Saturday, June 15, 2024

How To Let An Interview Candidate Down

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Ask How You Could Do Better For Them

Tips on Rejecting Candidates | Talent on Tap

Asking your candidate for feedback reminds them that youre a team and that you care about providing a good service. It also softens the blow and shows youre open to receiving feedback as well as dishing it out to them.

Ask something like, I am sorry that we didnt manage to land an offer this time. Do you have any feedback on that what it was like working with me or our process together?.

This will also make your candidate feel better about the rejection as youre sharing responsibility for the outcome and it also helps you to see any gaps in your game so its a win, win!

And if the feedback is very positive ask them to leave you a review in the recommendations section of your good reviews from rejected candidates are just as powerful as ones from successful applicants.

Thank Them And Let Them Know Were Moving In Another Direction

Telling someone that theyve not been selected isnt easy at all. After all, they spent hours prepping, researching, and applying. Therefore, you should, first of all, thank them for their time and consideration and then get to the point. Dont beat around the bush and immediately let them know that youre going in another direction. This saves your time as well as the candidates time.

Choose An Appropriate Method Of Communication

Depending on the scale of interviews made, try to let the interviewee know in a face-to-face manner. Zoom is a great way to do this.

The let go should be more of a conversation than a formal letter in the mail or an automated email sent out to everybody that didnt make the cut. Obviously, if your company had many interviews, you will have to adjust and find a more efficient way.

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There Is Nothing Like A Word In Season

I have to do this very thing today, and decided to check the MT forums in case someone else had run into this issue. And lo and behold here’s a post on the exact topic. So – thanks once again MT for coming through when needed!

It’s good to have validation that I do need to call the person rather than send an email. My situation is a bit different because I haven’t selected any one else for the position, but rather I want to get in some more interview candidates….something about this candidate just doesn’t feel right for the position I have. .

Be Honest If Youre Considering Other Applicants As Well

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If you have determined a person is both well-qualified and a good cultural fit, call the applicant to let them know the status of their application. Tell the applicant that he or she is still being considered for the position, but that you also have several other qualified candidates to interview.

In this way, you have not rejected an acceptable candidate and the candidate is not left in the dark while you consider other options. This is courteous and respectful and it may help you avoid restarting your recruitment.

Recommended Reading: Mailscoop Io

Give The Candidate The Next Best Thing: Honest Direct Feedback

In other words, if you cant give the candidate a job, then give them the feedback they can use. As a job coach, I work with dozens of candidates every year who just never know why they were turned down for a job, and it discourages them more than even the harshest criticism.

Related: How to Ask for Feedback After a Job Rejection

Having been on the other side of the table even more often, I let them know that sometimes there is no useful reason there may be another candidate with a personal connection to a team member or who connected better on a personal level.

Other times there is a reason articulated that no one wants to pass on, but that could really make a difference to the candidate:

All of your interviewers commented that you did not look them in the eye. You may want to work on that in your next interview as it will make you appear more confident, and you should certainly feel confident with your background.

How hard is that? And yet, constructive feedback is incredibly rare.

Why spend the time? You dont want to become Managers of Least Resistance.

Giving feedback can be as difficult as receiving it. A common scenario Ive seen over and over is the eager new MBA or BA who turns in a big project to a new manager who says Great, thank you! and fixes all the bugs or issues themselves without giving any feedback or providing any coaching that will improve the work for next time.

Just like when you are giving feedback to an actual employee, make sure it is:

Maintaining Good Candidate Experience Standards

Rejecting a candidate in a timely and professional manner is important if you want to maintain a high level of candidate experience. According to CareerArc research, when asked about which part of the job process needed improvement, 69% of respondents pointed to recruiters response time.Whats more, to keep your candidate experience standards high, you should also make sure to provide them with actionable feedback .

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Turn A Rejection Into Their Next Career Opportunity

A great way to turn bad news into a positive conversation is to help the candidate get refocused on future opportunities.

Before you call, have a clear idea of what happens next for your candidate. Are there any other jobs they can be put forward for? If youre an agency recruiter, could you spec out the candidate to drum up interest elsewhere in your niche?

If theres a role that your candidate has a better chance of securing, be prepared to really sell the opportunity to them. Their confidence will have taken a bit of a hit, so clearly explain why theyre a better fit for this new job.

Just remember to manage your candidates expectations and dont promise them anything you cant deliver. Theres nothing worse than getting your candidates hopes up just for them to get shot down again.

Prepping your candidates to ace an interview can result in you making more offer calls and less rejection calls. Download the eBook below to learn how to prep a candidate for interview success.

