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Candidate experience survey questions

Use these candidate experience survey questions along with tips on how to evaluate answers to set up an effective survey that will help you improve your candidate experience.

Christina Pavlou
Christina Pavlou

An experienced recruiter and HR professional who has transferred her expertise to insightful content to support others in HR.

Candidate experience survey questions

Why you should measure candidate experience

Candidate experience involves all interactions jobseekers have with your company, from the moment they apply for one of your open roles to when you reject them or extend a job offer. To learn whether you leave a positive impression on candidates, set up a candidate experience survey.

Candidate experience surveys help you:

  • Get anonymous feedback about your hiring process. Directly asking candidates what they think of your process is a good tactic, but it doesn’t guarantee they’ll be honest. Surveys that grant anonymity make it easier for candidates to be candid.
  • Identify areas of improvement. Candidate experience surveys combined with recruiting metrics give you a clear idea of what’s working in your hiring process and what could be improved.
  • Boost your employer brand. Asking for feedback shows that you care. Send the message that you value candidates’ opinions and that you want to improve your hiring.

Sample candidate experience survey questions

  • What position did you interview for?
  • The interview process was:
    (select as many as apply)

    • Challenging and interesting
    • Fast and fluid
    • Rather boring
    • Too long
    • Other
  • Please rate the following statement: “My phone and email communication with the recruiter was prompt.”
    • Always
    • Most of the time
    • Sometimes
    • Rarely
    • Never
  • How would you rate your understanding of the role after the hiring process?
    • I got a very clear understanding of the role.
    • I understood most parts of the role.
    • I understood the basics of the role.
    • I didn’t understand most parts of the role.
    • I didn’t understand the role at all.
  • How consistent was the job description with what was presented to you about the role during the hiring process?
    • Very consistent
    • Mostly consistent
    • Somewhat consistent
    • Barely consistent
    • Not consistent at all
  • Please rate the following statement: “My interviewers were well-prepared.”
    • Strongly agree (for example, “They knew everything about my background and what was covered in previous interviews.”)
    • Agree (for example, “They knew most things about my background but asked a few things I had answered before.”)
    • Disagree (for example, “They spent some time to review my application at the time of the interview” or “They hadn’t prepared their interview questions beforehand.”)
    • Strongly disagree (for example, “They hadn’t read my resume at all” or “They didn’t know we had an interview.”)
  • You would have performed better in your assignment if you had:
    • Detailed instructions
    • Clarifications from the hiring manager
    • More time
    • N/A – I had adequate resources and time to successfully complete the assignment
    • Other (Please explain: __________________)
  • How likely are you to recommend our company as an employer?
    • Very likely
    • Likely
    • Somewhat likely
    • Not likely
    • Not at all likely
  • What do you think would make our hiring process better?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience with our hiring process?

How to design candidate experience surveys

  • Select appropriate survey software. Online survey tools like Typeform and Google Forms let you create simple and functional questionnaires. This way, you collect feedback anonymously, which prompts candidates to provide their honest opinions.
  • Use a mix of closed and open-ended questions. Candidates can quickly answer closed questions (e.g. multiple choice) while they can better express their opinions in open-ended questions (e.g. “How can we improve our hiring process?”) Combine these two types of questions, but keep your survey short, with eight to 10 questions at a maximum.
  • Send your survey to both candidates you reject and hire. You will gain different insights from candidates who reached different hiring stages. For example, you can learn whether you leave a positive impression even when you turn candidates down and if your recruiting is consistent end-to-end.

How to measure and use results from your candidate experience surveys

  • Look for patterns in candidates’ answers. Rejected candidates might leave bitter comments or give you a low score if they’re disappointed they didn’t get hired. But, if you find that many candidates say the same things, consider improving specific areas of your hiring process. For example, if recruiters don’t respond on time, you could invest in an email management tool or an ATS with bulk email functionalities.
  • Combine surveys with other sources of feedback. Jobseekers often leave reviews on Glassdoor, share their opinions on social media or contact recruiters after the hiring process ends. Check all these sources to get a well-rounded opinion of what candidates think of your company and recruiting.
  • Act upon feedback you get. Measuring candidate experience is a good first step. Once you identify your recruiting strengths and weaknesses, use these results to revamp your hiring process, improve your communication with applicants and build a positive candidate experience.
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