How to Win Over Candidates with Effective Interview Follow-up

Candidates have long been encouraged to follow-up on interviews with a note to thank the interviewers for their time, and reiterate their interest in, and qualifications for, the position. However, many organizations don’t extend their candidates the same courtesy. Qualified candidates are in short supply, and many organizations are benefitting from selling the candidate on the organization as much as the candidate is selling them on their qualifications. If you want to build a world-class team, effective interview follow-up can go a long way in winning over your top choice candidates.

Keep in-demand candidates engaged in your interview process

In-demand candidates have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. Effective interview follow-up can keep them engaged in your interview process, rather than backing out because they received another offer or if the process is taking too long. During each step in the interview process, let your candidates know what to expect next, and when — then deliver on those expectations. There will be times when the next steps or the timeframe change, but simply communicating those changes with your candidates when they’re expecting to hear from you goes a long way toward keeping them engaged. It shows that you value their time, and gives you the opportunity to learn if they are considering dropping out of your interview process for any reason. If you find out a top-choice candidate has another offer on the table, for instance, you can try to speed up your interview process to get an offer out faster.

Close more top-choice candidates

In addition to keeping top-choice candidates engaged in your interview process, effective interview follow-up can also help you close them. Top-choice candidates are in high demand, and may receive multiple offers. Strong communication between interviews helps your organization provide a great candidate experience, which can help you stand out among your competitors. Make speed your competitive advantage, and share interview feedback with your best candidates as quickly after your interview as possible. Even if you’re not ready to present an offer, your encouraging interview follow-up could keep them from accepting an offer elsewhere. It also gives you the opportunity to continue to sell them on your organization, and reiterate how your position is a strong fit for them. When you present your offer, share specific interview feedback with the candidate so they know exactly why you chose them. You will impress them with a more personalized candidate experience, and build excitement about accepting the position.

Maintain your talent pipeline with candidates who do not receive offers

For every candidate you hire, there are likely many more high-quality candidates who did not receive an offer. Effective interview follow-up with these candidates can help maintain their interest in your organization for future opportunities. At the very least, notify every rejected candidate that the position has been filled, and encourage them to apply for future opportunities. If you can, take it a step further to offer personalized feedback to rejected candidates—your interview evaluation form should have all the details you need—and let them know about relevant opportunities in the future. Rejected talent is four times more likely to consider a future opportunity at your organization when you offer them constructive feedback. Keep qualified candidates in your talent pipeline by following up with them in a timely manner, and providing them with relevant feedback.


Interview follow-up is part of a stellar candidate experience and will help you win over your top-choice candidates. In addition to providing effective communication, it allows you to continue to sell your opportunity to the candidate after the interview ends. While other organizations are failing to follow-up, yours will stand out to the best candidates as the best workplace for them to consider. When modern-day applicant tracking systems make it easy to provide interview follow-up, you don’t have any reasons not to follow up.

Learn more interview best practices in our eBook:Top Interview Tips: The Employer’s Essential Handbook.