How to choose the best candidate for a job

The hiring process can be time-consuming process. However, by setting up standard interviewing practices and doing your research beforehand, you can find the right candidate for the job quickly and easily.

Develop standard interview questions

It’s important to develop a standard set of questions that you’ll ask all candidates. If you don’t have a standard list of questions, your interviews will be more difficult, as each candidate will get different information from you and the interview itself won’t be consistent.

Also, it’s easy to forget what you’ve asked each candidate after several interviews have passed. If you use the same set of questions for each candidate, then it’s much easier to remember which topics have come up in previous interviews.

When developing your interview questions, there are two key areas that should always be covered: relevant information about the position and how well the person understands his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Determine which competencies you’ll evaluate

You must first define which competencies you will evaluate. A “competency” is a skill or ability required to perform a job. They are not the same thing as qualifications or requirements. For example, if you want someone who can manage people and budgets, that would be a specific competency (manage people and budgets), not just any person who has worked in accounting for at least three years.

Competencies are often listed on the job description itself, but they may also be grouped into categories such as “hard skills” (specific skills like accounting) or “soft skills” (qualities like leadership).

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Send out an email with the details of the interview

  • Send out the email at least 24 hours before the interview.
  • Include the time and location of the interview.
  • Include a list of interviewers and their contact information, as well as a list of questions to ask each interviewer during your interview with them (if applicable).
  • Include a list of topics that will be discussed during your discussion with candidates so they can prepare for them (if applicable).

Include a list of questions to ask each interviewer during your interview with them (if applicable). Include a list of topics that will be discussed during your discussion with candidates so they can prepare for them (if applicable).

Send each candidate a personalized email

When it comes to making a good first impression, the details matter.

Send each candidate an email on the day of their interview (and make sure they know when that day is).

Tell them if you need anything else from them and if they’re still in the running for an offer.

Thank them again for coming in and showing appreciation for their time by saying something like “we really enjoyed getting to know you.”

When all is said and done, send each person a thank you note after their interview—even if you’ve already made your decision about who gets hired!

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Ask questions about their accomplishments and failures

While a candidate’s history is important, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Instead of focusing on what has already happened, focus on what could happen. Ask questions about their accomplishments and failures to see how they react in stressful situations. Here are some examples:

  • What was your biggest accomplishment? Why?
  • What is something you failed at? How did you bounce back from that failure?
  • Tell me about something challenging you had to tackle recently—how did you solve it?

Have each candidate complete a short presentation

At the end of the interview, ask each candidate to prepare a short (5–10 minute) presentation on a topic of your choice. This will help you identify their communication skills, as well as their ability to organize information and express themselves clearly.

You don’t have to let them know ahead of time what the topic will be, but make sure it’s relevant to the job they’re applying for. If you’re hiring someone who will be giving presentations at conferences or talking with customers all day long, then it’s probably better if they give a mock presentation based on an actual situation that has happened in their line of work—for example, if you’re hiring someone as an online instructor for coding classes at Udemy (a site where people can learn about different subjects), then ask your candidates what advice they would give someone who had no prior coding experience but wanted to learn how anyway?

Give candidates 3–4 days’ notice before asking them to complete their presentation and schedule an appointment during which they can do so either in person or via video call—in this way it won’t just be two hours spent watching people talk while sitting at home!

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Review resumes and covers letters after the interview

  • Before the interview, review resumes and cover letters to determine if they’re a good match for your job opening.
  • If you have time, ask yourself these questions:
  • What did I like about their resume?
  • What didn’t I like about their resume?
  • What did I like about their cover letter?
  • What didn’t I like about their cover letter

? Did they have any glaring errors (grammatical, spelling, etc.)? If so, what were they and how did it affect my opinion of their resume? What stood out most to me about this person’s application materials? Asking yourself these questions can help you figure out what you like and don’t like about a candidate’s application materials.

Assess candidates’ communication skills

When you assess candidates’ communication skills, it’s important to focus on the entire range of their abilities: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Communication is a core part of any job and almost everything that a person does in their work life relies on these skills.

Many people have trouble communicating clearly and effectively because they lack confidence in speaking or writing. So it’s important for them to develop their communication skills so that they can perform well at work without feeling uncomfortable or awkward about what they’re saying or writing.

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Carefully screen candidates to find the best person for the job

To find the best candidate for a job, carefully screen your options. You’ll want to make sure you have the right skills for the job (and that those skills are relevant), that you have enough experience and training, and that your personality fits with the company culture.

You should also make sure you’re qualified for the position. Be honest about your experience level and skill set. If you don’t have any relevant experience, consider getting some training or volunteering to gain new skills.


Screening candidates for a job is something that needs to be done carefully. If you have the wrong person in the position, it can end up doing more harm than good.

To help ensure that this doesn’t happen, make sure that as many people as possible are involved in the process and double-check everything before making any final decisions.

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