For many interviewers and hiring managers, choosing the right candidate for an open position can seem like putting a puzzle together.

Even with all the right pieces in front of you, it can still be extremely difficult to decide between multiple candidates, especially since the final batch of candidates are all likely to be highly qualified.

If you’re lucky enough to have entered the final stages of your hiring process with more than one qualified candidate, how do you decide on a final hire? For most companies, the answer to this question takes the form of a post-interview evaluation.

It’s a tricky decision and one that can hold grave consequences if the wrong choice is made; after all, conducting a hiring effort requires a huge amount of resources, and if it all falls through in the end, your company could lose out on weeks or even months of productivity.

In this article we cover why the post-interview evaluation is so important and how any company can conduct a proper post-interview evaluation to uncover the perfect candidate.

Why is it Important?

As cliche as it sounds, time is money, especially when it comes to hiring and recruiting. No business can afford to spend resources on recruiting and hiring a candidate who is unfit for the job.

Evaluating candidates after an interview can offer value that an interview cannot. With a post-interview evaluation process, those in charge of making the hiring decision have a set of criteria that they can use to make their final decision. This will speed up the process of onboarding a qualified candidate, reducing the time and monetary cost of hiring.  

How to Conduct a Post-interview Evaluation

For a successful post-interview evaluation to occur, those in charge of making the hiring decision need to sit down and define how the final candidates will be judged.

We can’t tell you exactly what this process should look like because every business is different. While one business might hold items like “cultural fit” in high regard, another company might view “technical skills” as a more desirable trait.

Below are examples of criteria that businesses use while conducting a post-interview evaluation:

  • Educational background
  • Relevant work experience
  • Specific skills or “technical skills”
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Leadership qualities
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Attitude and motivation
  • Quality references
  • Body language
  • Social media/web presence

So how do you decide which items to use?

Hire based on a prioritized list of skills (both hard and soft) needed for the job. If you’re hiring for a technical position, such as a software developer, examine what the day-to-day would be like for that individual. Will they need to interact with others? Will they need to be able to effectively communicate through email? Is there a specific skill set that your company desperately needs and is required for the position?

Once you decide on what you are looking for, it’s time to form an official post-interview evaluation process that includes the problems your organization is looking to solve and share it with all parties involved in future hiring efforts.

Pitfalls to Avoid

While having a post-interview evaluation process in place can greatly improve the quality of new hires at your company, there is unfortunately no sure-fire method for predicting how a candidate will perform once they’re engaged with their assigned tasks

One major pitfall to avoid are biases. Having bias in your interview process leads to less diversity and a decrease in the overall quality of candidates at your company. Luckily, there are multiple steps you can take to avoid biases during the interview process. It all starts with equipping interviewers with the right tools to score candidates on an even playing field. Including a set of predetermined questions in the interview process helps by allowing the hiring manager to collect the same information across multiple interviewers. This makes it much easier to see and avoid biases.

In addition to having standardized questions, using interview scorecards allow hiring managers to rank candidates against each other by comparing multiple variables necessary for success in a particular role. When used over a period of time, you can begin to see a pattern in how high or low a certain interviewer usually rates candidates. If somebody’s average score is a 3 out of 5, and they give a candidate a 4, it would be worthwhile to dive deeper and see what made this candidate stand out. Taking these steps to reduce biases can make a huge difference in how and who you hire, providing for a better and more productive workplace.

Another pitfall to avoid is not having collected enough useful information about the candidate during the interview process. If you haven’t provided your interview team with a standardized list of skills, qualifications and characteristics to look for during the interview process, then it is unlikely that you will receive quality hiring manager feedback that will help you determine the best candidate for the job. As with avoiding biases, having a portion of your interview standardized across given criteria is a great way to ensure you gather specific data that can be compared across all candidates.

 

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