A guide with email templates for every interview stage

Cut Your Engineering Candidate Drop-off in Half with Autoresponders 📧

You forgot to send that follow-up email to an engineering candidate. Now they think you're ghosting them and they've moved on.

Here's how to automate email communication during the interview process.

There are a number of reasons why candidates drop off, but one of the most common is a lack of communication. Candidates get anxious when they don’t hear back from you. And that anxiety turns into frustration.

The solution is simple: autoresponders.

Automated emails sent from your ATS keep experienced engineering candidates in the loop about what to expect, which reduces anxiety and increases the likelihood that they’ll complete the process. They also save you time; set ’em up once and forget about them.

Check out our customizable autoresponder templates for each stage of the interview process. 👇

Step 1: Application

This is your first touch point with engineering candidates. Start off on the right foot by letting them know their application has been received and is being reviewed. Here’s an example:


Hi (Candidate name),

Thanks for applying to be a part of our engineering team! We’re reviewing your application and will be in touch soon.

Meantime, feel free to reach out to our team with any questions or concerns you may have.

(Your company name)

Step 2: Recruiter screen

Once you’ve narrowed down your candidate pool, it’s time to start scheduling interviews. But before you do, send an email letting candidates know they’ve made it to the next stage.


Hi (Candidate name),

Thank you again for your interest in the role. We’re excited to learn more about your skills and experience!

The recruiter screen is the first step in our interview process. One of our recruiters will schedule time to ask you a few questions. Then we’ll be in touch to let you know the results of the screen and whether or not you’ll be moving on to the next stage.

We look forward to meeting you!


(Your name)

Step 3: Technical screen

Candidates who make it past the recruiter screen will move on to the technical interview where they’ll talk with one of your engineers about how they work and communicate.

Before the interview, send an email like this one:


Hey (Candidate name),

Thank you for completing the recruiter screen! We’re impressed with your qualifications and we’d like to invite you to the next stage in our interview process.

You’ll be meeting with one of our engineers for a technical screen. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about the role, as well as for us to get to know your engineering process.

If everything goes well, we’ll move on to the next stage: the take-home project.

We’ll be in touch soon to schedule a time for your technical screen. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


(Your name)

Step 4: Take-home exercise

The take-home is your chance to make a positive impression on candidates. Most engineers dread this stage of the process, so it’s worth the effort to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Here’s what one creator economy startup backed by Google and Amazon sends with their take-home:


Hi (Candidate name),

Congratulations! You nailed the technical screen. Now comes the fun part: real work. 🎉

Our goal with this work simulation is to get insight into how you solve the problems that arise on the job. After you submit, you’ll get feedback on your work from the experienced engineers at Woven. You’ll be asked to:

  • Style an existing dashboard card (45 minutes)
  • Brainstorm potential solutions from a backend architecture problem (15 minutes)
  • Write a massage using ideas from the brainstorming list (20 minutes)
  • Perform some calculations involving dates and money to generate an invoice (55 minutes)

👉  Click here to get started (the exercise won’t start after clicking)

A few important things:

  • This is real work, not made up problems.
  • You’re guaranteed feedback. We have 2 engineers that analyze your work and provide details about what went well and what you can improve.
  • There is a tight timebox. This isn’t a take-home project where you might spend 20 hours. 
  • Please avoid plagiarizing in any way.
  • You don’t need a perfect score. If you score at or above our benchmark for the role, you’ll hear from us.
  • Have fun + learn! You got this.

You can start the scenarios whenever it’s most convenient for you – no need to schedule in advance. Once you begin, you will have 24 hours to complete the work sim. You’ll have the opportunity to take a break upon completing each scenario. 

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out. We’re happy to help.

Can’t wait to see your work!

Woven & (Your company name)

Tip 💡

You can prevent drop off at this stage by compensating candidates for their work. We even have an Honorarium Guide with tips and templates for you. Yay templates!

Step 5: The final loop

If a candidate has made it this far, they’re definitely qualified for the role. All that’s left to do is discuss their professional standards and sell them on your company.

An email like this one can do the trick:


(Candidate name),

We’re looking forward to spending time with you in a 60-minute Values Interview!

Our goal for the Values Interview is to learn what you need to thrive. We also want to know what unique strengths you bring to the team that will challenge and stretch us to be even better.

We’ve included the high-level categories we’re evaluating for this role below. For each question, try to think of an especially high-impact or formative example, not just the first one that comes to mind. We may end up examining the same scenario through multiple lenses if it was especially important.


  • Intros + icebreaking (5 min)
  • Conversation around the topics attached (45 min)
  • Answering your questions + next steps (10 min)

Remember that there’s no “right answer” for these questions. We’re just looking to get to know you better and understand how you make decisions.

We hope you’re as excited as we are to get this process started.

Talk soon,

(Your name)

Need Help Scaling Your Engineering Team?

Automating email communication during the interview process can free up your time to focus on more important things (like actually meeting your candidates). If you're not sure where to start, we can help.

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From Our Candidates

“This was the best ‘take home’ candidate skill test I’ve worked with. The work that went into helping a user feel comfortable was great and made me feel confident that I wouldn’t run into any surprises. The detailed response was even better. Thank you for providing such a great experience!”

Woven Candidate