Six-Point Job Candidate Interview Evaluation Form
After completing an interview based on behavioral interview questions, use the above six-point Job Candidate Interview Evaluation Form.
We recommend a 1-4 rating scale. This forces the interviewer to make a decision. With a 1-4 rating scale selecting a 2 is less than average. Selecting a 3 is better than average. On a 1-5 rating scale, it is too easy to select a safe midpoint rating. I could weasel out of taking a real position on the candidate by selecting a 3.
It is best when the interviewers do not infer their assessment unless they asked a direct specific question about that competency. If an interviewer is assigned questions to ask a sales candidate that deal with qualifying prospects, presenting products and services, and closing sales they should be giving opinions about those skills only. Their candidate assessment form should request their input in those areas only. They should not be asked their opinion about prospecting if they weren’t assigned questions on prospecting.
Ask Behavioral Interview Questions, Not Closed or Open-Ended Questions
And they need to use behavioral questions, not more general open-ended questions and certainly not closed-ended questions. For example, let’s say I want to know how a sales candidate handles mistakes they’ve made in front of customers.
I could ask:
- A closed-ended question: “Have you ever made a mistake in front of a customer?” or,
- An open-ended question: “What kind of mistakes have you made in front of a customer?” or,
- A behavioral interview question: “Walk me through some examples of how you recover from making mistakes in front of customers.”
Candidates can lie when asked a closed-ended question. They can mislead you when asked a general open-ended question. But, it’s pretty hard to lie or mislead when it’s a behavioral question.
Behavioral questions ask the candidate to describe something specific that happened, how the candidate handled that situation and what the result was of their actions. When the candidate hasn’t had an experience like the one described they may stumble and fumble around trying to come up with an answer. However, the person who does have a satisfactory answer will be obvious, and that’s the person you want if you like their answer.
The Interview Process is Meant to Answer Two Questions
During the talent acquisition process, most candidates who make it to the face-to-face interview level can do the job. With that in mind, the interview process is typically meant to answer two fundamental questions.
1. Compared to the other candidates, how well can they do the job?
2. How well will they fit in with the rest of the team and our culture?
Behavioral interviewing provides you the best assessment of both concerns. Selecting the best questions from the appropriate Competency or Skill area sets the stage for productive interviews. You don’t want all the interviewers asking the same questions. So, have interviewers with different strengths and interests ask different questions. For consistent results for positions, have each interviewer ask the same questions of every candidate for that position.
Have your best qualifier ask the candidates questions about qualifying. Have your best presenter ask the candidates questions about presenting. Have your best closer ask the candidates questions about closing sales. Go to our blog for Interview Questions for Sales Positions if you want some useful sales behavioral interview questions.
Get an Apples-to-Apples Comparison of the Candidates
The reason to use an interview evaluation form is because you want your interviewers’ assessments to give you an apples-to-apples comparison of the candidates.
When you record your assessment of the candidate’s response. We recommend a rating scale of 1 to 4.
- A rating of 1 means the candidate is just learning, or entry-level.
- 2 means they, often can routinely close sales.
- 3 means they are proficient at closing sales and will share their knowledge with others.
- 4 means they challenge the organization to higher levels of performance.
We want to ensure that all our interviewers understand what these four target behaviors are. When an interviewer assesses a candidate as a “4″ for a competency, we want their evaluation to mean that the candidate will “challenge the organization to higher levels of performance.”
Another benefit of using an interview evaluation form similar to the one we use in Talentron is that it frames assessment questions around things that your interviewers are likely noticing. Although they may notice certain things they may not report them unless you provide them with a quick and easy way to report their experience to you. Many things may contribute to the interviewer’s overall gut reaction to the candidate. We want to do the best we can to help them capture those things that are most important about each candidate for a particular position.
Using Interview Assessment Forms Improve Your Quality of Hire
The best hiring managers and recruiters use some form of interview assessment form as part of their interview guides. An interview guide provides each interviewer with several assigned questions to use with each candidate. Additionally, the interview guide includes an assessment form to be completed by each interviewer.
The best quality of hire is achieved when we have several excellent candidates to select from. With several great options available to us selecting the best candidate becomes the next critical step to take. Without an interview assessment form, interviewers often devolve into a mere thumbs-up or thumbs-down general assessment of the candidates. Having an assessment form that gives us adequate information without burdening the interviewers too much is the trick.
For example, the candidate’s enthusiasm may be an important element to consider. It may overshadow other, less obvious, variables like how the candidate might get along with the rest of the team. Their enthusiasm may also overshadow how well the candidate might fit in with the company culture. Or, if the candidate doesn’t have sufficient enthusiasm for the job they might be a horrible selection even though they may be the most qualified.
And, when we use behavioral interview questions, no longer do we need to worry about knowing how to tell if someone is lying. This is because it is difficult to lie to a behavioral question.
Calling these things out separately requires the interviewer to consider each element on its own.
What are your favorite behavioral interview questions to ask salespeople?
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