Step 8: Candidate Selection

Now that you have interviewed, it is time to select the candidates who best meets the requirements of your position. Taking into account what you learned in the interviews, the candidates' behavior during questioning, and test results (if applicable), select the two or three candidates who have the qualifications to perform the duties of the position most effectively.

Be careful to avoid making the following mistakes when evaluating the candidates:

  • Gut Feeling – making an intuitive judgment about an applicant without substantiating facts.
  • Halo Effect – allowing one or two favorable traits of an applicant, such as nice appearance, to bias your judgment favorably on entirely unrelated knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • Stereotyping – developing an oversimplified, standardized mental image of the members of a particular group. Example:  thinking that all individuals with a firm handshake are decisive.
  • Similar-to-Me-Effect – evaluating certain applicants higher, regardless of their qualifications, because they resemble you in some way; or evaluating applicants lower because they are dissimilar to you in some way.
  • Contrast Effect – comparing an applicant against another applicant rather than to the specific requirements of the job. Example: allowing the first applicant to be the standard against which all subsequent applicants will be evaluated.
  • First Impressions – forming a favorable or unfavorable judgment about an applicant during the first few minutes of the interview.

After the candidates have been interviewed, the search committee must deliberate and select the candidates who will be recommended for hire. The committee chair forwards a report of the finalists to the applicable Vice President. Only objective, job-related information should be presented to the person making the final decision. A summary of each finalist's strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the job criteria would be appropriate. This should also be done in YourFuture for each applicant. This becomes part of the permanent record and cannot be changed/deleted, so use caution in composing.