20 Candidate Experience Survey Questions

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Candidate Experience Survey Questions 

There are many benefits of a positive candidate experience, including higher candidate engagement, better quality of hire, and improved employee performance. But how do you know if your candidate experience is leaving a positive impression on job seekers or if you have opportunities for improvement? The simplest way to gauge your candidate experience is to simply ask your candidates.

Candidate experience surveys can provide invaluable insights into your recruitment process and highlight areas for improvement.

Best practices for a successful candidate experience survey

A successful candidate experience survey requires more than the right set of questions. Here are some tips to set yourself up for success.

1. Limit the number of questions you ask

While there is certainly no shortage of questions you could ask candidates to gauge their experience with your company, it’s important not to go overboard. A lengthy survey can be daunting and may result in lower response rates or incomplete responses.

Candidates are more likely to complete shorter surveys. According to Hubspot, only one in four people would be willing to spend more than 15 minutes (26%) or answer more than 15 questions (27%) on a survey. Limit your survey to questions that cover the most critical aspects of your recruitment process. Ensure each question serves a clear purpose and avoid redundant or overly detailed questions. 

2. Ask the right questions, at the right stage

Not all candidates experience the same steps in your recruitment process. Some will only experience the pre-application and application phases while others will go on to interview and receive an offer. Consider sending relevant surveys after key candidate transitions to help you understand different experiences along the candidate journey.

For example:

  • Candidates rejected after the resume screening: These candidates won’t have much experience with your recruitment process. If you choose to survey these candidates, send them a short Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey with the rejection letter, asking whether they’d recommend your company to others, and why or why not.
  • Candidates rejected after an interview: You can provide a better candidate experience by providing tailored feedback to candidates who interview, but are ultimately rejected. Use this opportunity to ask for feedback in return by sending a brief survey asking candidates about their overall recruitment experience with your team.
  • Candidates that withdraw. Learn why candidates voluntarily withdraw from your recruitment process so you can make improvements to better attract, engage, and close them.
  • Hired candidates. Survey new hires as part of your onboarding process to understand why they chose your company. This is great information to include in your employer branding materials.

Modern applicant tracking systems enable you to automate customized emails as candidates change stages so you can gather the right insights.

3. Change survey questions periodically to measure progress in specific areas

You can change your survey questions from time to time to measure specific areas you’re working to improve. 

For example, let’s say you want to measure how compensating candidates for a work assessment will improve the candidate experience. Measure candidate satisfaction with your work assessments both before and after you implement the change, then compare survey results. Alternatively, offer work assessment compensation for a subset of your roles and compare candidate satisfaction levels to roles where you don’t compensate for assessments. These tests will measure the impact of your candidate experience improvements.

4. Keep it anonymous

Candidates are more likely to provide honest, constructive feedback if they feel their responses are confidential. They don’t want their answers to affect their current or future job prospects, nor their reputation within your organization. 

Use anonymous survey tools and reassure candidates that their responses will be anonymous and used solely for improving the recruitment process.

5. Make questions optional

Candidates may not know the answer to all of your questions (i.e. how did you hear about this job?) or the questions may not apply to their unique journey (i.e. how would you rate the work assessment?). Making questions optional enables your candidates to complete the survey without having to fabricate answers.

20 Candidate experience survey questions you can ask

The questions you ask in your candidate experience survey should reflect the areas you care most about or want to improve upon. Remember, it’s best to keep your survey brief to get the best response rate.

Here are some sample candidate experience survey questions to get you started.

1. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you agree with this statement? I would recommend [Company] as a great place to work to a friend or colleague.

Gauge overall satisfaction and potential advocacy using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey question. Candidates who rate your company 9–10 are considered promoters, while candidates who rate your company 0–6 are considered detractors. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get your candidate net promoter score.

Keep in mind that candidates who get further into the process are typically happier than those that don’t:

  • Rejected candidates have an average of -5 NPS
  • Withdrawn candidates have an average NPS of 39
  • Hired candidates have an average NPS of 80

2. How useful was the information on our careers site in helping you learn about our company and prepare for your interview?

This feedback can show whether your careers site effectively communicates your culture, values, and employer value proposition.

If candidates find your site helpful, it indicates that your content is comprehensive and well-organized. Otherwise, it might be time to update the content to better sell your opportunity and address candidate questions.

3. Did the job description clearly outline the role’s responsibilities and requirements?

Misleading or unclear job descriptions can lead to candidate dissatisfaction and increased turnover. If candidates indicate unclear job descriptions, it may be time to review and revise your listings.

