How Important is Compassionate Communication with an Unsuccessful Candidate?

3 December, 2021

It’s a well known fact that people are just two pay checks away from homelessness. With the rapid rate of inflation and the all-too-familiar inability to save, it’s important that we look after unsuccessful candidates following an interview.

Nearly half of all candidates have applied for a job and never heard back from the organisation. This not only has a damaging effect on the employer’s brand, but it also leaves applicants feeling discouraged, distressed and inadequate. During the festive period when finances are stretched and COVID-19 anxiety is rising, we should all consider the candidates that didn’t get the job.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Most candidates invest time and effort into a job application. When giving a candidate the news that they haven’t got the job, it’s important for employers to recognise and appreciate the impact of their words. Hiring managers must remember that unsuccessful applications can cause financial and psychological distress. Therefore, they should always ensure that their feedback is both mindful and polite.

Senior businessman having a phone call

As you consider giving feedback to an unsuccessful candidate, try to imagine what they might be feeling regarding their application, rejection and ongoing job search. From here, you can adopt a compassionate response that strengthens the individual’s mental health – as opposed to damaging it.

At Marmion, we know how disheartening it can be when you don’t get the job. We are here to offer candidates advice and support after the interview process; that way, applicants can feel confident going into their next interview.

Be Honest and Specific

Candidates that aren’t hired after the interview process, deserve to know the real reason you didn’t move forward with their application. Spend that extra time giving them honest and meaningful feedback that will improve their future strategy.

Feedback should focus exclusively on the individual. Discuss specific factors that you appreciated about their interview and offer particular ways they can improve. By maintaining a mindfulness of their mental health, you can provide feedback that is both gentle and constructive.

Offering actionable feedback will empower them in their next application, improve their confidence and put them in a more knowledgeable position. When this method is actioned successfully, every candidate – including those that were not hired – will leave the interview process in a good place.

Ending on a Positive Note

As an employer, ensure your candidate realises that “this is just one no”, it is not “no” to them as a person. The more the applicant believes this, the more confident they will feel moving forward.

Businesswoman Interviewing Male Job Candidate In Seating Area Of Modern Office

There’s an abundance of free advice available for applicants that are struggling after an unsuccessful interview, both online and with our recruitment team at Marmion.

We offer guidance for anyone that is feeling discouraged with the recruitment process and would benefit from professional and compassionate support. To find out how our team at Marmion can help, please call us on 0113 332 0678 or email

Get In Touch With Us Today

Contact Us
To learn more about how Marmion uses your data, see our Privacy Policy.