By: Angela Maschio

A lack of candidate engagement is something we like to call the candidate black hole. Candidate interview feedback provides guidance and support throughout the interview process. A lack of this interview feedback leaves candidates feeling lost, confused and probably really annoyed. It’s just like floating around in a dark place only to be left there for eternity, never hearing back about their job application, or to be shut down with little explanation.

Either way, a negative candidate experience will almost certainly make your candidates dislike your organization, and they’ll be less likely to apply again in the future.

Almost 50% of applicants never hear back on their status or follow-up information up to two months after applying. It cannot be denied anymore. Candidates are being left in the dark, and that needs to change.

Giving interview feedback to unsuccessful candidates can be challenging, but sharing positive interview feedback should be so easy just by the context of the message. Challenging or not, candidate engagement is all about communication. Where communication lacks, so does your candidate engagement.

The Importance Of Feedback

Feedback during the interview process is so valuable because it can sway candidates’ opinions about your organization quite a bit.

In fact, candidates are 4x more likely to consider your company in the future for a job if you’ve offered constructive feedback during the interview process. So even if we’re talking about unsuccessful candidates, feedback is still wildly important.

Candidate Experience Best Practice

How you treat candidates matters. This is nothing new to the recruiting world, but it’s increasingly becoming a hot topic on teams to improve candidate experience. Part of treating candidates well and improving their experience is offering candidate interview feedback and keeping them engaged.

Aside from a job offer, there’s nothing that candidates crave more while interviewing than knowledge on their status and how they can improve. When your team does not share this information, it causes a lot of frustration and discomfort. This displeasure can be broadcast to the world on company review sites or even persona social media accounts.

So it’s clear to see, your company’s reputation and appeal can quickly dive down a dark, negative rabbit hole if candidate interview feedback is lacking.

Where You Should Be Offering Candidate Feedback After the Interview

Candidate interview feedback, aside from a generic “thank you for applying” message, enhances the candidate experience because candidates feel more educated about their standing and they feel like they are part of the conversation or hiring decision.

Interview feedback should happen in a few different areas in the hiring process:

Status Updates

This is a no-brainer! As candidates progress through the interview process, let them know that they’ve moved on to the next round. The more candidates know they are progressing and moving on in the interview process, the better prepared they can be for following interviews and the more interested they’ll become in the position.

Directions and Instructions for Interviews

Providing little context or little feedback after scheduling an interview with candidates can be a major downfall. You know how to get to your office and what you should be saying during interviews because that’s all part of your daily routine. But, this is something fresh and new to a candidate.

Sure map apps exist, but providing guidance to your candidates shows that you care about their success during an interview. Spend some time creating content or an email template with directions to the office, how a candidate should dress and what they should bring.

If you have any internal interview preparation content, share it! Candidates want to put their best foot forward, and planning according to your standards will help them do just that.

Giving Interview Feedback to Unsuccessful Candidates

Letting a candidate know they won’t be moving on in the interview process is tricky. Organizations should strive to be delicate since their candidates are very likely to also be customers (and can quickly become unhappy customers with harsh rejections). But, we can’t write novels of apologies to these candidates either.

Giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates should be a balance of informational and helpful. What candidates really want to know at this point is how they can improve for the future. Interview feedback at this point should give pointers and also be appreciative of the candidate’s application.

Candidate Onboarding Information

Once you’ve successfully found your ideal candidate and extended an offer, it’s time to start showing off company culture and welcoming them to the team. A cold welcome or a lack of feedback can make for an unpleasant first day and even regrets about accepting an offer.

Everywhere in Between

Aside from these obvious steps where interview feedback should be shared, there’s no such thing as going overboard. Especially since many companies aren’t offering any feedback whatsoever.

Candidates should be hearing from your organization even if they haven’t reached a big milestone or if your team hasn’t made a decision yet. If a candidate did well during an interview, let them know! Even if you haven’t decided on their next steps, a quick email or text can keep your candidates engaged and happy.

Moments in between interview stages or decisions are great times to engage with candidates on company news, information about culture or goals for departments within the organization for the year.

How To Know If You Offer Enough Feedback

The best way to gauge if you are sharing enough feedback is to actually elicit feedback from your candidates. Survey candidates about your interview process and get their feedback on the experience. If your candidates are largely expressing that they felt left out or did not know their standing in the interview process, you need to make some serious changes. This is also a good way to know if what you are communicating is relevant and useful for candidates at any stage in the process.

If we can offer one piece of advice, it’s to communicate with your candidates as much as possible. They want to feel included in their interview process, and keeping the conversation going beyond just interviews is a great way to do that. Check out our candidate communication software to keep the conversation alive!



Candidate Interview Feedback Helps Improve their Experience

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