‘Good’ candidates dropping out of the interview process: It’s not always a bad thing…

‘Good’ candidates dropping out of the interview process: It’s not always a bad thing…

14 Nov 12:00 by Chris Davies


As a hiring manager you have found a candidate who impressed you, they have all the skills for the job and fit with your company values. However, before you can take them forward to the next steps, the candidate changes their mind about the position and withdraws their application. Sound familiar? It can be frustrating when this happens, and it can occur for many reasons, but it isn’t always a bad thing if a good candidate drops out of the process.

1.    It is an opportunity to learn

If a candidate does drop out of the process, it is important to understand why that decision has been made. Did they get another offer? If so, find out where that offer came from, what was the role, how quickly did that business move? After attending the interview did the candidate realise that the role wasn’t what they initially thought? it may have not been the right move for them at this time. If you find out why it can help you change any interview processes that need fine tuning, did the job advertisement reflect the position, is their continuity throughout the process about the role and its responsibilities? If they took another offer you can find out what you are competing with in the job market? Was the salary lower? Did location have a hand to play in the candidate’s decision?

2.    It saves you heartache further down the line.

If a ‘good’ candidate withdraws, there is also a possibility that perhaps they weren’t as good as you initially thought. The truth is, every time you invite an applicant to complete an interview you are encouraging them to re-assess the opportunity. If a ‘good’ candidate drops out, there is a possibility they weren’t that good to start with. With that said, you are no longer hiring someone that may not be right for the position and/or business.

3.    You may meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.

Even if a candidate does drop out, it is also important to leave them with a good impression. It might be the case on this occasion after finding more about the role that it doesn’t quite fit what they are looking for. You may get another requirement in the future that could be a better fit. If you’ve kept that relationship warm, even in previous disappointment, if you’ve thought about the long game, you may indeed land your candidate. This time knowing full well what could bring them to you.


Remember interviews go both ways, candidates are feeling different companies out. You’ve got to give them an opportunity to learn more about you too. Learning about these things will significantly help you on the next occasion. If it doesn’t work out, you try to gather as much information as possible as to why that may have been and perhaps implement any changes to avoid in the future if possible.