect the existence, the location and the length of interface debonding defects in rectangular concrete-filled steel tubes (CFST). Mesoscale numerical analysis is performed to validate the feasibility of MASW-based interfacial debonding detection. Research findings indicate that the coaxial characteristics in the Rayleigh wave disperse at the starting point of the debonding area and gradually restores at the end of the defect. For healthy specimens, the surface wave mode in CFST is closer to the Rayleigh wave. However, it can be treated as a Lamb wave since the steel plate is boundary-free on both sides in the debonding area. The displacement curves are further investigated with forward analysis to obtain the dispersion curves. The mesoscale numerical simulation results indicate that the propagation characteristic of the surface wave is dominated by the debonding defect. The detectability of interfacial debonding detection for rectangular CFST using the MASW approach is numerically verified in this study. The proposed MASW-based nondestructive testing technique can achieve bond-slip detection by comparing the variation trend of the coaxial characteristics in the time-history output signals and the dispersion curves obtained from the forward analysis, for avoiding misjudgment of the experimental observations.