How To Choose Between Two Internal Candidates: 11 Steps To the Best Fit

How to choose between two internal candidates
  1. Evaluate the position. …
  2. Consider your company’s culture. …
  3. Conduct a personality test. …
  4. Look ahead. …
  5. Bring the candidates in for another interview. …
  6. Contact references. …
  7. Consider diversity. …
  8. See a sample of the candidates’ work.

How to hire between 2 strong candidates

What is an internal candidate?

An internal candidate is someone who already works for your company and is applying for an open position. They might be attending an interview for a promotion or a position in another department. External candidates, or applicants from outside your company, are the opposite of internal candidates.

How to choose between two internal candidates

The steps you can take to pick between two qualified candidates are as follows:

1. Evaluate the position

Review the position you are hiring for and determine the most critical competency or quality for that position. If the position is in sales, one candidate may have a high level of education but less in-person experience than the other. You can distinguish between candidates by focusing on the most crucial, useful skills for the job. Ask coworkers who have experience in the position what they believe are the essential competencies for the position.

2. Consider your companys culture

Even though both candidates might have impressive resumes and perform well in interviews, try to imagine how each one might fit into your company. Consider the team or department they will be joining and whether the personalities and attitudes seem to mesh. Examine your company’s core principles and assess each candidate’s professional and/or personal alignment with them.

By including employees in the interview process, you can determine how candidates will fit in at your business. Request that potential employees spend the morning with the team they may be working on. Get feedback from team members afterward. To learn more about the candidates and their various work styles, you might also request that an employee conduct peer interviews.

3. Conduct a personality test

Having a candidate take a personality test is one way to learn more about their working style and personality. While they shouldn’t be your main deciding factor, these can give you more insight into the types of environments that candidates thrive in, their preferences, and how they interact with others.

You can find free personality tests online. Examples of personality tests include:

You could also look into the employment-specific tests offered by various online employment agencies.

4. Look ahead

Determine which applicant has the best chance of remaining at your company for the longest. One applicant may have inquired about chances for career advancement within your company, demonstrating their interest in developing their career there. Your business may be able to avoid the costs of recruiting and hiring someone to fill that position again after a short period of time by keeping long-term employees.

You should also consider your organizations future plans. The ideal candidate now might not fit the company’s long-term objectives in the future. Reflect on each candidates adaptability and openness to change.

5. Bring the candidates in for another interview

Request a second interview with the candidates if you feel you need more details. You can ask candidates questions that were not previously asked, such as scenario questions that ask them to explain how they would react in a specific circumstance.

To observe the candidates in a different environment, you might also think about holding the interview in a different location. You can meet with them for coffee or lunch. Having a few additional staff members present to participate and ask questions can also give you more feedback on your choice.

6. Contact references

Verify with each candidate’s references that they were productive and friendly with their coworkers. Inquire about the applicant’s strengths, weaknesses, and any specific skills required for the position you’re filling. Beyond technical abilities, inquire about the candidates’ soft skills to help distinguish between them, such as:

7. Consider diversity

Your organization can benefit from a range of diverse perspectives. When comparing two qualified candidates, take into account which one could challenge the business to advance with new ideas.

8. See a sample of the candidates work

Request that the candidates finish a sample task or small assignment so you can observe how they might carry out their job responsibilities. You could ask a few other supervisors or coworkers to review the project and offer their recommendations. To maintain fairness and reduce bias, think about keeping the work anonymous.

9. Determine the salary requirements

Finding out how much each candidate will cost the company can help you decide between two strong candidates. One candidate might have more experience and a better track record of salaries, so they might demand a higher salary. Your choice may also be influenced by additional financial factors, such as the benefits packages offered by each candidate or whether they need relocation assistance.

10. Trust your instinct

There might not be a “right” decision if there are two excellent internal candidates. After analyzing all the information, you might have to make a decision based on intuition.

11. Hire both candidates

Consider finding roles for both internal candidates if you think they can make a significant contribution to your company. Keeping two capable, effective candidates can be a worthwhile investment.


When faced with two equally qualified candidates how do you determine who to hire?

Choosing Between Two Equally-Qualified Candidates
  1. Culture Fit. Finding a candidate who will fit your company’s culture is just as crucial as ensuring that they have the necessary skills.
  2. Consider Their Enthusiasm. Which applicant appeared more enthusiastic about the job during the interview process?
  3. Consider Their Commitment.

How do you tell an internal candidate that he is not selected?

How to Reject an Internal Candidate (Without Driving Them Away)
  1. Don’t Do it Over Email. …
  2. Be Clear About the Reasons Behind Your Decision. …
  3. Ask About Their Professional Goals. …
  4. Find Other Opportunities for Them to Grow Within the Company.
  5. Don’t Forget to Check in.

How do you tell someone you choose another candidate?

Here are some points you can (and should) include:
  1. Start with empathy. …
  2. Thank them for their time. …
  3. Personalize your response. …
  4. Explain that you’re pursuing other applicants. …
  5. Provide constructive feedback. …
  6. Mention the strengths of the other candidates. …
  7. Let them know that many qualified candidates applied.

How do you evaluate internal candidates?

Here are five tips to limit potential bias and ensure the best candidate — internal or not — is selected for the job.
  1. Go Anonymous.
  2. Post It.
  3. Ask Great Questions.
  4. Consider the Long-Term.
  5. Fully Understand the Implications.

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