3 Things You Can Give Every Candidate to Improve the Candidate Experience #thecandidate

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You can’t give everyone a job, but you can always give these three things.

It’s funny. There’s so much written for candidates today on what they can do to get the job or be better at interviewing or be a better human being.  There’s definitely some good advice out there, but it’s strange to find such biased advice since the interview process does not fit the one size fits all model.

Interviews are also a two-way street. Yeah. They’re a conversation, but not with yourself.  So whereas the candidate has most of the pressure on them, an equal amount of onus sits on the interviewer as on the interviewee to have a successful interview.

Have you ever walked away from a conversation feeling smarter for having had it? Have you ever wondered, “why?” some people just bring out the best in us. How do they do it? What are the qualities of those people that allow us to feel relaxed, open, and able to be ourselves?

Whatever those qualities are, they are the making of a good interviewer.  And, although not easy, with practice, they are attainable and extremely worthwhile qualities to have. We are, after all, talking about human interaction. Jobs aside, it’s a worthwhile effort to better our interactions with one another, isn’t it?

Here are some actionable qualities to work on that will breathe life and heart back into your interviews and that will have candidates walking away with a great feeling.

3 things to give every candidate to improve the candidate experience


The art of noticing is how we learn about the world around us. When we were kids, we were pros at this. We were little sponges – paying attention to everything! That’s why we asked a million questions, most of which began with “why?” Learn to ask your candidates good questions, pay attention to their answers, and then ask questions from those answers. Follow their lead and learn.


Interest is closely related to connection. In fact, many times it’s how we connect. The best connectors are able to find common points of interest almost immediately in conversation and connect over them. Make it a point to do this with your candidates. Show you’re curious and interested, and allow them the space to reflect that back. This is about more than business. This is about being human, interested and interesting!


Please, please don’t be in a rush. Nothing rushed ever turns out the way it could. If you allow yourself plenty of time, and questions lead to questions and you get carried away a bit, it’s okay. And when interest leads to connection and you get caught up in something shared you can share in that and not worry about the clock. Life is lived in these moments, these spaces between, these quiet offerings of lived connections.

It’s so tough being a candidate right now – you don’t need anyone to tell you this. Just look at your pool of resumes – they seem to come in faster than you can post jobs. We all dread the days we have to turn down candidates.   But we can do small good in the world by offering up our best selves. And we can help separate our organizations and make real impact not by being the most technology savvy or by having the best employer brand. No, we can separate ourselves by having the most compassion, the most heart. We can be intentional with our attention and interest and we can be generous with our time. We can leave candidates saying “wow” and perhaps we can leave them a little better off than we found them, even if we can’t offer them a job.

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Jocelyn Aucoin

Jocelyn Aucoin is the owner of indie record label, Lujo Records and creator of #FridayTalk . She works with HR Tech startups in the Silicon Valley in Marketing and Social Media. Follow her at @misslujo and jocelynauco.in

Reader Interactions


  1. Sandi Burns says

    Great article. I’d like to add a few suggestions.

    First, respond to those applicants that you have made some type of contact with. Yes, I know how tremendously busy everyone is but remember that people seeking employment are anxious for honest feedback, even if they are not selected. Remember that applicants can also be customers of the business that employs you. Treat them as such.
    Remember that an applicant’s desire to find a good position and to contribute beyond expectations can and often does outweigh the lack of some hiring criteria. Don’t assume that because an applicant has not worked in a specific industry, he or she will not be your best candidate. Often, the sills and abilities learned in previous environments can add new dimensions to a new position.
    Lastly, treat all applicants as you would want to be treated. I know that this is an old adage but if you haven’t already been in the shoes of the unemployed , you most likely will be at some point in your career.

    • Jocelyn says

      Love it Sandi! Great additions. I’m such a huge proponent of the golden rule. It’s an old adage for a reason, yes?

      Thanks for reading. 🙂


  1. […] On to the interview, my favorite part of the job hunt! Unfortunately, most candidates don’t enjoy this process very much, many even find being interviewed pretty darn scary. In this lovely article, Jocelyn Aucoin shares 3 things employers can give candidates to improve their interview experience. […]


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