4. How would you rate the ease of completing our application process?

This question helps identify pain points or frustrations candidates encounter while applying. If some candidates find your application process cumbersome or confusing, others might abandon it—and it’s the best candidates you’ll lose. Streamline your application process to convert more high-quality job seekers.

5. How would you rate our team’s communication throughout the recruitment process?

Poor communication is a common complaint among candidates. This feedback can help you identify communication gaps so you can ensure that candidates are kept informed at every stage.

6. Were the interview questions relevant to the job requirements?

Irrelevant or off-topic interview questions can frustrate candidates and lead to unfair hiring decisions. Ensuring questions are pertinent to the role can make the interview process more effective, while improving the candidate experience. 

7. Were interviewers well-prepared and professional?

Candidates often make considerable effort to prepare for interviews—and your team members should do the same. Unprepared or unprofessional interviewers can give candidates a negative impression of your organization.

8. Did the interviewers provide a clear understanding of our company culture and work environment?

The interview process is a two-way street. The best candidates will vet you just as much as you vet them. This question helps you identify whether your interviewers are successfully selling candidates on joining your company.

9. Did you feel you had ample opportunity to showcase your skills and experience?

Learn whether candidates felt the interview process allowed them to adequately demonstrate their qualifications. Positive responses indicate an effective evaluation process. However, negative feedback may suggest a need to adjust your interview techniques to better capture candidate capabilities and improve your overall assessment.

10. What are your thoughts on the number of interviews you participated in?

Asking this question reveals candidates’ perceptions about the interview process length. Positive feedback suggests the number of interviews was appropriate, balancing thorough evaluation and efficiency. Negative responses might indicate the process was too lengthy or insufficient, highlighting the need for adjustments to optimize candidate experience and recruitment efficiency.

11. If you completed an assessment as a part of your interview process, how did you feel about the length of time it took to complete? 

Assessments can be a significant time investment for candidates—but a valuable tool for evaluating their skills in a real-world context. Ask your candidates how they feel about the length of time it takes to complete an assessment so you can carefully balance effective evaluation with the candidate experience.

12. Did you feel that we answered your questions during the recruitment process?

Your team members and your candidates are each trying to determine if the other is the right fit. Make sure your interviewers are leaving time for candidate questions throughout your hiring process so that your candidates can learn more about your organization and team.

13. Did you feel that you were treated with respect and fairness?

It’s important to understand whether candidates feel valued and fairly treated during your recruitment process. Positive feedback indicates a respectful and unbiased approach, enhancing your employer brand. Negative responses reveal areas needing improvement to ensure a more equitable and dignified experience for all candidates.

14. Please rate the speed of our hiring process. 

Lengthy recruitment processes can frustrate candidates and lead candidates to withdraw. Feedback on this question can help you identify delays and optimize your hiring timeline.

15. Did you receive constructive feedback after your interview?

Providing feedback can improve the candidate experience and leave a positive impression. It shows that your company values their time and effort, even if they weren’t selected. Include this question in your survey to find out how often your team provides candidates with feedback.

16. What did you enjoy most about the recruitment process?

Use this question to identify strengths in your recruitment process. Understanding what candidates appreciated can help you reinforce these strengths and ensure they remain a key part of your recruitment process.

17. What could we improve to make the recruitment experience better for future candidates?

Open-ended questions like this allow candidates to provide detailed, constructive feedback to help your team improve hiring processes.

18. Overall, how would you rate your experience with our recruitment process?

This summary question gives a snapshot of the candidate’s overall sentiment. Positive responses indicate a strong process, while negative responses highlight the need for comprehensive review and improvement.

19. Would you consider applying to our company again in the future?

That hard truth is that most of your job candidates won’t get the job they’re interviewing for. Willingness to reapply is a strong indicator of a positive experience with your company. But if candidates wouldn’t consider reapplying, you may have significant issues that need to be addressed.

20. Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

An open-ended question at the end of your survey gives candidates the opportunity to share feedback that you didn’t specifically ask about. Look for patterns to uncover what your team does well, and areas that need improvement. You might even find some inspiration for additional candidate experience survey questions!

Final thoughts on candidate experience survey questions

Collecting and analyzing candidate feedback via surveys is a powerful way to refine your recruitment process. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, you can make informed changes that enhance candidate satisfaction, improve your employer brand, and ultimately, attract top talent.

Want to learn how JobScore can help you elevate your candidate experience? Start your free trial or schedule a call with a recruitment advisor.