Top 3 Reasons Why Candidates Stop Replying After an Interview

Newsletter Feature (17)

True or False: The more interviews conducted with candidates, the better.

False! While it’s true that having a healthy number of job applicants to sift through can help you identify the strongest candidates: It’s equally true that the number of interviews you conduct has the potential to make or break your chances of securing top talent. Adding too many interviews to a hiring manager’s schedule can lead to a poor candidate experience which often translates into a talent shortage. 

The end result is often a communication bottleneck that causes viable candidates to evaporate from your talent pool. Here are the top three reasons why candidates tend to stop following up after an interview – and what you can do about it!

Reason #1) If an interview was rescheduled more than once

Interviewing candidate-after-candidate for an empty seat requires time, flexibility, and … strategic scheduling. Appointing a human resources (HR) director or assistant to organize the hiring manager’s calendar is vital to ensuring the interview process is reliable, organized, and structured for the candidate.  

Yes, life happens and sometimes an interview needs to be rescheduled; however, it should be the exception – not the rule. In fact, it should never happen more than once to a candidate. Just as you’re looking to hire top talent for your company, your candidates have cultural and environmental factors that are important to them. 

For instance, rescheduling an interview more than once implies the candidate’s time isn’t valued and that the internal organization needs work. Both of these are red flags that will surely lead a candidate to avoid following up after an interview– or worse, share this information with their network or post about it on social media. 

Reason #2) The interview was rushed and impersonal

Yes, most interviews are meant to be formal and to the point, so you can find the best candidate as quickly as possible. However, not all interviews are meant to be this way. 

To find the perfect missing piece that fits into your organization’s puzzle, the candidate must feel the connection during every interaction. This means that your hiring manager must be able to engage and adapt to each candidate during the entirety of the conversation. 

Who would want to work for a company that rushed an interview and asked basic questions, merely to get the candidate out the door and move onto their next meeting? If you see a pattern of candidates who have stopped following up after their interviews, consider looking internally at the process and making changes to ensure the company’s true personality and employer brand are being accurately represented. 

Reason #3) Communication has fallen short since the interview

The end of an interview typically concludes with a short recap of the next steps. The hiring manager may mention that the candidate will receive a phone call or email with a decision in the coming days or weeks. Or, perhaps there is another round of interviews to follow. 

Either way, if your organization has the ability, it’s best to contact all candidates with any type of update as soon as you have news to share – whether good or bad. Most importantly, if a hiring manager says they will do something, they should do it. Communication from a company can tell a lot about what it’s like working for them.  

If candidates aren’t consistently reaching out about the job they just applied for, make sure it isn’t because they’ve been “ghosted” since they left the conversation. This isn’t a good look and could lead to a serious decline in the number of applicants you see down the road. 

It’s no secret that the hiring process is exhausting and extending an offer to the wrong candidate is expensive. However, while there’s no magic formula to hiring top talent, there are a few key factors that could have a meaningful impact on your interview process. If you’re interested in learning more, we suggest reading How To Evaluate a Candidate’s Soft Skills During Your Interview Process!

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