Are You Launching a Candidate Experience Survey? Don’t Forget to Ask These Questions.

If you're about to write a candidate experience survey, you must include these questions.

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For the uninitiated, the ‘candidate experience’ is the overall impression a candidate has of your employer brand and company, having interacted with you during the job application process.

Measuring this experience is crucial to understanding how you can improve and optimize your entire recruitment methodology.

So, below we’ve listed the best candidate experience survey questions to ask your applicants to ensure no detail escapes you.

Let’s dive in!

Why Should You Bother Measuring the Candidate Experience?

In short, the quality of your candidate experience infiltrates near-on every aspect of your business, most notably:

  • Your brand
  • The efficiency of your recruitment process
  • Your business’s bottom line

Just to name a few!

In fact, 83% of candidates might change their minds about a role or their opinion about a company they once liked, due to a negative interview experience. And 60% of job seekers quit a job application halfway through due to its complexity.

Interestingly, in 2014, Virgin found that many of their rejected candidates were also customers. Lots of these went on to cancel their contracts as a result of their negative candidate experience. This cost Virgin over $5 million in revenue in just a year!

Start Collecting Feedback


Now you have a better idea of how valuable the candidate experience is, you need to start collecting candidate feedback. This is the simplest way to get an accurate feel for the quality of your current recruitment process – what’s good about it, what’s bad, what could be done differently, etc.

With this info to hand, you can then review your processes and react to suggestions to enhance the candidate experience.

Make sense?

The best tool for gathering this kind of data is a candidate experience survey. So, if you haven’t created one yet (or if you want to improve yours), we suggest asking the following:

Candidate Experience Survey Questions

Before diving straight into questions about the recruitment process, ask:

  • What position they applied/interviewed for
  • Which channel they applied through

This is essential data to collect because you may find your candidate experience differs between channels, roles, departments, etc.

Questions About Communication and The Interview Process

  • Which of these applies to the interview process? (Challenging and exciting, fast and smooth, boring, too long, other)
  • Communication with the recruiter was prompt. (Strongly agree – strongly disagree)
  • I received a clear understanding of the role through the hiring process (Strongly agree – strongly disagree)
  • My interviewers were well prepared (Strongly agree – strongly disagree)
  • How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague? (Very likely – not likely at all)

Questions Concerning Improvement

You must give candidates the chance to comment on what could have improved their experience. List out various aspects of your recruitment process, and ask them to circle the areas you need to work on. Don’t forget to provide space where they can mention anything you haven’t listed, and provide room for detailing their suggestions for how you could improve.

Here are some of the things you might want to include on your list:

  • The instructions that were given prior to the interview
  • Communication with the hiring manager
  • User-friendliness of the initial application

These are just three suggestions, but you get the gist.

Tips for Designing a Candidate Experience Survey

Hopefully, these questions have given you some inspiration for your own survey. But the way you distribute your questionnaire matters too.

So, here are some tips to bear in mind:

  • Use appropriate survey software. It’s easy to create professional-looking surveys with online tools like Typeform, Google Forms or one built into your ATS. These provide everything you need to collect feedback anonymously – and fast. However keep in mind that these tools might work in the beginning, but for deeper insights, use a dedicated HR analytics tool
  • Use a dedicated HR analytics tool (e.g. Trustcruit that focuses on the candidate experience. This is the best way to analyze the results of your surveys, gain insights, and act upon the feedback you collect. A tool like this can also help you figure out the most appropriate questions to include in your survey.
  • Use a mix of open and closed questions. Closed questions (multiple choice) are quick and easy to answer. However, open-ended questions give candidates the chance to provide detailed feedback. You’ll be surprised at how often open answers attract comments you may not even have considered.
  • Send your survey to hired and rejected candidates. See how their experiences compare. Candidates that reach different hiring stages will provide different insights into your recruitment process that could be incredibly valuable.
  • Keep it brief: Surveys should not take long to complete. Otherwise, it’s too much hassle to engage with. Let participants answer questions on a scale of “agree very much” and “disagree very much.” Then, where clarification could be useful, give candidates the chance to word their own feedback.

Start Measuring Your Candidate Experience and Improve Your Employer Brand

By posing the right questions, you’ll gain valuable insights into how your rejected and hired candidates perceive you as an employer.

With this data at your fingertips, it’s easier to improve your recruitment methods and measure future success. So, what are you waiting for? Start writing and distributing your candidate experience surveys today!

Would you like to learn more about the candidate experience? If so, download our free eBook today: The Ultimate Guide to the Candidate Experience. Enjoy!

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