After The Interview: 3 Steps To Awesome Interview Evaluations

So, you’ve had a great interview process with a super qualified group of shortlisted candidates. You’ve finished the (structured hopefully!) interviews and now you’ve got the daunting task of figuring out which one of your finalists is going to be your next, best employee. Sometimes this part of the process can seem too complex or too intensive and I’ve seen many employers do a great set of interviews, only to fizzle out on this last, most important step. Let’s walk through a system I think will work to get you and your final candidate across the finish line!

Step #1 – Give Ratings To Each Candidate Interview

Use an interview rating system or tool

Evaluating interviews is broken into 2 parts:

1- Evaluating each interview by each individual interviewer using a simple rating system.

2- Evaluating the entire interview process for all the candidates, by the entire interview team.

Part 1 is the individual interview evaluations by each interviewer. A great ranking or rating system for assessing and rating behavioral interviews is the commonly known S.T.A.R. Model of interview response.

Once you have a rating for each question for a specific candidate, you will then give an overall numbered rating to the candidate, based on a summary of all the individual question ratings.

Here is a sample summary of a simple S.T.A.R. rating system:

5—Much More Than Acceptable (Significantly exceeds criteria for successful position performance)

4—More Than Acceptable (Exceeds criteria for successful position performance)

3—Acceptable (Meets criteria for successful position performance)

2—Less Than Acceptable (Generally does not meet criteria for successful position performance)

1—Much Less Than Acceptable (Significantly below criteria for successful position performance)

Clarifying Ratings:

N—No opportunity to observe or assess

W—Weak/Want more data (for example, 4W)

5H—Too high

Next step is to summarize all of your interviews into a clear format, so you can compare and review the results. Here’s a suggested interview summary table that might help:


Individual Interviewer Interview Summary

Complete this summary for each candidate you interview. This example uses a number of categories that might be assessed during a typical interview process. All of these categories would have had prepared behavioral or structured question(s) attached to them.

Then take a copy of each summary for each candidate to your formal debrief session with your interview team. Be prepared to share your ratings and defend your decisions! Each question you asked in the interview should address a competency listed here, for example:

H&S is scored on a scale of 1-5 and would have been addressed in the interview with a corresponding question. This helps ensure you can demonstrate objectively as to why a candidate is stronger than another as well as identify areas of concern that might change the overall rating of a candidate by the team.

Step #2 – Look For ‘Fit Overlap’ Between The Candidate & The Role

Finding an overlap of candidate experience/qualifications vs. the documented requirements of the role profile, is crucial to coming to an accurate evaluation of the candidate’s predictive ability to perform in the role.

To make this easier, we will look for a percentage overlap. To do this you must go back to the rating numbers you just gave your candidate for each question and finally for their overall rating for the role.

Using the rating scale in Step #1, an overall rating of less than 3 out of 5 is a fail for the window of ‘fit’ for the role.

See the following overlap guidelines:

Rating of 1-2 = 60% – 75% overlap between qualifications and requirements. Less or Much less than acceptable for the role.

Rating of 3 = 75% – 80% overlap between qualifications and requirements. Acceptable for the role.

Rating of 4 = 80% – 90% overlap between qualifications and requirements. More than acceptable for the role.

Rating of 5 = 90% – 100% overlap between qualifications and requirements. Much more acceptable for the role.

Less than 75% = NOT ADEQUATE for the role

75% must equal an overall rating of NO LESS THAN 3 on the rating scale in Step #1.

Step #3 – Do A Formal Interviewer Team Debrief

This is Part 2 of Evaluating the interview. This is where you take your individual ratings to the team and begin the process of discussing and reasoning your ratings for each candidate (and maybe for each question). This is where the hard work of deliberately evaluating every candidate in a focused and formal manner will start to pay you dividends in the results you will get.

Do a formal summary of your ratings with other interviewers and/or trusted feedback people. Use a consolidated summary tool like the one shown below to capture each interviewer’s outcome. 

You will notice your decisions will become much more narrowly focused on the How’s and the What’s of your candidate performance history, compared to the requirements of the role.

  • Make sure ALL interviewers who participated in the interview are present.
  • Compare & combine ratings of all interviewers to achieve final overall interview ratings.
  • Be sure each member of the team gets their chance to discuss and defend their ratings of each candidate.
  • Then go to an overall rating of all the candidates by all the interviewers on the team.
  • Come to a Consensus decision on the final candidate/hire if possible, as a result of your Debrief.


Consolidated Candidate Rating Summary For Team Use

There you have it! It’s a beautiful process when it comes together. Send me a note and let me know about your experience doing final interview evaluations and how they went for you.


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Then leave a comment below on your experience, thoughts or advise on the above ideas.

Want to put an end to ineffective, inaccurate and time-wasting hiring interviews? Please share this post with your network!


Lee Hodgins, CPHR works with entrepreneurs, business owners & hiring managers to leverage the power of hiring interviews to dramatically boost their effectiveness and accuracy in finding the most qualified job candidates. More information is awaiting you online at

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