Candidate Drop Out

You sourced a candidate who impressed the hiring manager, has all the skills for the job and fits with your company’s values. But, before you can extend an offer, the candidate changes their mind about the position.

If this situation sounds familiar, you may need to revaluate your hiring process. To prevent candidates from dropping out of the hiring process or rejecting your offer, start by understanding the top reasons a candidate withdraws. These include confusing job applications, long hiring processes, poor interview experiences, a lack of candidate communication and failing to collect candidate feedback.

In a competitive market, quality candidates can pursue more opportunities, which means your interview process must prevent candidate fall out. Here are the top reasons why candidates withdraw from the interview process.

  1. Extended Interview Timelines: A long interview process increases the risk of candidates receiving other offers. If the candidate waits and risks losing an existing offer, you will have to negotiate against the other offer should you decide to hire the candidate. Also, an elongated timeline can give the impression that an organization is not committed to growing and/or cannot make decisions.
  2. Disconnect Between Decision-Makers: When interviewers position an opportunity differently to candidates, candidates may infer instability within a company and be concerned about differing expectations for the position.
  3. Poor Interview Experience: A distracted, unprepared, or unengaging interviewer can give a poor impression of an organization. Candidates will be concerned about what it would be like working for the organization in the future.

10 Tips to Prevent Candidate Fallout During the Interview Process

  1. Keep your interview timeline to 30 days or less.
  2. Define the position’s goals prior to interviewing.
  3. Align your decision makers’ expectations up front to give candidates a clear and consistent explanation of the position.
  4. Prepare interview questions prior to interviewing.
  5. Sell the opportunity to candidates as much as you would like to be sold on their candidacy.
  6. Give candidates the ability to ask questions. Answer all questions asked of you.
  7. Be clear about the position’s compensation package and the candidate’s expectations.
  8. When you are ready, extend an offer in writing within 24 /48 hours of the final interview.
  9. Give candidates a firm deadline to sign and return the offer letter.

Review of the following areas will also help:

Streamline your screening :  

  • Make the most of tech
  • Create an interview form
  • Improve skill testing
  • Focus your efforts

 Stay engaged : 

  • Regular updates encourage candidates to remain in your pipeline
  • Acknowledge applications promptly and outline the key steps in your hiring process.
  • Build a relationship with potential employees
  • Provide meaningful feedback
  • Be contactable
  • Make candidates feel at ease
  • Ensure that candidates have the right information

Offer scheduled interviews: 

  • Allowing candidates to self schedule their interviews to prevents delays in the hiring process.
  • Offer out of hours interviews and respond promptly to enquiries

Minimise no-shows :

  • Schedule regular interview reminders through your recruitment software.
  • Reduce interview lag time
  • Coach hiring managers on the importance of not rescheduling interviews
  • Set expectations up front with candidates and provide contact information to do so.
  • Provide flexible, upcoming interviewing schedules in their calendar right away.
  • Keep communicating with candidates
    • Schedule an email or text message campaign
  • Confirm interviews more than once – Email and phone
  • Text candidates. This is an effective way to confirm and also to solicit feedback if they do not show.
  • Build a stronger bench
    • If you normally present three candidates and find that you are experiencing a high rate of cancellations or no-shows, consider presenting five candidates to make up for it.
  • Find out why candidates are dropping out
    • Did they feel unprepared? Ask questions and report on it on a regular basis.

See the silver lining:  

Ultimately, candidates who fail to show or call may not be the most considerate or dependable employees. Be thankful that their behaviour showed up early and prevented you from a potential bad hire.

Train staff:

To make sure candidates leave their first interview excited about the opportunity

Build candidate enthusiasm:

Before the interview, provide candidates the names and titles of people they will meet, include directions to the property and send an email to build excitement. On the interview day, designate a person to greet each candidate with a warm welcome and give an office tour. Creating a positive interview experience will ensure the candidate is excited about an offer. Even if they don’t accept, they may think of your company for future opportunities, or share their experience on third-party review sites.

Don’t ‘ghost’ your candidates:

Ghosting your candidates (ceasing all communication abruptly and unexpectedly) gives a poor impression of your business. 

Treat applicants like customers and be more responsive.”

Candidates who don’t hear from your company in a timely manner are likely to lose interest.

You don’t collect candidate feedback

You usher hundreds of candidates through the hiring process. Why not ask them what they think about their experience? HSI suggests surveying candidates to understand what is working and what isn’t. Provide candidates with the option to review their experience with your company by sending a short survey at the end of the hiring process. Evaluate that feedback to understand where you are providing a positive experience and where you can refocus, to continually improve and keep candidates interested, from first phone screen to final offer.


To meet hiring goals on budget and on deadline, evaluate your hiring process for causes of candidate drop-out. By addressing the top reasons candidates withdraw, you can keep candidates engaged, spend less time sourcing for new candidates and increase your number of accepted offers.