Completing a candidate evaluation for student applicants can pose a significant challenge for campus recruiters. College students possess a wide range of skill levels and qualifications—some resumes boast multiple relevant internships, while others focus on a college athletic career or leadership in a student club. Others don’t seem to have much work experience at all, but showcased strong critical thinking communication skills during the interview. Determining which student backgrounds are most relevant to your organization’s needs can make the evaluation process difficult, and matching the right skills with the right open position can feel like a puzzle.

That brings up a popular questionhow do you evaluate students who lack specific professional experience? Here’s how to adjust your hiring process, ask the right questions and identify strong candidates:

Let students show their abilities

There’s only so much you can tell about a person from their resume–especially if that person hasn’t had a full-time position yet. Sometimes, the only way to truly and fairly evaluate a candidate with no experience is to give them a shot. Invite them to record a video interview and allow them to show you why they’re the best candidate—rather than tell you with bullet points on a resume.

Ask interview questions that will allow candidates to showcase their strengths and weaknesses, interpersonal skills or problem-solving process. Share the specific criteria your company is looking for in a candidate so that students can directly address why they’re the best fit for the role. The more information you give an applicant, the more information they’ll provide you.

Evaluate schoolwork like it’s their job

Smart students will list relevant coursework and classroom projects on their resume in lieu of professional experience. If they don’t, ask them about it during the interview process. What kind of research did they focus on in class? Why did they choose that major? What skills were required to collaborate effectively with classmates? How successful were their presentations? Did they work on projects that are directly relevant to the job requirements? College coursework can be demanding, so don’t discount a candidate because they “only” have classroom experience.

Ask about extracurriculars

Students are usually involved in all sorts of non-academic activities that can influence how they might perform in a professional setting, and can give you a good indication of the candidate’s values and interests. For example, a student who volunteers with Habitat for Humanity on weekends may have developed strong teamwork and leadership skills, while honing an ability to solve complex problems. A runner on a college cross country team might have discipline and a strategic mindset that will be assets in an office setting. Be sure to factor extracurricular experience into the final selection process.

Learn about their personal background

Some young candidates have job skills they don’t even realize. Maybe they were raised in a bilingual home, or babysat their siblings for 10 years. While these life experiences wouldn’t traditionally be considered job qualifications, they come with skills that could be an asset to your growing team. When offering candidate feedback, suggest that these soft skills might make a good resume addition — successful campus recruiters look beyond work experience to uncover hidden qualities.

Standardize student assessment

When evaluating student candidates, make sure the interview team and hiring manager know exactly what skills to assess. Is work experience really that important? Or does your team simply need a team member who is adaptable, willing to learn, and open to new challenges?

Let the job description be your guide when writing your candidate evaluation form; what criteria are most necessary to perform well in a given open position? Share a specific list with the hiring team so that they can accurately and fairly complete the interview scorecard.

Student candidate evaluation doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task. By broadening your organization’s definition of “work experience,” hiring decisions will come much easier and recruiting and hiring college graduates will be a breeze.