Team interviews are becoming an increasingly common recruiting strategy. Recognizing that hiring should be a team sport, companies are incorporating a number of different stakeholders in the process. These extend beyond HR into the candidate’s potential new supervisor and teammates. Some organizations even invite an objective third-party, like a member of the Board of Directors, to participate, depending upon the level of the hire, of course.
The rationale behind this strategy is simple: The more eyes and ears, the more thorough picture of the candidate will emerge. Different people tend to notice different things, so bringing multiple people together to interview a promising candidate makes for a wise hiring decision. It can also help build consensus that the best person for the job was, in fact, the one brought onboard. And having future teammates help select their future co-worker builds commitment to helping the new hire succeed.
But having a diverse team present for the interview doesn’t do any good if no attempt is made to elicit their input afterwards. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct a post-interview review to gather their insights and concerns before making any kind of hiring decision.
Here are a few tips for conducting an effective post-interview review:
1) Take Notes – Prior to the review, ask each person who participated in the interview to make extensive notes on the candidate. Encourage them to note their experience, specific capabilities (technical or otherwise), past accomplishments, and anything in particular that struck them as impressive or concerning during the course of the interview. If the team is going to be reviewing more than one candidate, ask each stakeholder to rate them.
2) Together Is Better — Bring all the constituents together in one room. Talking to each stakeholder separately is only somewhat effective. It’s far better to hold a free-flowing conversation. What one person shares may jog another’s memory, leading to a more thorough review of the candidate.
3) Sharing Time — Begin by going around the table, allowing each person to share their impressions of the candidate. Ask specific questions like: What impressed you? Which of the candidate’s answers did you find unsatisfactory or incomplete? What lingering questions did you have following the interview?
4) Foster Honesty and Openness – You don’t want anyone to hold back, so have the senior-most participants wait until the end to share their impressions. Otherwise, junior members of the team may feel pressured to fall in line with what the bosses think.
5) Narrow It Down – The goal of the post-interview review should be to whittle down the candidate pool. If this was the first round of interviews, you should look to create a short list of those you have selected to bring back for a second interview. Aim to exclude those who clearly don’t qualify for the job or who were simply so unimpressive in the first interview that you can’t imagine ever hiring them. You may wish to shake up the hiring team for the second round of interviews, incorporating other stakeholders to ensure an even more thorough review of the candidates.