How to Interview – Step 5 – The Candidate Experience

7 05 2010

Continuing my series of How to Interview, today I’d like to focus on an area that all too many employers forget about and which is crucial to a successful hire – The Candidate Experience.

Yes yes yes.  The Candidate really does have feelings and thoughts too!  So, apart from using a systematic approach when recruiting, the integrity of what you do is also impacted by how you behave throughout your interaction with the candidate.

Remember that throughout the process, you represent the public face of your business, and that candidates won’t differentiate between a company interaction (i.e. buying a product) and a recruitment interaction. Whatever you say, or do, matters. If you get their names wrong, mess up the paperwork, or leave them waiting around without explanation, it’s not unreasonable for them to think that this is how your organisation generally does business.

Throughout all of our interactions with candidates it is therefore critical to remember that they are your potential (and possibly current) customers.  Just because your interaction with these people is as a consequence of a job application, it does not mean that you should treat them with any less care or respect than you would if you were dealing with a customer. If a candidate feels you have treated them badly, it is reasonable to assume that it could lead to them withdrawing their business, choosing not to do business with you in the future and informing friends, family and colleagues – all of whom could make the same choices.

The opposite side of the coin is the potential for exceptional business benefits. An excellent candidate experience and candidate hire, can lead to the delivery of improved public relations and reputation and increased business sales.

Remember everyone is a potential candidate and as a very minimum you should:

  • Treat people how they want to be treated and with the high level of respect and service you expect to be treated with yourself.
  • Be friendly and professional at all times
  • Respond to every candidate
  • Use technology for what it does best
  • Make sure your message is clear
  • Create a comfortable atmosphere
  • Recognise the little things that make a difference

Finally, when it comes to reviewing your business’s Candidate experience, it might help you to start by asking:

  • Are you satisfied with the quality and efficiency of your recruitment procedures?
  • Do you regularly evaluate your recruitment processes?
  • How do your candidates feel about your responsiveness to their enquiries?
  • Does your process give people good memories of how you dealt with them and enhance their experience of your business?

From here you’ll be in a better place to determine what you need to do to get it right every time.

I hope this has helped you to consider the integral part that the Candidate Experience plays when it comes to  interviewing and your recruitment.  For an informal chat about what you could do to improve yours, please get in touch with Michelle on 01202 853647 or email us at

Watch out for the next step – Before and After.




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