6 Ways to Prep Your Team for the Post-Screening Interview

June 10, 2015 at 12:56 PM Kathleen de Lara

how to interview candidates

The in-person interview is a relatively nerve-racking, brief way for candidates and employers to get to know each other. Assessing good work and culture fit in the span of a few hours takes a keen, organized approach.

Round one, done. Now the rest of the team is tapping in to assist in round two. Use these six interviewing tactics for a more effective, speedy hiring process.

If possible, schedule candidates to meet with multiple members of the team in one day.

The quicker the team can meet with a candidate, the quicker you can assess their fit and if possible, extend the offer. Time to hire need not be the be-all end-all metric to determine the team’s successes, but leaving candidates in the dark with an interview process spanning over four weeks only encourages them to look for something new. Keep the interview to a low number of people who need to be involved in the process, a mix of peer and senior colleagues.   

Have a quick meeting to go over questions to ask.

Given the group of people interviewing the candidate is a mix of junior and senior colleagues, each of them may have different concerns about working with the potential hire. (At the end of the day, if they don’t get along with this person, why would they want to work with them?) Prior to the interview date, have them come up with what they’d like to learn more about the candidate and create a standardized list of questions to additionally gauge experience, creativity, innovation, and culture fit.  At the meeting, lay out who asks what. Not everyone should be asking the same questions to measure culture fit or long-term growth at the company.

Bring up red flags you picked up from the phone screening.

What you’re looking for is a trend. Bring up qualms you have about disconnects in a candidate’s background, peculiar mannerisms, or gaps in their answers to your questions, and right after the interview, have your team take note of candidate pros, cons, and items to follow up on. If more than two people from your team pick up on the same issues, reevaluate if the team can look past them, or if it means it’s time to restart the search.

Give the team a place to track their notes.

Make it a habit for interviewees to write their hiring notes within an hour of meeting with a candidate, when the pros, cons, and takeaways are fresh and top of mind. Whether it’s a doc, email, or within your ATS, remember to follow up with interviewees right after their meeting and ping them to write up their overview of a candidate and if they approve of them moving to the next round in the hiring process.

Don’t create false expectations.

The end of the interview is typically left open for candidates’ questions, and often, questions about the role come up. Address them if you know the answer, and if not, take note of the questions and defer them to the hiring manager and recruiter. If you’re assuming the answer, hold back from telling the candidate a potentially wrong answer. If you’re a hiring manager or recruiter, keep track of frequently asked questions about a role to better prep interviewers for the next round, and remember to go over the job description prior to the first interview.

Follow up.

The end of the interview is also the part of the conversation where candidates expect to hear next steps about the interview process. Hiring managers and recruiters, be sure to review the follow-up timeline with interviewers. Come up with a standard closing, follow-up line, something detailed like: “Thank you for coming in today. It was great to meet you! We’ll be in touch with you in about four days to let you know about next steps in the process.” Then follow up accordingly.

As an interviewer, evaluating candidates also means doing your part to encourage them to present the most genuine, accurate version of themselves. One way to get a clear understanding of a candidate is to reduce stress that may distract their judgment and behavior. Ease the tension and help them feel comfortable – remember small talk (yes, even about the weather) and an approachable, professional demeanor (hey, smile) can make the biggest difference in the way the conversation flows.

What other techniques does your team make an essential step in the interviewing process? Share them with us in the comments!

If you’re looking for more on how to create a more effective hiring process between your recruiters and hiring managers, check out the webinar we co-hosted with Jobvite, Techniques for Improving Communication Between Recruiters and Hiring Managers

  jobvite entelo webinar