Skills, experience, education, salary expectations, cultural fit, answers, references, and timeline expectations! In this article, we’ll explain how to evaluate candidates during a job interview.
Think back to your last job interview. The nerves, the anticipation. The awkward feeling of sitting across from a stranger. Wondering whether they’ll like you… or your company!
That’s right, job interviewers get nerves just as often as interviewees. There’s a lot of pressure and a lot to consider when evaluating interview candidates to make sure you pick the right person for the role. You need to think about skills, experience, education, salary expectations, cultural fit, answers, references, and timeline expectations. How can you evaluate all of that in one time-restricted meeting?
In this article, we’ll explain how to evaluate candidates during a job interview. Read on to never feel nervous again!
As we said above, there’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re evaluating interview candidates. That’s why the smartest evaluation technique is to break it down into a range of important categories.
If you keep these four key categories in mind and work to evaluate the candidate based on them, you’ll be in a great position to compare each candidate fairly and pick the best person for the role.
So you have your important evaluation categories. Now how can you actually delve into each of these? In this section, we’ll give you examples of great questions you can use in each category to evaluate candidates during an interview.
Skills evaluation is a tricky category. On the one hand, you’re talking about soft skills, which are most easily evaluated in a question-and-answer format. But hard skills might be hard to judge in that format—“What are your coding skills?” is unlikely to get you a particularly useful or empirical answer. We advise using talent assessment tests to evaluate hard skills. Then, you can test soft skills with questions like the following:
On the one hand, experience evaluation questions can be quite straightforward: you could ask your candidate to walk you through their CV, explain why they changed jobs at a certain time, and give you an overview of their professional history. On the other hand, now is the chance for you to dig deeper! If you’re particularly interested in one element of your candidate’s professional background or educational history, ask questions tailored to that. You could also ask more specific experience evaluation questions like:
This is quite a straightforward category, as it is all about logistics! Make sure to ask:
As we’ve mentioned, cultural fit is difficult to assess and should not be weighted as highly as other categories. Make sure you’re assessing your candidate as objectively as you can and not just on a gut feeling, and whenever possible, rely on data-driven insights. Having said that, having someone who’s going to work smoothly with the rest of the company and contribute positively to your organization is very important! Here are some questions to help you get a sense of how your candidate might join your organization’s culture.
From the above questions and categories, you should be able to see just how important candidate interview evaluations are. Candidate interview evaluations offer huge insights into individual candidates, give you a benchmark to compare competing candidates against one another, and help you make the decision about who will be able to perform well in the role. When you add reference checks and talent assessment tests to the mix, you’ll be all set to hire the best candidate every time!
But it can be overwhelming. If you’re struggling to gather all this data and accurately compare your candidates with data-driven insights—or if you would just like to free up some of your own time—use HiPeople! We offer smart hiring assessments that mean you’ll already be evaluating and understanding your candidates well before they step into the interview room. Book a demo today.