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An interview assessment is a critical step in the hiring process, as it allows you to evaluate and analyze the skills, qualifications, and potential of a candidate. Think of this like a scorecard you can look back on to assess the fit of a candidate, and is slightly different from a practical assessment interview which is a test of the candidate's skills and abilities.
Interview assessments are given to test a candidate's core skills, competencies, knowledge, problem-solving, and other factors necessary for a role. It is essential to provide feedback and constructive criticism to candidates, whether they get the job or not. This will help them improve for future interviews and also leave a positive impression of your company.
In this article, we're going to talk about what to include in your interview assessments, some example comments and feedback to HR and recruiters, and talk about the questions that should be included to ensure a great employee/ position fit.
First, let's talk about building your interview assessment. When creating an interview assessment, it's important to include all the necessary components to accurately assess the candidate. This may vary depending on the position and company, but some general areas to cover are:
- Core skills: This includes technical skills or expertise required for the role.
- Soft skills: These are interpersonal abilities such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.
- Knowledge: Assessing a candidate's knowledge of the industry or specific job-related information is crucial.
- Competencies: Identifying key competencies that are essential for success in a particular role can help you evaluate candidates better.
- Potential: It's also essential to consider a candidate's potential for growth within the company.
Once you have identified these areas, create questions that will give you insights into each of them. Remember to ask open-ended questions that allow the candidate to showcase their skills and experiences rather than just giving a yes or no answer.
If you're looking for interview questions and resources to build an effective candidate scorecard, check out our library of more than 1,000 questions tailored to help you build the best team. At Pillar, we've assembled these resources to streamline your interviews and add efficiency to your hiring process. Our interview intelligence software is powered by AI so you can make data-driven hiring decisions and automate tasks that don't require a human touch.
Interviews usually go one of three ways. HR will say, "Yes," "No," or "You're a fit for another role." In any case, there will always be comments and feedback.
Here are some sample positive interview feedback to HR you can use when providing feedback on candidates.
Sample Interview Assessment Comments:
- Communication skills: "The candidate demonstrated excellent communication skills by articulating their thoughts clearly and concisely. They were able to adapt their communication style according to the situation, making it easy for others to understand."
- Problem-solving: "The candidate effectively tackled the hypothetical problem presented during the interview by breaking it down into smaller parts and coming up with multiple solutions. They also displayed critical thinking skills when evaluating each solution's pros and cons."
- Teamwork: "The candidate showed a strong ability to work collaboratively with others by actively listening, providing valuable input, and compromising when necessary. They also demonstrated leadership skills by taking charge of group tasks and delegating responsibilities."
- Industry knowledge: "The candidate's depth of knowledge in the industry was impressive. They were able to provide relevant examples and insights that showcased their understanding and passion for the field."
- Potential for growth: "Based on our conversation, I believe the candidate has a lot of potential for growth within our company. Their eagerness to learn and adaptability will make them an asset to any team they join."
These are all positive, but they give you an example of what good feedback looks like. Unfortunately, sometimes, you'll have to give negative feedback to HR.
Unsuccessful Interview Feedback Examples:
- Technical skills: "The candidate did not possess the technical skills required for this role. They lacked knowledge and experience in several key areas."
- Soft skills: "While the candidate had excellent technical skills, their communication and teamwork abilities were lacking. This may hinder their ability to work effectively with others if hired."
- Culture fit: "Based on our conversation, I don't think the candidate would be a good fit for our company culture. They didn't seem aligned with our values and did not demonstrate enthusiasm for the position or company."
These examples are more specific and give HR actionable feedback on areas of improvement for the unsuccessful candidates. If possible, make it a priority to give specific and actionable feedback on why the candidate isn't a fit. For example, a technical interview negative feedback example would look like:
- Technical skills: "The candidate struggled with the coding exercise and made several syntax errors. They also had difficulty explaining their approach and understanding the problem's requirements."
Providing specific feedback helps candidates understand where they need to improve and shows your company values constructive criticism. You can find more helpful resources on candidate scorecards and interview assessments on our blog.
