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Candidate Selection & Assessment

Candidate Review 

Your recruiter will screen applicants against minimum qualifications for the role along with the preferred qualifications discussed in the intake meeting.  

  • The goal is to provide hiring managers with a viable slate of qualified candidates to review, not to share every applicant. 
  • Recruiters will also share the overall diversity of the candidates for review and resumes will be redacted to exclude candidates’ identifying information. 
  • This includes dates of employment, graduation dates, and universities/colleges. This redaction is done to reduce the influence of implicit biases. 

Selecting for Next Steps 

Hiring managers may directly select candidates for next steps or choose to share with all or some members of the hiring committee. 

  • It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to notify the recruiter of who is moving forward so Workday can remain accurate. 

Pause to Calibrate 

Early in the process is important for continued calibration between the recruiter and hiring manager. Providing feedback on candidate profiles (this profile looks great and why) helps everyone. 

Screening Interview 

Before inviting candidates for a full interview, we will first need to understand more about them.  

  • An initial screening interview helps refine our understanding candidate by validating skills and behavior from a resume against the requirements and responsibilities of the job. 
  • This is where we begin to collect evidence of whether the candidate will be set up for success in the role. 
  • Ex. They state on their resume they have managed people, and this is important for your role as they will be managing a team of five. However, upon further discussion, the candidate shares they have only managed one person for several months.  

Phone/Zoom Interview – Typically 30 minutes with the hiring manager or another member of the hiring committee. 

  • Focuses on capturing additional information about how a candidate’s experience, skills, and behaviors align to the expectations for the role.  
  • Answers the question: Do we want to learn more about this candidate with the full hiring committee? 

SparkHire – University-approved tool to conduct recorded video interviews with a standard set of questions.  

  • Please share a little bit about yourself and what interests you about this position.  
  • What makes you a strong candidate for this position? What experiences, attributes, and/or knowledge do you have that will help you be successful in the role?  
  • How do you manage your time and energy when you have multiple competing priorities and/or conflicting deadlines?  
  • How has your experience and background prepared you to be effective in an environment that values inclusion and diversity? 

From here, you’ll select candidates to move to the next round of interviews… 

Interview Structures 

This is our opportunity to collect the most evidence of a candidate’s ability to be successful at Penn.  

Panel – This is a one-to-many style interview where multiple people take turns asking questions of the candidate. Useful for working environments that rely heavily on team cooperation. 

  • Should have a leader who is responsible for keeping the group on topic and on schedule.  
  • Other interviewers observe and ask fact-finding and follow-up questions for clarification.  
  • The leader develops questions for the group and assigns them to others based on their areas of expertise.  
  • Leaders ensure each topic is explored completely with follow-up questions, fact-finding, and examples. 

1:1 – One candidate, one interviewer. Gives both participants an opportunity to go deep into discussing 2-4 specific behaviors and/or functional skills.  

Remember to document interview feedback and/or use a rubric or matrix! You can find these on the Talent Acquistion forms page here.  

Interviewing Techniques 

Behavioral – Behavioral interview questions focus on a candidate’s past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities by asking the candidate to provide specific examples of when they have demonstrated certain behaviors or skills as a means of predicting their future behavior and performance. 

  • A complete response to a behavioral-based question has three parts:  
  • The situation – the candidate’s description of the circumstances they faced 
  • The behavior/action – what the candidate did to directly address the particular situation. 
  • The result –the outcome of the candidate’s action 

Functional – These interview questions focus on candidates’ specific functional skills, those that are required for the role. This could be project management, financial accounting, etc.  

Audition – A type of functional interview, an audition interview can be useful because it demonstrates a candidate’s abilities through interactive means.  

  • For some positions, such as computer programmers or training specialists, you may wish to observe candidates in action before making a hiring decision.  
  • For this reason, you might consider taking candidates through a simulation or brief exercise to evaluate their skills.  
  • Such simulations and exercises should be an accurate reflection of the working environment and be reviewed with your HR Partner before using.