The Follow Up: 5 Questions to Ask After the Interview

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Job interviews are stressful for everyone. Even if you’re the one doing the questioning, interviews represent a high level of stress and effort. You need to prep all those questions, make sure you take thorough notes, and be careful not to confuse your candidates.

You don’t have to go it alone. Use applicant tracking software to help you find the ideal candidate, manage interview times and content, and keep in touch with potential new hires. Completing these tasks will at least carry you through to the dreaded interview itself.

Once the interview is over and you breathe a deep sigh of relief, you’re not quite finished. You still have questions to ask if you want to find the perfect candidate and have even rejected folks walk away happy.

It’s time for your post-interview questions!

Why after the interview?

The way you follow up after an interview is often just as important as the interview itself, especially when it comes to keeping your applicants happy.

I can hear the doubt now. “But, if we don’t end up hiring someone, why do we care how happy they are?” I understand your argument, but don’t forget that people who have a poor applicant experience are likely to post about it online and warn others against applying to your company.

So, unless you want one unlucky rejection to cause a drought in your applicant pool, you should aim for everyone to have a good experience.

How do you do that? It’s all in the questions. Here are five to get you started.

1. Is there anything we discussed that you’d like to clarify?

Other ways to ask:

  • “Do you think anything in this interview was miscommunicated?”
  • “Is there an area of this interview you’d like to talk more about?”

Why?

Almost all of us have had the following experience in an interview: you spend tons of time prepping, you’re asked a question…and your mind goes blank. You know you prepped for this, but you can’t remember what to say. So, you flub your way through the question, only to remember what you meant to say several minutes later.

It’s a disheartening and frustrating experience, and it doesn’t help anyone’s business to punish a candidate for flubbing a question.

Give your applicant a chance to clarify or rephrase something they’ve said to ensure you don’t let a great hire pass you by.

2. Is there anything we didn’t cover that you’d like to talk about?

Other ways to ask:

  • “Is there something you wanted to tell us but didn’t have a chance to?”
  • “Is there anything you think we should have brought up but didn’t?”

Why?

When you give an interview, you’re in the driver’s seat. You get to choose what questions to ask based on what you want to know. But, to some extent, you’re just guessing at which questions will help you understand who your candidate is, and you could walk away without knowing what you need to know.

Give your candidates a chance to put their best foot forward by letting them take the lead.

Once you’ve asked everything you want to know, offer space for your applicant to discuss what they want you need to know. You might very well end up with extremely relevant information you otherwise wouldn’t have known.

3. How do you think your interview went?

Other ways to ask:

  • “Are you feeling confident about your application?”
  • “Is there anything that would make you feel more confident about your interview?”

Why?

While it may seem like a strange thing to ask, this question is helpful for a few reasons. First: it’s a friendly question to set your interviewee at ease as things are wrapping up.

More than that, this is a question that can help you authentically determine what your candidate’s interview experience has been like. Pending on their answer, you can follow up with specific questions about what made the interview particularly good or bad.

Keep in mind that you might need to break out your people-reading skills. Don’t be surprised if your applicant isn’t open about not thinking their interview went well. They may be concerned about ulterior motives and require a bit of nudging to get at specifics that can help you determine what elements of your hiring process could stand to change.

4. How was your experience in applying for this job?

Other ways to ask:

  • “Did you have a positive experience with us?”
  • “Is there any part of the application process you didn’t like?”

Why?

Consider this a more overt version of the previous question. Both questions will inform you about your application process, but this is a more direct method. Covering this base ensures your receipt of anecdata about specific candidate experiences.

While positive feedback is great, don’t be disheartened if candidates identify negative aspects. If they’re having a poor experience, you can find out and nip it in the bud.

If you have any doubts, check out my full article on why this question is so important.

5. Is there anything giving you doubts about this job?

Other ways to ask:

  • “Has anything we’ve said concerned you?”
  • “What is your least favorite aspect of this job description so far?”

Why?

Interviews are a great chance to find out how your office is perceived by outsiders. This question lets you step outside the on-paper applicant experience, and speaks to your hospitality and interview style.

It also gives you a chance to clarify any lasting confusion or answer questions that your interviewee might have been unable to raise organically.

So, what do you think about these questions?

See, that’s me asking you a post-article question!

Are these questions helpful? Are you asking them already? Do you have any additional ideas? Tell me about it in the comments below, or tweet me @CapterraHalden.

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Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen is a former Capterra analyst.

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