Decoding Candidate Experience Data - Insights into the Interview Experience

Kyle Connors


November 1, 2023


In the dynamic landscape of modern recruitment, understanding candidate experience is crucial for any organization aiming to attract and retain top talent. One powerful tool in this endeavor is the pulse survey feature offered by These surveys enable candidates to provide valuable feedback on their interview experiences, painting a vivid picture of the recruitment process. In this post, we will delve into the aggregate results of these surveys, offering insights into the different stages of the interview process.

How Pulse Surveys Work pulse surveys are directly embedded as part of the interviewing process. Unlike typical candidate surveys at the end of the candidate application process (hired or rejected), these “pulses” are presented to the candidate after each stage of the interview process requesting feedback on how their experience went. 

They’re short, simple, and to the point. They offer 5 different smiley faces and the option to provide feedback in free-form text. 

For the results in this post, we equate the smiley faces to a 1-5 rating. 1 is the least positive and 5 is the most. 

How likely are candidates to complete a pulse survey?

Candidates who activate the candidate portal (the means by which they engage during the interview process) are highly likely to submit a pulse, with more than 50% (53%) of all candidates submitting at least one. 

What did the scores look like?

Across all customers & stages, the pulse survey data reveals an overall average score of 4.62. This indicates a generally positive candidate experience, highlighting the effectiveness of the interview process facilitated by

Pulse Scores Across Stages

We wanted to see how candidates were rating their interview experience as they got deeper into the process. Since customers can customize the number of stages, we normalized this into 3 different buckets - beginning, middle, and end. Here’s how that normalization worked:

Beginning stages - falls within the first 33% of a jobs stages

Middle stages - falls within 33-66% of a jobs stages

End stages - remaining 66% of a jobs stages

This data showed a 4.71 for beginning, 4.6 for middle, and 4.46 for end stages. 

Candidates in the First Stages: 4.71

Candidates in the initial stages of the interview process reported an average score of 4.71. This higher rating suggests a strong start, where candidates likely felt engaged and well-supported, setting a positive tone for their journey through the recruitment process. Typically these stages are recruiter screens. 

Candidates in the Middle Stages: 4.6

As candidates progress to the middle stages of the interview process, the average score remains high at 4.6, but does begin to take a slight dip as candidates move past the initial screen.  

Candidates in the Later Stages: 4.46

In the later stages of the interview process, candidates reported an average score of 4.46. While this score is slightly lower than the earlier stages, it is important to note that this is still a positive rating. It may indicate that as candidates approach the conclusion of the process, some aspects could be further refined to ensure a consistently exceptional experience. It may also allude to candidates beginning to fatigue in later stages. 

Hired vs. Rejected Pulse Scores

We wanted to dive into how candidates who were ultimately hired rated their experience vs. those who were rejected. It’s important to note - much of the “hired” data is gathered prior to the offer being sent out, so this can be looked at as unbiased data. 

Candidates Hired: 4.85

One of the most telling insights from the pulse survey data is the feedback from candidates who accepted an offer. This group reported an exceptionally high average score of 4.85. These candidates were so positive about the experience they saw it through to the end and decided to join the company full-time. Can a positive candidate experience be an early sign of alignment/fit? It looks that way..

Candidates Who Were Rejected: 4.54

Even for candidates who were not ultimately selected, the pulse survey data reveals a respectable average score of 4.54. This suggests that the interview experience, despite the outcome, was generally positive. Maintaining a positive experience for candidates who may reapply or refer others is essential for building a strong talent pipeline.

What does this all mean?

The pulse survey data from provides invaluable insights into the candidate experience throughout the interview process. With an overall average score of 4.62, it is evident that candidates are generally having a positive experience while using Understanding the nuanced feedback at different stages can help organizations refine their recruitment process, ensuring a consistently exceptional candidate experience. By leveraging this data, organizations can enhance their recruitment practices, ultimately attracting and retaining top talent in today's competitive job market.