Best Practices for Ending an Interview Process
Do you have a best practices process in place for ending an interview process with a candidate?
If your answer is, “no”, then you may not be projecting the right image of your company, and may be impeding your future business growth strategies. If you have interviewed a candidate, whether on the phone or in person, and have decided that he/she is not the right fit for the position, that candidate deserves a message telling him/her such. I’ve said it before, but it’s not only polite to let a candidate know when they are no longer being considered for a role, it’s good business practice.
I recently came across this topic again while providing recruiting support to one of OpenView‘s portfolio companies, when I was CC’d on an email that a hiring manager sent to a candidate that they had decided to pass on for a position. I realized that the hiring manager did not know the importance of letting a candidate down the “right” way. Even if you do not think that you would hire a particular candidate who you interviewed for any position at your company in the future, you should spend the time to let them down in an appropriate manner. Try to think about it this way: If his/her friend told them they were interviewing with your company, what would they say about their experience when they interviewed? Everyone who interacts with your company will have something to say about it… What would you want someone who once considered joining your team to say about it?
From my perspective, you can honestly tell any candidate the following when ending their interview process:
1. Thank them for their interest in your company.
2. Thank them for their time throughout the interview process.
3. Tell them that you have decided to move forward with another candidate (or candidates) whose background is more suited to the position.
4. You will keep their resume on file in the event that a more appropriate position opens up in the future.
5. Wish them luck in their job search and future endeavors.
Of course, you can always say more than the above (and perhaps you should), but at a minimum, I try to cover all of these points when sending out an email which will terminate an interview process. As my mother always said, “treat others as you would like to be treated.” No one wants to be turned down for a job they are interested in, but how would you like it to be handled if it were happening to you?