Candidate experience

The candidate experience is about building relationships. It’s about making candidates feel welcome, valued and well informed throughout the entire recruitment process, from becoming aware of the vacancy through to the end of the selection process.

The recruitment process goes two ways. We're deciding whether the candidate is right for us and they're considering whether the job is right for them and whether we're the type of employer they're looking for.

Why this is important

In a globally competitive labour market, it can be difficult to attract and secure high calibre staff.

When someone applies for a job with Charles Sturt, they are forming an opinion about the organisation as a potential employer and as a University.

We want a reputation as an employer who treats people with respect. Delivering an outstanding candidate experience contributes to this.

This isn’t just about the recruitment process. It's also about promoting Charles Sturt as a great employer. The best way to do this is to ensure that candidates have a positive impression of the University.

Who is responsible

We are all responsible for the candidate experience. Everyone involved in the recruitment process adds value to the candidate’s experience.

A Presiding Officer should promote Charles Sturt, the work area and the experience that the candidate can expect to have if successful in gaining the role.

The selection committee should ensure that the shortlisting and interview process is fair and respectful. Although a candidate may not be the right fit for this position, they might be great for another position at Charles Sturt.

Providing a positive candidate experience

Treat candidates as professionals. You can do this in the following ways.

Before shortlisting

  • Respond to candidate enquiries throughout the process in a prompt and courteous manner.
  • Keep them informed. If there is a delay of any kind, let HR know and they will notify the candidates.
  • Respect the time and the effort people put into their application.

Preparing to interview candidates

Interview structure

You will need to take some time to consider the structure of the interview. If a presentation or pre-interview task is required, you must inform the candidates about this when they are invited for an interview.

Giving candidates enough notice

Understand that not everyone can be flexible at short notice to attend an interview. Candidates should have at least one week’s notice to attend their interview.

You may need to interview a candidate on a different time/date. Remember you want to recruit the best person for the job, not the most available candidate.

Preparing questions

You should prepare the interview questions ahead of time. You can do this on your own or in consultation with other panel members.

Campus tours

You may want to offer a tour of the campus/work area after the interview for some positions. You should do this if the candidate has travelled.

At the interview


  • Ensure that the interview room is clean and tidy.
  • Organise someone to meet and greet candidates on arrival. Have water available.

At the start of the interview

You should start by introducing the selection committee and providing an overview of how the interview will be structured.

During the interview

  • Ask questions which encourage open discussion.
  • Use best practice interview techniques and make the interview a conversation between equals.
  • Make eye contact and be interested in what the candidate has to say. Disinterested body language and appearing to be distracted by your electronic devices is very off-putting for candidates and impacts on your professional reputation.
  • Ask for permission to contact the candidate’s referees.
  • Provide an overview of realistic timeframes for advising the outcome of the interview.
  • Thank the candidate for the time they have taken to prepare their application and for attending the interview.

After the interview

  • Conduct referee checks in a timely manner.
  • Contact your Recruitment Consultant to confirm if/when it will be appropriate to speak with unsuccessful candidates to advise the outcome. This provides an opportunity to give honest, positive and constructive feedback and candidates are appreciative of this professional courtesy.
  • Contact your Recruitment Consultant to confirm when it will be appropriate to advise the person they are the preferred candidate and discuss their commencement date.
  • Contact the successful candidate prior to their start date to advise arrangements for the first day.

Get help

For help with improving your candidates' experience, please contact the Recruitment Team.