Let's switch gears. Thus far we've talked about feedback to an HR team- what about interview feedback to a recruiter? Interview feedback to a recruiter will differ slightly from feedback to HR. The recruiter is responsible for finding and screening candidates, while the HR team takes over once the candidate has made it through the initial stages of the hiring process.
Here are some tips on how to provide effective interview feedback to a recruiter:
- Be specific: Just like giving feedback to HR, be specific with your comments. This helps the recruiter understand exactly where the candidate excelled or needed improvement.
- Focus on relevant skills: While all aspects of a candidate's performance should be evaluated, make sure to highlight skills that are essential for success in the particular role. This will help the recruiter narrow down their search and find more suitable candidates.
- Provide examples: Use specific examples from the interview when giving feedback. This will add credibility to your comments and give the recruiter a better understanding of the candidate's performance.
- Consider cultural fit: While technical skills are important, cultural fit is also crucial for long-term success within a company. If you feel the candidate may not align with your company culture, make sure to mention this in your feedback.
- Be professional: Keep your feedback objective and professional. Avoid making personal remarks or being overly critical. Remember that the purpose of feedback is to help improve the hiring process, not to attack or belittle candidates.
Remember that providing effective interview feedback benefits both your company and future candidates. It helps improve the hiring process and gives candidates valuable insight into their strengths and areas for improvement. By following these tips, you can provide constructive and helpful feedback.
For a successful candidate, sample interviewer comments after the interview might include:
- "The candidate impressed me with their strong communication skills and ability to think on their feet. They were able to provide thorough and well-thought-out answers to all of my questions."
- "I was impressed by the candidate's knowledge and experience in the industry. They showed a genuine passion for the work and I believe they would be a valuable asset to our team."
- "The candidate demonstrated excellent problem-solving abilities by approaching the case study with a strategic mindset and coming up with creative solutions."
For an unsuccessful candidate, sample interviewer comments after the interview might include:
- "While the candidate had some relevant experience, I felt their technical skills were lacking for this role. They struggled with some of the coding exercises and seemed unfamiliar with certain concepts."
- "I had some concerns about the candidate's ability to work well with others. They struggled to provide examples of teamwork and collaboration in their previous roles, which could be a hindrance in this position."
- "Based on my conversation with the candidate, I don't believe they would be a good fit for our company culture. Their values and priorities seemed misaligned with those of our organization."
Either way, the key is to be sure the candidates are being scored fairly, equitably, and consistently. Keep in mind that you have this applicant's income and future in your hands. As an interviewer, it is important to be mindful of any biases or prejudices that may affect your scoring. It is also important to document and justify your feedback to ensure transparency in the hiring process. This will lead to a more successful, diverse, and inclusive team for your company.
In closing, let's talk about the actual interview. Using interviews as an assessment tool is not only about asking the right questions but also about asking them in the right way. Here are some tips for creating effective interview assessment questions:
- Open-ended questions: Avoid yes or no questions and instead ask open-ended questions that encourage candidates to provide more detailed responses.
- Behavioral-based questions: Ask candidates to provide specific examples from their past experiences rather than hypothetical situations. This will give you a better understanding of how they have handled similar situations in the past.
- Follow-up questions: Don't be afraid to follow up on a candidate's response with additional probing questions. This can help clarify any unclear answers and give you more insight into their thought process.
- Consistency: Use the same set of interview assessment questions for each candidate applying for the same role to ensure consistency in the evaluation process.
- Job-related: Make sure your questions are directly related to the skills and experiences required for the job. This will help you accurately assess a candidate's suitability for the role.
Asking the right questions will give you the data you need to make great hiring decisions. The right questions will not only help you accurately evaluate candidates but also provide valuable feedback for both the recruiter and the candidate. So next time you're participating in an interview or providing feedback on a candidate, remember the importance of this step in the hiring process and strive to make it a positive experience.
To see how Pillar's interview intelligence software can help streamline your hiring process and ensure fair and unbiased evaluations, schedule a demo today. Our platform not only offers a library of effective interview questions but also provides real-time scoring and data analysis to support informed decision-making.