Crafting a Good Candidate Experience One Interview at a Time

By Adam Robinson,
November 8, 2012

So you read about the importance of providing a good candidate experience, now what? Asking each candidate if they would like a cup of coffee when they arrive is not good enough (even if it is really good coffee). And for goodness’ sake, get rid of the mentality that you are doing each candidate a favor by interviewing them. Rather, look at the interview as if the candidates are doing you a favor by willing to bring their skills and expertise to your company. Treating each candidate like a customer is the key to providing a great experience. (If you didn’t read the first blog on candidate experience, check it out here.) 

Clear off your crafting table and get ready to design an award-winning candidate experience:


Respond to every applicant

If Google and Apple can send every single applicant an email saying their application was received, so can you. Just let them know you got their application and will be in touch within X amount of time. After reviewing their credentials within that originally stated amount of time, send the candidates another email either detailing the next steps of the process or informing them you are going to pursue other candidates and thanking them for their interest in the company. 

Schedule a phone interview

It may sound crazy, but we’ve heard countless stories of candidates getting a call from a hiring manager wanting to conduct a phone interview right then and there. Not only is it a common courtesy to schedule a phone interview in advance so necessary arrangements can be made, but it also gives the candidate time to prepare and research your company. Also make sure you let the candidate know ahead of time approximately how long the phone interview will take. Once again, this gives the candidate time to make necessary arrangements and shows that you are willing to accommodate their needs. 

Give feedback

After conducting a phone interview, did you decide to pursue other candidates? Let the candidates know that! It is disappointing to hear that you didn’t make it to the next level of an interview, but it’s more disappointing when you don’t even hear back. Give the candidate a call, let them know you’re looking at other candidates and give them feedback! Just give a few specific reasons explaining why they weren’t the top candidate. Not only will they appreciate this feedback, but it will also help them make it to the next level of interviews down the road!

Update candidates (almost) as often as you do your Facebook status

Did you bring a candidate in for an interview? Keep them updated! The last thing you want is to look like a jerk that doesn’t think it’s worth your time to update applicants on the decision  process. It only takes a few minutes to shoot each candidate an email giving them a heads on the decision -making process, but it will show that you genuinely care. 

Be willing to answer questions

Whether the candidate has questions during or after the interview, make sure you answer them (and do so truthfully)! Has your company been struggling and the candidate has some questions about where the company will be in the coming months? Don’t hesitate to answer; after all, chances are good the candidate could find these answers online with a little bit of digging. By answering a candidates questions, it shows that you’re willing to share your knowledge with that candidate. More importantly, it shows that you are happy to take time out of your day to help them out.

Hiring the right candidate takes so more than just sitting down for an interview and jotting down some notes. Planning interviews around each applicants schedule, keeping them updated throughout the process and providing feedback are essential to giving each and every candidate a stellar candidate experience.  

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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