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Evaluating Candidates After an Interview
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Talent Management

Evaluating Candidates After an Interview

One Minute Takeaway

  • Interviews, whether remote or in-person, requires careful consideration and attention to detail.
  • Post-interview evaluations are essential to a fair hiring process
  • Biases in interview processes lead to a lack of diversity fewer quality candidates

Evaluating candidates after structured interviews can be difficult in any environment, but it is especially challenging when you hire remotely.

Remote work and remote hiring are here to stay. A 2021 survey by Owl Labs, showed that 90% of those surveyed said they were more productive working remotely than in the office, and 74% of those said it has improved their mental health. Additionally, 82% of employers surveyed in a recent Indeed survey uses virtual interviews and 93% will continue. So, not only is remote working the new normal; remote hiring is as well, which is why your method of post-interview evaluation must accommodate both. 

While there are some benefits to conducting interviews virtually (such as being able to reach a wider pool of candidates), there are also some drawbacks.

One of the biggest drawbacks of conducting interviews virtually is that it’s harder to get to know the candidate on a personal level. Body language and other nonverbal cues are essential for understanding how someone is feeling, and these cues are much harder to pick up on when you’re not conducting an in-person interview. An interview in a remote environment requires careful consideration and attention to detail.

In order to make an informed decision and provide a level playing field for all candidates, you need a system set in place to help you hire and recruit the candidate that is best for your organization. We all know that hiring the wrong candidate can be costly in the short and long run. The time that it takes to train someone new, and the decrease in productivity, while they are getting up to speed, can set your organization back.

The best way to avoid making a bad hire is by using a combination of assessment tools to help you identify the candidate that is the best fit for the position. It is more important than ever to have a system in place to evaluate candidates after an interview.

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 help identify the perfect candidate.

Why Are Post Interview Evaluations Important?

These days, it’s more common for companies to use an online assessment tool or app when it comes to hiring and recruiting. This not only saves time and money by cutting down on travel expenses but also helps candidates feel connected with the company they’re interviewing with since most of them will have done their research beforehand!

Evaluating candidates after an interview is essential to the fairness and success of the hiring process and 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 cost of hiring.

How to Conduct a Post-interview Evaluation

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.

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.

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 skills
  • 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 with an evaluation form. 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 your evaluation criteria, 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.

What are Five Factors in Evaluating Candidates?

Candidates go through a lot of trouble to prepare for an interview. However, the interview panel often has a hard time making a decision because they are not sure what they should be looking for. There are five factors that are the most important when evaluating candidates after an interview:

  1. How well the candidate handled unexpected interview questions: This shows how adaptable and resourceful the candidate is.
  2. How well the candidate answered questions: This shows how well the candidate understands the role and the company.
  3. The body language of the candidate: This shows how confident and comfortable the candidate is.
  4. The energy level of the candidate: This shows how enthusiastic and passionate the candidate is about the role.
  5. How well the candidate engaged with the interview panel: This shows how personable and likable the candidate is, and is a good indication if they will fit in with the team dynamics.

How Do You Evaluate A Candidate’s Soft Skills?

Evaluating candidates for their soft skills can feel tricky, especially when it’s done remotely. How can you get a sense of someone’s true personality over Zoom? Or figure out if they’ll be a good culture fit for your team when you’re not in the same room? 

It’s important to remember that interviews are only one tool in the candidate evaluation process, and there are a few different ways to go about assessing soft skills. 

One way is to develop a set of criteria before the interview that you can use to score each candidate. This might include factors like whether they made eye contact if they asked questions about the company, or how well they communicated their qualifications. 

Another option is to have multiple people interview the candidate, with each person focusing on a different skill set. This can help to give you a more well-rounded sense of the candidate and their abilities. No matter what method you choose, taking the time to evaluate soft skills is essential to finding the right fit for your team.

How Do You Evaluate A Specific Skill (i.e. programming)?

Evaluating candidates for a specific skill, let’s say programming, can be difficult if you don’t have any relevant work examples or real-world scenarios to gauge their knowledge and skillset level. The best way to evaluate a candidate’s specific skills is to ask them about real-world scenarios and have them walk you through how they would solve the problem. This will give you a better understanding of their thought process and whether they are truly knowledgeable about the subject matter. 

Another way to evaluate a candidate’s programming skills is to give them a take-home test where they have to complete a programming task. This will allow you to see their actual work and how well they understand the concepts. Whichever method you choose, make sure you take the time to evaluate the candidate’s skills properly so that you can make the best hiring decision for your company.

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 surefire method for predicting how a candidate will perform once they’re engaged with their assigned tasks.

With a defined evaluation process, you can get detailed feedback about candidates after their interviews, so you can make more informed hiring decisions. It is important to have an easy-to-use platform for conducting post-interview candidate evaluations.

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.

  1. Include a set of predetermined questions in the interview process. This helps by allowing the hiring manager to collect the same information across multiple interviewers. This makes it much easier to see and avoid biases.
  2. Use interview scorecards to allow hiring managers to rank candidates. This enables interviewers to compare all of the 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.
  3. Collect more than enough information during the interview. 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.

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. Paycor Recruiting provides the confidence during the hiring and recruiting process so that the post-interview evaluation process is much easier.

How Paycor Helps

One of the most important challenges businesses face today is finding, interviewing, and hiring talented people – especially in a remote world. Any interruption in your recruiting process reduces your time to hire and can cost you time and money, but so can hiring the wrong candidate. Paycor Recruiting, designed by recruiters for recruiters and HR teams, helps you optimize your recruiting process and enables you to identify the best candidates for your company in record time. 

With this valuable tool, you’ll be able to hire the most talented people for your business and build a strong team that can take your company to the next level!

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