Sailing through post-interview waters: what happens next? 

Hopefully your “flawless” job interview experience has left your candidates feeling informed, excited and eager to join your purpose driven organisation. Hopefully you and your fellow interviewer(s) will be left feeling that you showcased the great work your organisation is doing to make a positive planet impact, you demonstrated a real interest in each candidate and you’ve taken notes legible enough to remember “who said what”! 

Now it’s decision time, how can you identify the right person for the role, the team and your business and ensure they take you up on your offer? 

An important de-brief   

After each interview and before heading into the next one, give some time to review candidate responses and your scoring criteria. Score independently if there are two interviewers and then discuss any differences.  Couple of options – full debrief immediately, or a short initial debrief to capture thoughts whilst fresh and then follow up at the end of the process for a more in-depth discussion. 

Think about cultural fit; you definitely don’t want a load of clones, but what could they add to the existing team and would they complement the culture you’re trying to create?   

During this debrief, you’ll work out who you want to say yes to and why, plus any areas of development that are important you discuss with them and how to progress to next stage.  

Candidate feedback for all   

Offer feedback for all candidates even if they don’t ask for it, it is better to have it prepared just in case.  

For candidates you want to progress, it shows your standards and expectations plus giving them an opportunity to show you how they receive and react to feedback.  This can be a deal breaker if they aren’t able to respond well to feedback!  

Equally for the ‘nos’, prepare constructive feedback that’ll help them in future interviews.  You may never see them again but doing the right thing matters.  It will help them and who knows who they will talk to about how well they were treated and what a great company you are. 

Think about when you’ll follow up, if you’ve promised a timeframe in the interview, stick to it.  

Feedback on you?  

You have a real opportunity to ask all candidates about the recruitment experience you have provided and an opportunity to self-reflect on how you did. Consider all feedback and look for ways to improve your experience in future. 

How you receive feedback role models how you expect your team to receive feedback, so this matters! 

Engaging the Yes’s  

In an ideal world, those you want the most would say yes right away, but in today’s world, it’s likely the best candidates will have different options on the table and want more than just a good salary and benefits job package.  

It is of course important to offer a salary commensurate with what you advertised (should go without saying!) and what they’ll bring to the role. But you need to consider why you’re offering what you are, for example, if you have a younger candidate with less experience but they’ve demonstrated the same level of competence as a more experienced one, why would you offer any less?  Again, our biases’ can creep in here, so pay attention to your rationale behind your offer. 

Once you’ve decided on the numbers, consider the accompanying benefits.  What did the candidate want from their next employer career wise; sponsorship of sustainability qualifications, a development plan into a green leadership role, total flexibility to working hours? Whatever that might be, these “extras” make the difference between candidates choosing you vs. a competitor and it is important to highlight this value to the candidate.  

The added value of joining you must of course be delivered, you can’t promise something you have no intention or ability to provide, but this is a chance for you to think creatively!  

If you don’t have a big L&D budget, who could provide mentorship internally?  If you can’t offer total flexibility in hours, what can you provide instead and why? Great candidates will want to hear that you’ve made efforts to consider their requests even if you can’t deliver them.  Showing honesty and an intention that you want to support and recognise them as a valued employee from day 1. 

What comes next? 

They said yes! Brilliant, you’re another step forward, but now for the admin. If you’re a smaller business, you might be doing this all yourself; larger, and you might have a HR/people team to support. The legalities of employment are complex, so it’s really worth investing in expertise about job offers, contracts etc.  

Here are some important things to consider: 

  • What’s their notice period? – if it’s lengthy, how are you going to keep in touch throughout? Could you arrange a meet the team, catch up over coffee, what could you send them by way of introduction before they start? 
  • Probation periods (what an awful term!) – are they really necessary if you’re confident you’ve executed a great process? 
  • Policies, policies, policies – yes they serve a purpose, but sending reams out with a job offer smacks of bureaucracy or a lack of trust.  Send what is necessary and drip feed the rest in the onboarding.  Send your green purpose and commitments separately so they don’t get lost amongst a bunch of forms. 

But what if you don’t find the right candidate first time around?  

It’s tempting sometimes to settle for less, rather then go through the whole process again. BUT, this could be a costly mistake.  Equally review whether what you are looking for actually exists in your accessible talent pool? 

If the candidate who isn’t a perfect skill match is now being considered, what is their attitude like and could you teach them the skills they lack?  Skills and knowledge are (sometimes) much easier to teach than inherent behavioural attributes.  

If you’re still left feeling there isn’t a good fit, then start again. Rethink the process for improvements but continue the search.  The longer you wait, the tougher it will be for your business to grow! 


The prep’ in the “before” stage will provide a flawless interview process; but the “after” is just as important. Great candidates, whether they join you or not, will share great experiences with other people, building your employer brand on your behalf. 

It’s a really important moment of self-reflection for you too; to hone your future interviewing talents and thing about how you could make the overall experience even better next time. 

Get in touch to discuss how we can help your hiring managers with recruitment and selection training that sets your organisation apart from the rest.

Coming up, we’re talking onboarding! If your onboarding process needs some work, we’ve got you covered!  

Not sure on how this applies to your business or what to do next? Get in touch and we’re happy to help contact the friendly wayvie team for a free consultation

Sailing through post-interview waters: what happens next?  was written by

Pete Starr

Pete is the Founder of wayvie, with a wealth of experience in learning and development, sales, and leadership. He’s passionate about helping green businesses excel by investing in their people. Pete’s expertise includes selling, account management, leadership development, performance coaching, and he’s an enthusiast of Wim Hof’s cold water techniques.

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