Why is it important to evaluate competency during a job interview?

Competency-based interviews are gaining popularity as part of the recruitment process. With a more competitive job market and large quantities of applicants to filter through, it’s important for hiring managers to evaluate the competency of a candidate during a job interview to assist in choosing the right person for a role.

Evaluating competency can show how past behaviour may impact, or predict, future performance and success. It can also be an indicator of how a candidate will “fit” your organization and culture, it combines functional and technical experience with overall character strengths and capabilities, and it aligns the candidate with the key attributes you’re looking to fill in the role you are hiring for. For example, if your company is going through a growth stage you may want your applicant to possess teamwork, problem solving, and time management skills. If you want to increase sales you may look for strong networking skills and ability to deliver on deadlines and key milestones.

Whilst interviews traditionally review technical and educational skillsets, evaluating a candidate’s competency and aligning these attributes to the role, company and industry you are hiring for can also present a number of advantages and positive outcomes for you and your team.

Positive of a competency-based interview

  • Delivering a more holistic analysis of the candidate, leading to an improved hiring decision; it’s not just about education or years of experience as it provides you with information on how they deal with work-related, and possible role-related, challenges
  • Creating fair and specific criteria of what you’re looking for in the ideal candidate, leading to transparency for all stakeholders
  • Reducing personal bias in the interview process and allowing more meaningful measurements between candidates as they are all ranked upon the same, predetermined competency pillars
  • Mitigating the risk of your decision, which lessens the financial cost of choosing the wrong candidate
  • Improving the feedback process since it is easier to provide valid and fair reasoning as to why you have chosen, or not chosen, a candidate
  • Aligning the candidate with the organization and its objectives, leading to increased productivity once in the role
  • Minimizes the risk of discrimination and looks beyond a good first impression
  • Improves the decision of choosing between equally qualified candidates
  • It is results-oriented and measurable throughout the interview process as well as the time the candidate spends in the organization
  • The ability to tailor the training areas for the candidate you have chosen and once you have moved on to the onboarding stage
  • Streamlining and improving the efficiency of the recruitment process in general, meaning that all candidates across the organization align to the ideal competencies you are searching for, leading to a more productive workforce

By not addressing the competency levels or attributes you would like your candidates to possess, your recruitment process is less targeted in terms of role development, organizational fit, and what your company and team needs to succeed and grow. This also means that the recruitment budget is being used ineffectively and inefficiently. You are at a higher risk of choosing the wrong person, leading to lower employee engagement, lower levels of productivity, and a higher likelihood of staff turnover. There is also the possibility of subjective decisions to be made, and you may not be looking at a candidate’s entire skillset or ability to function and respond to real-life demands and challenges. This can lead to an imbalance of what information you gather from candidates, meaning you will not be able to make a truly informed and non-biased or non-weighted decision. Why it’s important to evaluate competency

Why it’s important to evaluate competency

Evaluating competency during a job interview may take more planning and effort in the recruitment stage but is a worthwhile exercise in order to improve the hiring process and attracting the best talent for your team and organization.

If you would like further assistance in evaluating applicant competency during a job interview, please contact us.