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Behavioral interviews & rejecting candidates without being a jerk

In The Tea On Recruiting this week, we’re going to discuss about behavioral interviewing startegy for recruiters. Moreover, one of the most long-lasting topics in hiring: Rejecting candidates properly. The episode and its transcript are displayed below. Enjoy!


Hi there! Today we’ll talk about something that I hope you’re not too familiar with on a personal level: rejection annnnnd interrogations… – interview. Welcome back to the Tea on Recruiting, where we share insightful and thought-provoking content that can help you shape your recruiting career!

Now, let’s check out our first piece of content of the day…

Recruiters: What’s Your Behavioral Interviewing Strategy?

We’ve read “Recruiters: What’s Your Behavioral Interviewing Strategy?”. What did we learn from this experience?

Number one: Don’t give up! Your first answer doesn’t succeed? Ask again! The concept behind behavioral interviews is that past behavior can be a predictor of future behavior. This means that you should prefer real examples over hypothetical ones. When the candidate can’t think of anything, broaden the scope: allow them to use stories from their personal lives.

Two: You should know your ideal answer before asking the question. Sometimes questions are multidimensional and can lead to misleading answers. The candidate shares a mistake they made? Their answer should contain: details, solution, prevention. The third one’s the most important.

Point number three: Once you’ve reached the interview stage, you’ve already invested quite some time and energy in it, so dig deep to make this conversation really count. Banal? Perhaps – yet a necessary remider for some of you: remember not to interrogate. You truly don’t want your candidates to look at you like this. Converse. Tell them there aren’t any wrong answers. What you want is a glimpse of how they behave outside the interview setting.

Now, onto our second piece of content.

Inject Empathy into Your Rejection Process

Sadly, unhappy candidates aren’t hard to find. Since the rejection process is often ignored despite being your job applicants’ main pain-point, we read “6 Ways to Inject Empathy into Your Rejection Process”. Here’s what we learned:

  • Reject your candidates on time. That means within 24/48 hrs for in-person interviews and phone screenings, and 1-2 weeks for mass rejections.
  • Help them move on. Share resources or tips, perhaps by embedding them in your rejection email.
  • Give feedback. This improves your candidates’ experience by up to 20%. Crazy, right? Delta Airlines gives their rejected candidates a scorecard based on an assessment tool that shows their weaknesses.
  • Get feedback. A few short questions can suffice. If you’re interested in Candidate Experience, I’ve written an ultimate guide on the matter. You’ll find it linked in the comment section below!
  • Invite them to apply again. Don’t underestimate the power of a good talent community.
  • Make them a customer. This is particularly relevant if you work for a B2C company. Some send their candidates discount codes or coupons along with their rejection.

Ontooo theeeee

CandE Crash

As you know very well, the more barbaric your treatment of candidates, the more demonic their Glassdoor reviews of your company. So, let’s look at our nasty review of the day.

Shoutout to a company we won’t name. I’m sorry to hear that you couldn’t get over your previous employees leaving. Bitterness is what this candidate perceived in your tone. You know, there are some tested and approved coping mechanisms you could try. Treat yourself to ice-cream or a glass of wine, if you’re feeling down. Take a bubble bath. Watch a comedy. Don’t put it on your candidate.

Got something to say about this? Drop a comment below, we’d love to pick your brains. Help us get better at helping you get better: with your help!

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