About the Author: David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.

It Is More Pleasant To Communicate Good News By Phone But It Is Better To Refuse By Letter

Top 10 Questions YOU Want To Ask In a Job Interview | Indeed Career Tips

First, it makes it easier for the candidate to deal with emotions. He will calmly consider the refusal and, perhaps, send clarifying questions that will not come to mind in a minute of conversation.

Secondly, you will not tear the person out of the workflow: He will open the letter exactly when he realizes that he is ready to do it.

The secret to good writing is personal communication. Imagine that your friend should receive the letter and not a conventional person in a jacket.

  • Thank them Dont just say, Thank you for applying for the vacancy. Instead, say:
  • Thank you for choosing our company from hundreds of others.
  • Justify the refusal Instead of Unfortunately, we are not ready to make you this offer now, write an individual answer for the vacancy. For example:
  • Unfortunately, at the moment you are not suitable for us by experience. We are looking for a candidate who has worked for our competitors for at least three years and knows the market.
  • Dont burn bridges
  • We hope you dont mind if we keep your feedback and contact you if we have any other suggestions.
  • Encourage the candidate If the candidate was interviewed, add a few truthful words about their good qualities:
  • The project manager was impressed with your commitment to learning. We are sure that after a year of practice, you will be able to apply for the managers chair.
  • Leave your signature Be a human being for the candidate, not a messenger robot.
  • But its important to refuse for three reasons:

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    Honesty Really Is The Best Policy

    Always be honest as to why the successful candidate got the job. Maybe they had more experience, better qualifications, or simply performed better on the day. Its always easier to take rejection if youre presented with clear facts on why someone else was chosen over you, as theres nothing worse than being left second-guessing why you werent successful.

    It also helps the candidate know which areas they may be able to work on, such as upgrading their qualifications or taking additional courses to widen their resume.

    Deliver The Bad News Specifically And Honestly

    My personal rule of thumb is to deliver the message in a phone conversation, not email. Be honest and specific in your message and focus on their areas of strength while offering constructive feedback and coaching at the same time.

    Candidates, more often than not, are receptive and open to feedback, so long as it is constructive and personalized. Start with their strong points and highlight what you really liked about their candidacy, their experience, personality, approach, and style. Candidates also want to know what the gaps were in their experience, or if they werent perceived as being the right cultural fit for the team. Whatever the case, be honest and specific when you offer feedback.

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    Dont Ghost Your Applicants

    This is a hugely important step that is so often skipped. Many times the people applying for jobs with your company are fans and live in your community. Ghosting them or not treating them with respect and consideration can harm your brand.

    To tell someone they did not get the job, just think about how you would like to receive the news. You can send via email, call them, or even send via snail mail.

    This is exactly what I sent to applicants for my Virtual Assistant position. I received thank yous in response.

    Thank you very much for applying for my VA position.

    I regret to inform you that you were not selected for this position. I have received over 200 applications for the position, so the competition was very steep.

    Best of luck in your search and future endeavors.


    Use your own voice. Modify the message to fit your circumstances. But whatever you do, dont ghost your applicants.

    Dorota Lysienia

    Community Manager, LiveCareer

    Dont Focus On What The Losing Candidate Did Wrong Explain What The Winning Candidate Did Right

    Introducing Our New ATS Mobile App: BambooHR Hiring

    For example, an honest piece of feedback to a candidate could be:

    The candidates we choose generally have a solid, specific answer to the question why they want to join our firm over competitors and provide more detailed examples of their experience.

    And to move that into a very detailed place, add:

    In this role, we really need someone who can quickly learn our proprietary methodology for building algorithms that support foreign exchange, forecasting models.

    The candidate we chose understood that we are known for our forecasting models, so it will be essential for her to get up to speed quickly.

    She came with several examples of when and how she had trained on proprietary financial models and how specific math classes she had taken supported her ability to get up to speed quickly.

    To add a constructive comment:

    You have many of the same skills as the candidate we chose, and some of the same elements in your background.

    In your next interview, you may want to focus on being able to speak more effectively about how you will apply your background in your new role.

    Spending a few minutes with the interview notes from each participant, or taking notes at a group review, will generally yield consensus along these lines.

    It will make the candidate feel energized for their next set of interviews, make them feel great about your organization, and help them understand what professional feedback looks and feels like.

