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How to Critique an Interview

by Al Stewart, studioD

Job interviews are an essential part of the hiring process and can determine whether a position is offered. An interview critique usually involves assessing the performance of the candidate in an objective and consistent manner. Examine relevant factors ranging from preparation and knowledge, to demeanor and enthusiasm. Take note of the candidate's comfort level and her ability to make a clear and compelling case. Critiques should also involve the interviewer's stated abilities and factor in whether she asked engaging questions. In either case, the process should follow a set of specific guidelines to ensure consistency.

Compile a list of priorities and establish a criteria for a successful interview. Rate the candidate's overall presentation, knowledge and communication skills. Standardized forms can be found online by searching "interview evaluation form." Use a grading system to rate specific areas. This will quantify the results and establish benchmarks for comparison.

Include detailed questions that will encourage the interviewer to consider things that might otherwise go unnoticed. An introduction section, for example, might look at the candidate's approach to the the initial stage of the meeting. Note if she was punctual and made eye contact when she shook hands. Use open-ended questions during the interview to critique the job applicant's ability to think on her feet and her poise under pressure.

Complete the question form immediately after the interview. If taking notes during the meeting, make sure it is not a distraction and does not add to the candidate's stress level. Include written explanations at the bottom of the form to explain anything unique or remarkable about the interview.

Review all the information gathered, including the totals geared by the rating system. Make an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and come to an over-all thumbs-up or thumbs-down conclusion. Compare your interview critique to those written regarding other candidates before making a final determination on whom to hire.

About the Author

Al Stewart's 30-year background as a writer/editor includes staff positions at "Adweek," "Billboard," "Chain Drug Review," "Cable World," "DNR" (men's fashion), "National Floor Trends," and "Variety." A native New Yorker, he is now a writer/editor living in Los Angeles. He has a BA in political science from Wagner College.

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