by Suprekshita Bhattacharyya
(Kolkata , West Bengal , India)

This question is about evaluation of a candidate in the process of a job interview.

Q1) I have some 7 -8 selection criteria eg Communication Skill , Academic records , Experience etc . And I plan to give a weighting to each criteria . Is it advisable to have pre decided weighting for each criteria which will be applicable for a particular department?

For eg. Take the criteria of communication skill and we choose the Marketing department. We decide a weighting of 20 for communication skill which shall be applicable for the entire marketing department.

A1) How you go about assigning values is up to you. Your example is fine. It is advisable to attach a weight prehire. If it is done after the interview process it leaves open the possibility of making the score fit the candidate you want. You may still hire that person even if the score is not as high but at least you have an independent marker so that you can take a second look and reconsider if things do not score out in agreement about how you felt.

Q2 - Is it advisable to have a fixed predetermined weightage of a particular criteria applicable for the entire department?

A2 - That is completely up to you and your business process. Remember it is an iterative process so you can make adjustments as you go.

Q3 - Are we not making the mistake of not considering factors like the difference between an entry level job in the department and say a job of a manager in the department.

A3 - You should certainly take into consideration such factors. An entry level person has different requirements and responsibilities therefore would require a different weighting.

Q4 - Will it not be a better idea to categorize the weighting eg. all the criteria that are critical gets a weighting of 20 , the criteria that are necessary gets 15 , important criteria gets a weighting of 10 and so on.. and then rate the candidate against the individual criteria .

A4 - Yes it would be better to do as you suggest. Remember the weighting is to insure the most critical aspects of the job contain a higher level of emphasis and investigation during the interview. Therefore they would carry the most weight.

Thank you for your question. You are on the right track here. The key points are as follows;

1) Weighting should be done prior to interviewing.

2) Weights are assigned arbitrarily based on which criteria are most important and can be changed but not during the interview process. They are meant to help score interviews in an impartial way so you as an interviewer have a way to compare candidates without personal preferences.

3) The weighted scores are not meant as the decision making factor. It serves to validate intuitive thoughts on the different candidates or gives pause to reconsider someone who may be quite strong but did not have the same chemistry or came in at a bad time when interviewers may have been distracted. In the end it is designed to contribute the the process and give a somewhat independent way to compare candidates.

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