2024 Interview Magic: 12 Ways Employers Can Create a Captivating Candidate Experience  

Wouldn’t it be nice for candidates to feel delighted to meet you? To truly look forward to their interview and going through your hiring process? When you focus on providing an amazing candidate experience, that kind of magic can happen!  

It all starts with interview best practices and evaluating your hiring processes with candidates in mind. Your goal is to attract the right candidates through an efficient, welcoming, and collaborative interview process.  

Mistakes to Avoid: The Candidate's Nightmare Experience

Candidates have their fair share of lousy recruitment experiences—and one of these is ghosting. An Indeed research found that a potential employer has ghosted 77 percent of job applicants since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.¹ To make matters worse, 10 percent of them reported that employers ghosted them after being verbally offered the job! 

Shockingly, off-putting interviewer behaviors are common. Paychex compiled a list from a survey of 805 US job applicants.² Please avoid all of these to make sure that you don’t create a nightmare experience for your candidate! 

  • 19% Behaving unprofessionally
  • 19% Failing to describe the company culture
  • 20% Lacking preparation
  • 23% Arriving late
  • 30% Failing to ask specific questions about the resume
  • 31% Failing to provide an accurate salary figure 
  • 32% Only providing a vague description of the role 
  • 33% Avoiding to answer some questions 
  • 37% Trying to sell the job 
  • 40% Offering unfairly low salary 

Understanding what disheartens candidates can help you create a better candidate experience.  

Polish Your Job Interview Etiquette: Know the Best Practices

Engaging excellent candidates and gaining their interest for the role starts with the interview—and it’s up to you to make their experiences worthwhile. To create a stellar candidate experience… 

1. Make it easy to set up the interview. 

Make your initial interview efficient and accessible. Consider doing it online, especially if the role will be remote or hybrid. This saves your candidate time and money on transportation—nobody likes being stuck in traffic! This also allows you to connect as soon as you’re both available.  

2. Give candidates an overview of your recruitment process.

Candidates want to know what to expect in your hiring process. From the start, give them an overview of the steps they will be going through. You can set these expectations before the initial interview and continue communicating throughout the process.  

Provide as much information as you can; for example, which key people will be interviewing them for each stage and what kind of interview questions they should expect to give them a little boost and support. Or, if you’re setting a calendar invite, don’t forget to include all necessary people and the platform you’ll be using—plus the link! 

3. Personalize the process.

Tailor communication and feedback to each candidate to make their experience unique. Address them by name, ask questions specific to them, provide relevant feedback, and follow up with them after each step in your process.  

4. Communicate respectfully and authentically.

Treat every candidate respectfully, and be authentically yourself in all interactions. Whether or not it leads to a job offer, your engagement mirrors your company’s image by how you represent yourself and your organization to the public.  

5. Be transparent about the role you are hiring for. 

Be clear about the job expectations; candidates want to be in a role where they feel confident and successful. This means clearly including the responsibilities of the position in the job description and providing more clarification during the interview. Knowing what they’re signing up for helps the candidate have a healthy work-life balance and be more satisfied with their role and career growth.  

6. Disclose salary early in the process.

Why keep this information in the dark? Disclosing the salary range in initial conversations can help ensure you and the candidate are on the same page. And, if there’s an expectation gap, you’ll have time to work together on a total compensation package that will work for both sides. 

7. Encourage candidates to ask questions during the interview.

Encouraging candidates to ask questions during the interview makes the experience conversational and welcoming. Encourage them to participate throughout the interview, and give them time to ask questions or clarify any concerns before the interview wraps up. 

8. Highlight your company culture.

Emphasize your company culture at every stage of the hiring process. This includes sharing details about your company’s values, mission, and vision, along with showcasing employee testimonials and success stories. Let your company shine and highlight why your company and team are a great place to work.  

Related Reading: The Power of Flexibility: Creating a Culture of Work-Life Integration 

9. Communicate promptly, and don't ghost them.

We shouldn’t have to say this, but it happens, so…don’t ghost a candidate. Whether you want to move forward or not, communicate and keep the relationship positive. They could be the right candidate for your next open job instead!  

Maintain positive communication even if you’re moving forward with another candidate. Your goal is to ensure everyone has a good experience with your company whether they get hired or not. After all, word travels fast, and candidates often share their experiences online—one ghosting could ruin your reputation, and you don’t want that! 

10. Make the process fast and easy.

Respect the candidate’s time. As much as you can, streamline the application process, schedule interviews promptly, provide timely feedback, and communicate the next steps. If you promise to give updates in three days, be true to your word. If you don’t have an answer yet, let them know. 

Keep candidate relationships a priority. Great talent may not always be available, and if you make a mistake, you could lose them—timing matters! 

11. Improve the experience with efficient technology. 

You can leverage specific technologies to streamline and enhance the recruitment process—and there are many choices out there! 

Video tools can help you more efficiently schedule and conduct interviews. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can aid in identifying candidates whose resumes align with your job posting. 

Chatbots can help offer candidates access to information, or you can establish a candidate portal to track their application status. 

Related Reading: The Future of Hiring Is Virtual: How to Adapt and Thrive in a Remote Interview Environment

12. Follow up a verbal offer with an offer in writing.

You found the perfect candidate, and you want to welcome them immediately—we get it. Follow up on any verbal job offers with an offer letter or email to avoid uncertainties and miscommunication.  

Provide your final job offer in writing, including details on what to expect, and ask them to confirm acceptance in writing as well.

13. Find out what your candidate's experience feels like.

How? Ask the candidates themselves! A candidate feedback survey can help you understand how candidates perceive the recruitment process and what can be improved. Who knows the candidate’s journey better than the candidates themselves? Their feedback can help you identify what’s working well, along with areas for improvement. 


We understand that the recruitment process is important to you, but you probably have a million other responsibilities, too. At Portfolio Creative, we focus on finding great candidates for your team so you can focus on everything else.  

Whether it’s for copywriting, content, design, marketing, or something else, we are constantly connecting with top creatives who can join your team on a short-term or long-term contract basis or as full-time employees. We’re here to help–contact us today