Browse our helpful career tips and resources

Why NOT To Keep A Candidate Waiting

Whether you are considering hiring or rejecting a candidate after an interview, keeping them waiting for a long period of time with your verdict can leave them feeling unimpressed, impatient and frustrated. Which may result in them thinking twice before accepting the potential job offer. Here are some potential reasons why you should try to avoid a long delay when getting back to a candidate.

Look elsewhere

If you are considering offering a candidate a position within your company but are delayed in your response. It could result in them looking elsewhere before accepting the job. They may have even had a couple of interviews around the same time as yours and received another offer from a different company first. Even if they didn’t necessarily want that job they may be forced to take it due to your late response.


If you are hesitant within your response this will cause the CANDIDATE to become hesitant when choosing to accept your job offer. They may start to doubt the authenticity of the job role or the company as a whole.

Causing the job seeker to question whether or not they were the first option but also possibly feel underappreciated. If they feel they weren’t a priority they may be reluctant to work for you.


Being late with a response could result in the job-seeker questioning the companies organisational skills. Before they have even started working there! If they make the assumption that your company is disorganised the negative connotation could result in them becoming uncertain about being a part of that in the future.

“A disorganised company! What’s it going to be like working for a company like that?”

To avoid this, explain the rationale for the delay once contacting the candidate. This will hopefully put their mind at ease and answer any questions they may have had.

Brand image

Taking a long time to ‘get back’ to an unsuccessful candidate can mean they will become increasingly frustrated waiting for a response only to be disappointed. They may have put their job search on hold prior to the job rejection and waiting a long time for a response can be inconvenient and cause annoyance. Creating the risk of the unsuccessful candidate badmouthing your company and ultimately damaging your brand image. This is particularly relevant in today’s society with high levels of job seekers using sites such as Glassdoor to communicate their thoughts on an organisation and their hiring process.

They may have put their job search on hold prior to the job rejection. Therefore by letting them know sooner rather than later you can maintain a good relationship with the candidate and ensure they are left with a positive lasting impression.


These things do just happen and sometimes there’s just not a lot you can do about it. But the risk can be reduced by providing regular updates regarding the status of their application. Or once the candidate has been interviewed inform them of the time it will take to receive a response. Don’t say, ‘expect to hear back from us in a couple of days’ if you don’t actually mean it.

Give them a realistic time period so they can prepare themselves for the verdict.

View more employer advice here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content