5 Ways Your Team May be Giving Candidates a Bad Interview Experience

Your talent acquisition team works hard to build strong talent pipelines for each of your organization’s roles. The last thing you want to see is that your pipeline is leaking your best candidates. But if your candidates have a bad interview experience, that’s exactly what will happen. Eighty three percent of talent said a negative interview experience could change their mind about a role or company they once liked. You can build a more efficient recruitment process by learning about your opportunities for improvement, and quickly implementing necessary changes. Here are some of the most common things that cause a bad interview experience, and what to do about them:


1.  Your interview team doesn’t communicate important logistics to candidates.

For instance, if you all fail to mention that you have two locations, or that your office building has a strict security protocol. These situations can be stressful to candidates, causing them arrive flustered and possibly annoyed. To avoid this bad interview experience, send each candidate an interview confirmation email with all of the important details they will need to know. Doing so will allow your candidates to focus on their qualifications for the role, so you can find the candidates with the right fit.

2. Your interview team doesn’t know how to interview.

Remember, interviewing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. People outside of your talent acquisition team may not be familiar with how to interview effectively, or illegal interview questions to avoid. Strong collaboration between your team and the hiring team can alleviate these issues. Hold an interviewer training to review how to assess and engage talent, including what not to do. Your team’s recruiting expertise, alongside your hiring team’s domain expertise, will lead to a better interview experience for everyone.

3. Your interview team doesn’t follow a structured interview process.

With an unstructured interview process, every candidate will likely have a different experience—and it may not be the experience you’d like them to have. For instance, a work sample test may be given to a few candidates and thrown in at the last minute for the rest, upsetting those who are expecting a hiring decision. Again, it’s so important to collaborate with your hiring team to help them build a structured interview process, and interview questions, that will suss out the right candidates. Then, let each candidate know what to expect, and when.

4. Your interview team is unprepared.

Interviewers can get wrapped up in their “day” job, and may come to interviews without first reviewing the resume, job description, or interview questions. This can make candidates feel unimportant—especially when they have spent time preparing for the interview so they could make a good impression. Increase efficiency and collaboration by sending an interview preparation checklist to all key stakeholders. This will help each of those stakeholders understand what they can do to better prepare for interviews, so they can leave a positive impression on your candidates.

5. Your interview team doesn’t submit feedback quickly.

Following an interview, candidates are eagerly awaiting next steps. Taking too long to get back to them may cause them to feel like you don’t care about them, or like you’re waiting to find someone better. The candidate may also receive another offer, and decide not to wait for yours. Either way, leaving your candidates hanging can turn a good interview experience sour. Don’t let that happen. Collect and share interview feedback as quickly as possible so that all candidates—whether they’re advancing in your process or not—know where they stand.

Final thoughts

When you work hard to build your talent pipeline, it’s crucial to keep each candidate engaged throughout your recruitment process. In order to do so, it helps to sit down and consider where you can improve for various candidate touchpoints. Candidate surveys can be a wonderful source of information, as can interviewer feedback. When you consider how to make improvements, also consider how you can standardize and scale your solutions for a more efficient process. For instance, you can create an interview confirmation email template and schedule feedback reminders automatically in your applicant tracking system. You can also improve collaboration with your hiring team by offering them a standardized interview training, process, and preparation checklist. As you continue to receive feedback, make small tweaks to these things to optimize them for better efficiency and collaboration. Doing so will decrease the chances of a candidate walking away from your organization with a bad interview experience.

To learn more about building a standout interview experience, download our eBook: Top Interview Tips: The Employer’s Essential Handbook