What Is An Assessment After An Interview? (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Hiring the right candidate is critical to the success of any organisation. You can screen candidates in various ways, including evaluating the top candidates after concluding the interviews. If your role is in human resources or in a management position responsible for hiring, it is necessary to understand how post-interview assessments can help you filter candidates and find the best suitable according to the organisation's requirements. In this article, we discuss what post-interview assessments are, why they are important, the steps you can follow to conduct them and tips to conduct one effectively.

What Is An Assessment After An Interview?

An assessment after an interview is a strategy you can use to select only the best-qualified candidates for the position. Post-interview assessments can help you screen candidates against a set of criteria specific to your organisation. These evaluations may incorporate various screening techniques, such as conducting background checks and checking with a candidate's professional references.

Related: How Do Employment Agencies Work? A Comprehensive Guide

Why Is It Important To Conduct An Assessment After An Interview?

Besides helping you hire a suitable job candidate for the organisation, some essential and additional benefits of these assessments include:

  • Reducing costs associated with hiring employees who are not the right fit

  • Hiring people who can improve the company's dynamic

  • Expanding the skill set of the workforce

  • Selecting people who can apply leadership skills to build teams

  • Developing a streamlined process for hiring new employees

Related: What Is An Interview Process? Definition And Steps Involved

How To Assess Candidates After An Interview

While each organisation's interview assessment process differs, there are several critical components that you can include in this process. Here are the steps you can consider following for an assessment after an interview:

1. Review the interview

By reading through your interview notes or reviewing the interview recording, re-examine the interviews you conducted with each candidate. Assess a candidate's responses, resume, qualifications and other characteristics. This information can help you determine whether to proceed with the assessment process.

2. Determine your candidate criteria

To ensure consistency in assessments, it is important to first establish your organisation's candidate criteria. This helps you evaluate each candidate with the same guidelines. You can determine the criteria by analysing the position for which you are hiring. Consider the qualities one requires to excel in the position. For example, if you are hiring for a manager position, your criteria might include leadership skills and a positive attitude. You can set criteria like:

  • Specific occupational skills

  • Educational credentials

  • Professional experience

  • Past job titles

  • Personal qualities

3. Plan your assessment process

With your specific criteria, start building your assessment process by choosing the methods you want to use. To create your organisation's specific assessment process, you can combine methods. If you are hiring for a cybersecurity director position, for example, you might start with a thorough background check, which is important for organisational data security. Then you can ask for references to enquire about skill proficiency and truthfulness, both of which are important qualities for security-related jobs. Apart from interviews, popular screening methods include:

  • Skill assessments: Skill assessments are tools you can use to learn how candidates apply their skills in real-world contexts.

  • Personality assessments: Personality assessments are tests that help you learn more about a candidate's personal qualities. This can help you gauge whether they can fit the company culture.

  • Background checks: You can conduct background checks to learn important information about a candidate, like any criminal record or negative financial history, which may affect certain positions in finance or jobs with security clearance.

  • Reference checks: You can conduct reference checks to learn about a candidate from the perspective of their past employers or educators.

  • Employment and education verification: You can also verify a candidate's employment and education history to ensure that the information is authentic.

Related: Recruitment Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

4. Compare salary expectations

Comparing salary expectations helps you determine whether the organisation's budget matches the candidates' salary requirements. Comparing their salary requirements to your predetermined salary budget is important to maintain organisational expenses. Sometimes, you may increase your salary budget to match or offer one that is close to the salary expectations of your most qualified candidate, depending on the affordability of the company. In other cases, you may negotiate a lower salary with your most qualified candidate to complete an agreement.

5. Determine cultural compatibility

Cultural compatibility is critical to the success of any newly recruited employee. Try to ensure that your hiring decisions support the health and positivity of your work and company culture. Consider the candidates' personalities, values and communication styles when analysing this. If these components match the organisation's values, the candidate may have a greater chance of easily mixing into your work environment and company culture.

6. Analyse candidate's responses

The responses to your interview questions can tell a lot about a candidates' success potential. It is helpful to take notes while listening to a candidates' responses to refer to them afterwards. By giving hypothetical scenarios or encouraging information about specific past events, you can better understand how candidates might perform in a position with the organisation. Reflecting on and comparing these responses can help you get the context of candidates' credentials and potential value as an employee.

7. Verify their references

Verifying references can help in the evaluation process. Contact the references provided by the candidates to get direct feedback on their previous performance. If their references affirm the candidate's qualifications, skills and experiences, as stated in their documents, they are more likely to succeed in the organisation. If there are discrepancies between the candidate's application content and the references' testimonies, it may be helpful to move forward with other candidates.

8. Confirm timeline expectations

Another important aspect of the evaluation process is to confirm timeline expectations. Consider inquiring about the candidates' current jobs and notice requirements. Confirm that their preferred start date corresponds to the organisation's requirements so that you can ensure proper staffing. Prefer including any training or probationary periods in your discussion to ensure that the candidates understand and agree to your onboarding policies.

9. Compare the candidates

To compare the candidates, use the criteria and assessment processes you previously selected. Making a chart that shows each candidate and criterion is one effective way to do this. Fill in the blanks on the chart with the criteria that each candidate meets. When you have several high-quality candidates who match all the criteria, then consider using the chart to explain how each candidate meets each standard. With this approach, you can evaluate the candidates fairly by comparing them.

This method can help you determine which candidates are most suitable for the organisation's requirements. You can also refer to the interview notes if required.

Related: What Are HRM Recruitment Policies? (Importance And Stages)

Tips To Conduct An Effective Assessment

Here are some tips for conducting effective post-interview assessments:

Be consistent

When choosing assessment criteria and methods, consider that they can help you make consistent comparisons and fair evaluations. Prepare your interview questions based on the criterion you want to use. This process can help you get a clear idea of each candidate and how they differ from one another.

Be thorough

During the interview, try to get enough information about each candidate to fill out your candidate comparison chart. Complete responses from each candidate can help you compare candidates fairly and make the best decision for the organisation. If you do not get answers to specific questions from a candidate, request a follow-up interview or, if suitable, ask through email.

Ask for help

As you evaluate candidates, you can also take feedback from others within the organisation. It allows you to get advice from people who work in the same department or for the same position. For instance, if you are looking to hire a financial analyst, you can ask for help from the finance department manager.

Compare the candidates to the job description

Take a moment to review the original job description for specific responsibilities, qualifications and certifications, especially when someone else's written the description. If you have multiple candidates who meet your initial set of criteria, you can add additional criteria by extracting specific characteristics from the job description. Comparing the candidate to the job description can help you determine whether they meet all the job requirements.

Related: Top 10 External And Internal Recruitment Strategies

Consider body language

You can notice a candidate's confidence, humility and integrity in their body language. To find self-assured candidates, look for signs of confidence, such as maintaining consistent eye contact and sitting up straight. These candidates are often successful hires who fit into teams and departments well. Candidates who appear nervous or show signs of anxiety, such as fidgeting or avoiding eye contact, can be more introverted and perform better in independent roles.

Check social media

Some employers may choose to look at the social media profiles of their candidates. Consider researching the candidates' social media profiles to better understand their personal lives. Examining a candidate's priorities and lifestyle choices can sometimes provide insight into their professional behaviour. For instance, if the candidate posts pictures of their volunteer work, they may have a strong sense of motivation and work well in a group.

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