    Vince Tuckwood

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    Candidate Rejection Emails For Every Stage Of The Application Process

    Want to professionally, thoughtfully, and empathetically reject job applicants? The following are different types of rejection email templates for each stage of the interview process. These will assist you to turn down job applicants at various stages in the process, whether when they are not called to interview or rejected following an interview.

    Itâs crucial you donât skip or delay this step or fall into the busyness trap and use it as an excuse to fail to treat your job candidates with respect. You owe your job candidates graceful and timely communicated rejections, no matter at what stage they are screened out.

    Use these sample rejection templates as a guide, but they should come with a safety precaution: âHandle with care.â Thereâs always the risk of sounding hollow and like a bot when you use âone-size-fits-allâ templates. Opt for messages that mirror your companyâs employer brand tone and style, and are similar to human face-to-face conversations.

    Additionally, candidates that progress interviews and commit a significant amount of time to the process, priority should always be given to rejection by a courtesy phone call first. But if time and competing schedules are not on your side, we have also included an email template you can use.

    Sending rejection emails to candidates is an integral part of the hiring process. Signup for free to Occupopâs all-in-one recruiting software for better candidate experience.

    Poor Soft Skills Evaluation

    While a candidate might tick all the right boxes as far as tech competencies are concerned, they will still need to be checked for soft skills like communication, collaboration, or assertiveness. Your HR and/or the direct manager should evaluate whether the candidate seems like a good fit for the team.

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    Ask Forfeedback From The Candidate

    Hiring a new employee is a process, so you need to find ways to always improve it.

    Similar to an exit interview, you can attain honest and open feedback from candidates if you simply ask.

    There aretwo ways you can do this:

  • Getthem to fill out a quick survey via email
  • Askthem their thoughts on the phone
  • Its worth noting that you must do this once youve rejected the candidate.

    Otherwise, youll get biased feedback as they wont want to hamper their application with you.

    Dont Give The Candidate Too Much Information

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    Turning a person down for a job feels awful. Everyone knows the feeling of not being hired, so itâs natural to want to let the person down gently. However, itâs better to be succinct and honest.

    Many candidates want to know why they were rejected. Itâs not always possible to say. You do not have to give feedback, but you can. You need to be cautious because you will open your business up to liability if you inadvertently discuss discriminatory topics, such as age, personality, traits, or other attributes. Itâs better to say too little than to give candidate feedback that could be used against you.

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    How To Professionally Turn Someone Down For A Job

    You just conducted your last round of interviews to fill an open position, and finally picked your candidate.


    However, your job is not done yet. You must now compile a list of all the individuals you did not end up extending job offers to, and let them know about your decision.

    While some managers call every single person, that can be extremely time-consuming.

    Instead, a perfectly acceptable way of notification is sending an email.

    This email should be friendly, yet to the point, relating your message while attempting not to offend anyone.

    Here is a blueprint for drafting an email to turn down a candidate for a job.

    Subject Title

    The subject of the email is important, so dont leave it blank.

    Also, dont state the reason for the email in the title, as you want to gently go into that in the body of the email.

    An appropriate subject title would be Marketing Assistant Position at ABC Company.

    Or, if the candidate emailed you previously, you can simply respond back to that email.

    The Good

    Dont start off with stating that the candidate did not get the job right away.

    A good strategy is to follow a good-bad-good news blueprint.

    Start with the good thank the individual for applying to the position, and taking the time to come in for an interview.

    If you have the time and can recollect any positive aspects the person had to offer, list them here.

    For example, I was impressed by the caliber of the marketing campaigns you created at your previous company.

    The Bad

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    Notifying A Candidate Over The Phone

    If you decide to notify a candidate that they didnt get the job over the phone, make sure youre calling during the week and normal business hours. This is important because you shouldnt interfere with any personal events they have lined up for the day.

    Once you get them on the phone, get straight to the point. There is no reason to make small talk and take up their free time.

    You should make it clear that the company decided to give the job offer to another candidate and state the reasons why. Now, a good rule of thumb would be mentioning why the candidate was a better match and what tipped the scales in their favor, but dont get into too much detail. Focusing on the skills that you thought were essential for the job will do the trick.

    Since phone calls are a two-way street, be prepared that some candidates might want to make you change your mind and have another interview. If this happens, its crucial to stick to your decision and thank them for their application while emphasizing that a lot of qualified candidates applied.

    This will prevent you from getting into a discussion and help you end the conversation on good terms.

    To end the phone call, you can encourage strong candidates to apply again in the future and instruct them to the channels you usually use to announce job openings. Another option is to simply ask the candidate if they want you to keep their CV on file in case another position that suits their qualifications comes up.

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