Executive Talent Search & Digital Marketing for Mission-Driven Organizations | 7 Ways Your Interview Process is Turning Away Top Candidates

7 Ways Your Interview Process is Turning Away Top Candidates

Your Interview Process Matters!

In the competitive world of hiring top talent, the interview process plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining the right candidates for your organization. It’s not just about evaluating skills and qualifications; it’s also an opportunity for you to showcase your company culture and values. However, many organizations inadvertently turn away potential candidates due to common pitfalls in their interview processes. In this article, we will explore seven ways your interview process may be selling or turning away your candidates, and provide practical insights on how to improve.

1. Thoughtful Job Descriptions

One of the first touchpoints candidates have with your organization is the job description. Instead of merely copying information from your website, take the time to craft a thoughtful and engaging description that conveys what sets your company apart. Highlight key aspects such as your mission, values, and unique culture to give candidates a glimpse into what it’s like to work for your organization.

2. Taking Time to Reply

Take the time to intentionally engage with each candidate, even though you are busy. When a candidate takes the time to send a thank you email, make sure to acknowledge their effort with a reply. Failing to respond can leave candidates feeling undervalued and unappreciated, potentially leading them to lose interest in the position or form a negative impression of your organization.

3. Interviews with More than Questions

Create a structured interview format that allows candidates to gain insights into your company early on. Begin the interview by sharing information about your team structure, company culture, and values. This approach sets the stage for meaningful conversations and helps candidates envision themselves as part of your organization. Designate time for candidate questions at the end, ensuring a two-way exchange of information throughout the interview.

4. Progressive Rounds of Interviews

Avoid redundancy and showcase your organization’s thoughtful approach by consciously building from one interview to another. Rather than having every interviewer ask the same questions, coordinate and plan the interview process to cover different aspects of the candidate’s skills and experiences. This approach provides a more holistic perspective on the candidate and demonstrates your organization’s thoroughness and organizational skills.

5. Responsive Communication

Candidates value responsiveness during the interview process, as it reflects respect for their time and consideration. Promptly acknowledge receipt of their application, and keep them informed about the progress of the hiring process. Regular communication builds trust and ensures that candidates stay engaged and enthusiastic about the opportunity.

6. Handling Challenges Professionally

Despite careful planning, unforeseen challenges like tech glitches, tardiness, or the need to reschedule interviews can occur. How you handle these situations can make a significant difference. Respond with grace, organization, and professionalism. Communicate promptly, apologize if necessary, and offer alternative solutions. This level of responsiveness and adaptability will leave a positive impression on candidates, even in the face of unexpected obstacles.

7. Intentional Composition of Interviewers

The composition of your interview panel sends a message about your company culture and values. Including all levels of the organization in interviews, such as executives, peers, and direct reports, showcases an inclusive decision-making process and fosters a sense of belonging for candidates. Diversity of race, gender, and other factors in the interview panels demonstrates that you hold this value in the company as well.


Your interview process is an opportunity to not only evaluate candidates but also market your organization and attract top talent. Implement these seven practical strategies today to improve the candidate experience, demonstrate your organization’s values and culture, and increase the likelihood of securing the best candidates for your nonprofit.

Let Us Help

If you want help intentionally creating an interview process that attracts top-tier talent, please reach out to me at sshah@ManevaGroup.com. We will schedule a no-cost, no obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss how to supercharge your recruitment efforts.


Maneva Group  is a woman and minority owned national Executive Search firm focusing on the social sector with expertise in completely managing the recruiting process, curating diverse and exceptionally qualified candidate pools, and advising C-suite executives and board members through crucial hiring decisions.

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