Blake McAdow
Client Service Manager looking to transition into Product Design and User Experience

Candidate Interview Program

For Cambium Assessment Incorporated

Project Overview 

One of my first large projects at Cambium Assessment was to examine how we conducted interviews with prospective job candidates. Our retention over three and six months were well below industry standard, with a constant attrition rate from our training classes. 

Since new hires were leaving the company before exiting training, we identified interviewing and new hire training as key areas of focus. My goal was to lead an internal committee to restructure our hiring process and up retention rates among our permanent and seasonal hires.

Project Timeline


In the discovery phase of my project we attempted to identify strengths in potential candidates, as well as weaknesses in our own work processes that stop us from finding problem candidates before hiring.

We began by talking to our current group of volunteer interviewers, talking to our most recent hiring classes about their experiences, and interviewing successful employees about the things they found were impossible to do their job without.

We identified several issues:

  • Group interview format did not give interviewers a real sense of a candidate
  • Interview questions were not standardized and thus had no real focus
  • Post interviewing data was not retained to look for trends or issues
  • Volunteer interviewers were not trained or appropriately supported in their decision making process

Interviewing Redesign

Questions and Post Interview Surveys

As well as leading our team, my personal contribution to the project was redesigning our interview questions, and creating a post interview survey so that management staff can make more informed decisions when making final hiring decisions.

Design Decisions:

  • Our interviewing questions were redesigned to be standardized, and formatted to have a more natural conversational flow
  • Interviewers noted difficulty in knowing what to take notes on, so prompting questions were added to spark deeper thinking
  • Post interviewing survey allowed interviewers to rate candidates on each of 9 skills that our committee had agreed were pivotal to job performance
  • Each question in the interview probes into at least one of these pivotal skills. Our post interview survey references each relevant question in every skill subset for easier recall
  • Survey automatically submitted to Management staff to standardize and ease their review of hiring recommendations

Interviewing Redesign

Partial view of final form

Interviewing Redesign

Built in Adobe XD

Candidate Personas

Our interviewing committee developed Candidate Personas to help with interviewing development, training interviewers, and to refine our ideal candidate. 

Each committee member created personas based on employees that excel in our office environment. 

I compiled the data from each persona into a note sheet (left) that could be referred to during testing or training.

This gave us concrete examples to turn to whenever we found ourselves spinning our wheels or unable to break out of our own thinking patterns. 

Challenges and Outcomes

Interviewing had to be overhauled to fully remote work halfway through

Forms and work processes had to be designed to be printable in office or interactable when completing remote work

The root of our problem was in a lack of trained interviewers. By giving them tools and training, more of our workforce could be utilized for training. Efficient decision making processes reduced stress time for managers and interviewers.