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Evaluating Interview Candidates – To Hire or Not To Hire

You’ve created a thorough job description. You’ve advertised your job vacancy. Applicants have been screened and interviewed. You’re now in the home stretch.

After your interviews have been completed, you need to evaluate each candidate based on their answers to your interview questions. Here are some steps you can follow to make this evaluation process easier:

1.  Determine meets/does not meet criteria.

It makes most sense to do this step when you develop your interview questions, prior to conducting your interviews, so that you are not unduly influenced. For each interview question that you ask, determine what type of answer you would expect from the candidates in order for them to “meet”, “exceed” or “not meet” the criteria for the question. How would they need to respond in order for you to say that they meet your skills, qualifications or experience requirement, to not meet your requirements, and to exceed your requirements.

2.  Evaluate each candidate.

Compare the candidates’ answers to your meets, exceeds or does not meet criteria to see how the candidate rates. One way to compare candidates would be to score each candidate on their interview responses. For example, each meets criteria response receives 5 points, each exceeds criteria response receives 10 points, and each does not meet criteria response receives 0 points. The candidate with the most points will most likely be more qualified that those with less. Although not completely scientific or fool-proof, this method will allow you to more objectively evaluate all candidates and to compare candidates with one another, and not just use your intuition.

3. Conduct reference checks.

Once you have shortlisted to one or two final candidates, you need to conduct reference checks. Employers often skip this step – this is a big mistake! A reference check allows you to verify how a candidate performed in a previous position, and gives you an opportunity to question a reference on issues that may have concerned you during the interview. This step is critical in ensuring that you get the best candidate possible, who is the best fit with your company. Conduct reference checks with previous employers. Personal references are not as relevant.

Follow these simple steps and you will be able to more objectively evaluate your job search candidates.

The worst case scenario you can encounter: You go through this whole process and you don’t find anyone who meets your requirements.

The solution: Go back and re-assess whether your requirements and your meets, exceeds and does not meet criteria remain realistic. If they remain realistic, and you are comfortable with your criteria, you need to either re-advertise your position and get new candidates, or review the other resumes you’ve received and see if anyone else may be suitable. The one mistake that would be very easy to make would be to settle for a less than qualified candidate just because you “need” someone. You need to be sure that you hire the right person for the position. Hiring the wrong person will cause you tremendous grief in the long run.

The best case scenario: You get multiple candidates who meet your requirements and you just need to determine the one who will be the best fit with your company.

 

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