Leave all candidates with a good impression

During and after an interview process, it’s important to treat all candidates with the same level of respect and try to leave a positive lasting impression on those that didn’t make the cut.

The fair way to treat all contenders is to stay in touch, either directly or through your recruitment partner. Deliver feedback to the unsuccessful interviewees as soon as you have decided they are not right for the role. Keeping them waiting, or not notifying them at all reflects badly on your organisation, and there’s a chance it may put them off wanting to apply for your future roles.


Bad news travels fast

Be careful about leaving a bad impression on anyone; the reach of social media means it can become common knowledge in a matter of moments.

People use social networks to publicise their opinions and your reputation as an employer of choice can be easily tarnished by negative comments posted by a candidate that feels slighted at not receiving adequate feedback following their interview.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the candidates you don’t select for your role might still be snapped up by a competitor and could potentially be key decision makers in your market in the future.

Those candidates who didn’t get offered the job (particularly those who reached the final interview stage) should be thanked and provided with constructive feedback if they are to walk away with a lasting good impression from their dealings with you.


Time and effort pays

Contacting unsuccessful candidates takes little time on your part but can amount to a positive, lasting impression for individuals concerned and, potentially, a much wider audience.

Interview feedback is a great way of increasing positive employer/company branding. Build on your name’s reputation by leaving candidates certain that you value them and will keep them in mind for future opportunities.


Provide constructive feedback

Most people going through the interview process will appreciate constructive criticism, so any effort that you make to maintain open communications is likely to be met with positive regard and a lasting impression of your organisation. Remember, negative impressions last a lot longer than positive ones.

Ensure you only give feedback that is useful – try to provide candidates with tips for future interviews, rather than a list of what they did wrong.


Step-by-step guide to leaving candidates with a good impression


1. If you interview someone that isn’t suitable for the role, let them know as soon as possible. Don’t keep them hanging on because you dread making the rejection phone call.

2. If you interview someone who is a good fit for the role but still have other candidates to interview, contact them and let them know they’re still in the running. If they haven’t heard from you they might accept another offer.

3. Update all candidates during the interview process – for instance, when each round will take place and how many rounds there will be

4. When you’ve made a hire, inform the other candidates at the same time; don’t wait until the successful person starts the job.

5. If additional feedback is requested from unsuccessful candidates; provide it. Be constructive in your criticism and if you thought they performed well, tell them.


Find out more about the interview process with employer advice from Michael Page.

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