How to Evaluate a Candidate’s Strengths and Weaknesses


Part of choosing the best candidate for the job is determining each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Easier said than done, this process requires some savvy thinking, as no one wants to look bad on a job interview.

Follow these tips to effectively gauge both the strong points and limitations of each candidate, so you can make the best possible hiring decision.

  1. Ask Behavioral Interview Questions

Asking a candidate to describe their strengths and weaknesses is one of the oldest interview questions in the book. Anyone worth your time will have a response prepared that perfectly touts their strong points and makes their shortcomings sound like assets. If you want the truth, ask behavioral interview questions, such as “Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult client” or “How have you handled conflict with a manager in the past?” These telling responses provide the key facts needed to make an informed hiring decision.

  1. Give a Skills Test

There’s no better way to gauge a candidate’s skill level than putting them to the test. This is easier in some jobs than others, but when possible, allows you to see if the person is being honest about their skill level. For example, you might give an administrative assistant candidate a typing test or ask an accounting candidate to walk you through the basics of QuickBooks to gauge their level of expertise.

  1. Contact References

People who have worked with the candidate in the past can speak to their skills, so don’t bypass the reference check. When talking with their references, list specific skills associated with the job and ask about their proficiency. These people have first-hand experience with the candidate, so you can put stock in their feedback.

  1. Add Layers to the Hiring Process

It’s hard to tell a lot about a candidate in a single one-on-one interview. A great contender might have an off-day or a lousy pick could shine unusually bright one day. Consequently, it’s best to have at least two rounds of interviews and involve multiple team members in the process. You’re a great interviewer, but different people pick up on different clues that can reveal a lot about the person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Choosing the best candidate for your Los Angeles or Ventura County team is a huge decision, so allow Barrington Staffing to help! We have you covered, whether you’re searching for a candidate to fill an administrative support, human resources, call center, customer relations, marketing support, IT support or accounting role. Contact us to learn more!

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