Candidate Evaluation Pre- and Post-Interview

Successful candidate evaluation involves conducting a full review of what you know about the prospect before making a job offer. From information presented on the resume to impressions gleaned during the interview to results from any testing that may be part of the hiring process, incorporating everything you've learned about a given candidate will help you form an accurate picture of his or her suitability for the job.

The importance of an applicant review system

Having an applicant review system in place is helpful on many levels. A system assists you in setting standards for various jobs before the need to hire arises. By isolating key hiring criteria and setting priorities for what the organization needs in an employee, you'll be better equipped to make accurate assessments as you review potential hires. No one can know for sure how someone will perform as an employee, but a focused approach to candidate evaluation can certainly increase the likelihood of hiring the right person for the job. 

Here are some points to keep in mind for your candidate evaluation system:

  • Know what your ideal employee would bring to the table. Break these qualities down into discrete areas for easier review.
  • Have objective criteria in place so you can grade each candidate by the same standards.
  • Assign a score to each job candidate based on your objective criteria, but make notes of any qualities, traits or intangibles that may influence your decision.
  • Ensure that you have adequate time to thoroughly consider each potential employee.

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Candidate evaluation tips

These articles provide key insights on the best methods for evaluating candidates and can help you differentiate between solid prospects and average applicants:

No one can know for sure how someone will perform as an employee, but a focused approach to candidate evaluation can certainly increase the likelihood of hiring the right person for the job.


  • The Candidate Evaluation Process: Before resumes start flooding your inbox, it's essential to establish a method for evaluating candidates who respond to your posting. Discover tips for not only decreasing your hiring timeline but also focusing your efforts on the most promising professionals.
  • Resume Red Flags: Resumes can be tricky to decipher because candidates use a variety of styles and formats. Learn to read the warning signs to watch for when evaluating candidates.
  • The Phone Screen Interview: Your time as a hiring manager is precious, and you don't want to waste it interviewing candidates who won't meet your needs. Discover how to use the phone interview as an effective tool in the applicant evaluation process.
  • Bad interview, good hire: Don't let a subpar interview cause you to rule out an otherwise promising candidate.
  • How to Recruit Employees Who Thrive at Your Firm: Get a multitude of tips that will help you attract and hire employees who make a positive difference all the way around.

Your underlying objective

The system you set up should take all of this into account. Remember your underlying objective — to recruit quality personnel — and you'll always be able to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate against what you're looking for in your next employee. There's always a certain element of subjectivity to candidate evaluation, but a well-conceived system can go a long way toward eliminating much of the guesswork.

In need of hiring help? With more than 65 years of experience in professional staffing, Robert Half has the know-how to connect you with the professionals you need. Contact us today.


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