Tips for a Great Candidate Experience

I am so proud of Chess Capistrano, one of our amazing Recruiters. (All our Recruiters are amazing!) She was endorsed for Niche Talent Acquisition by one of the candidates she gave regret feedback to. Of course, selected candidates had wonderful words to say, too, about their Candidate Experience. Cheers to Bev Geronimo and Nic Sigua here, too!

I have made a few friends from when I was myself a Recruiter. Most of them from those I gave feedback to which helped them land a job elsewhere eventually, some were hired. We still talk and they still consult me on HR, leadership and career move matters.

A note from a candidate who reached the final round of the interview process.

Now, that Candidate Experience as opposed to…

Jen who was invited for an initial interview in the Shared Services of one of the biggest global Companies. Jen was excited and even though she lived far from the office, she was willing to commute for a chance to work with this Company.

She arrived early, only to realize that there were 11 others booked on the same slot as hers. Everyone arrived early.

Problem was, there was only one initial interviewer, who did not start on time… Anyhow…

Alas, after 5 hours, it was her turn.

Regardless, whether you hire this candidate or not, the starting point of the relationship was not nice and was very likely to make an impact – a negative one. For sure, the interviewer had no intention of this whatsoever and maybe just thinking about efficiency. So, here are tips, small and big changes that we can employ in our Recruitment process to make candidate experience a better one.

Why is Candidate Experience So Important?

I will give you 3 reasons.

  1. This is to be the starting point of your employee-employer relationship. You want all sort of relationships to have a sweet start.
  2. Even if they don’t end up working with you, they could be an ambassador for your brand. You always want good things said about any and all associations with you better be positive.
  3. Last and certainly not least, they are human beings who deserve respect. Respect that is shown by the below tips…

5 Tips for a Great Candidate Experience

Map the interview process and set proper expectations.

It’s never a positive experience to not know where you stand and what will happen next. Everyone needs clarity and certainty. So, from when a requisition is filed, lock your interview process in place. Then, communicate this to the candidate from the get go.

Don’t make them wait.

Properly and thoughtfully schedule interviews. Be there on time if not ahead of the candidate. No one wants to be in Jen’s shoes as in the above story. Everybody’s time is precious, including the candidates’. This is a basic expression of respect.

Nowadays, employers are no longer giving candidates a favor by inviting them. Candidates are more like customers. Now that changes things, doesn’t it?

Make Interviews Conversational

What you want to do is to put them at ease. Not to scare them. Not to position yourself as the all powerful. Especially, not to drain them. Some interviewers are, themselves nervous and stressed during the interview. The candidates then feel uncomfortable as a result. So, foremost, relaxed and comfortable recruiters and hiring managers are key. You want to simulate your actual work atmosphere (which we hope is nice and friendly) in the interview.

This way, too, you get the best from your interviewees. People generally perform better when they are at ease because they can focus on the question or task and not worry about anything else.

Provide real-time, honest and tactfully crafted feedback

I think this is most popular, and not in a good way. Recruiters’ seeming inability to provide feedback to candidates. They use the term “ghosting” as in when someine initially pursuing you suddenly and without warning disappears to thin air. In a sense, this is understandable, especially in cases of volume hiring. Difficult, but it can be done. There’s technology nowadays that recruiters can leverage. So, no matter how challenging, it is an imperative to give feedback.

But what’s key here is how much personalization you can do and how helpful your feedback is. It is also wise to onboard the Hiring Managers in giving feedback becuase this is something that they can do even before they end the interview. There’s higher percentage that they already know whether pass or fail midway through the conversation.

Collect Only the Needed Data Per Application Step And Keep All Records Confidential

Many years ago, I was invited to apply by courier service Company. I was scheduled for my initial interview and was asked to bring all necessary documents which included my birth certificate, entire family’s birth certificate, transcript of records, several 1×1 photos to name a few. Seriously? Initial interview documentation requirements? No!

Each document for a reason and requested at the right time.

What other candidate experience best practices would you like share?

Any candidate experience nightmare so far?

Coming Up: 30-Day Confidence Challenge

Join me and my team as we take on the 30-Day Confidence Challenge. Here, we build on the confidence that we already have. Yes, even the shyest person has it deep down. It just needs to be unleashed for greater success and happiness in your career and all your relationships.

More on this on Feb 26th. Day 1 of 30 days start on March 1st.

Thank you for visiting. 

For Strengths Coaching and HR Consulting, please send an email to As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, I am happy to join your personal, family and team development journey.

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