How to provide a great candidate experience: the third in the FJWilson ‘Talent acquisition’ series

FJW coutts-4106-C-500pxFiona Wilson, MD of FJWilson, writes: This week’s resource suggests a series of steps to help ensure that, when you invite candidates to interview, they have a great experience.


1. Avoid the risk of miscommunication about salary and benefits:

  • Check the salary expectations of your shortlisted candidates before you interview. If this is left until offer stage, both parties’ time may end up being wasted.
  • Ensure that you spell out any entitlement criteria that apply to benefits (such as a car allowance). Do this via written candidate information or your brief to the agency.

2. Prepare thoughtful interview questions to ask all candidates for benchmarking.

3. Provide professional, detailed, interview invitations that inspire candidate confidence in the interview process and, by extension, your organisation. Include: interview timing(s) and duration; location and map; recommended attire; name and job title of interviewer(s) and link to LinkedIn profile; outline of interview structure; and recap of the entire recruitment process.

4. Depending on interview location, provide further information:

  • The name of the person the interviewee should ask for upon arrival at your reception;
  • For off-site interviews, make sure interviewers and interviewees have each other’s contact numbers in case of problems on the day.

5. Make sure candidates have copies of the job description and information on the benefits package.

6. If candidates are required to make a presentation, ask them to send soft copy twenty-four hours before the interview. This enables you to have hard copy available in case of IT failure on the day.

7. Check that you are able to accommodate candidates’ IT requirements.

8. On the day:

  • Brief reception staff to expect interviewees and welcome accordingly;
  • Ensure water is supplied to the interview room and that interviewees are offered it.

9. Afterwards:

  • Deliver on the feedback and decision timescales you’ve provided to candidates;
  • Send a thank you email or note to unsuccessful candidates. Showing that you appreciate their time helps leave a positive impression of your organisation.



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