Use This Email Template to Prep Your Interview Teams

September 14, 2016 at 11:46 AM by Rob Stevenson


Candidate experience is more than just a quick email response time and parking validation. It also means conducting a well-rounded assessment during a candidate’s onsite interview.

Not only does this let you accurately evaluate talent at a high level, but it shows the candidate you were thoughtful about the interview process. It also saves them from the fatigue of answering the same questions over and over, and your hiring team from looking ill-prepared.

Naturally, upon opening a role you’ll host a kickoff meeting to loop interviewers in on what great candidates look like and provide some interview question inspiration. Moving forward, though, it helps to supplement the kickoff meeting with a refresher of candidate-specific information each time you schedule a new onsite.

At Entelo, this refresher takes the form of a quick pre-interview email. This message is sent to the whole interviewing team, and includes information about the candidate, what recruitment channel they came through, and the scope of each individual interview. It’s a great way to prep your team and get them excited about the interview, and it goes a little something like this:

Who you are interviewing:

Start off with the basics. Name, title, company. Nothing fancy, but you gotta make your layups.

What is the candidate’s background:

Here, dig a little bit into their current role and responsibilities, and list a few previous positions relevant to the open role.

Links to candidate information:

List the candidate’s social profiles, a personal website, or a link to their ATS profile which should include their resume. This will allow the interview team to do a bit of research, look into the candidate’s background, and find some interview fodder. Extra credit for linking to their robust Entelo profile which includes their entire web presence and personal email address.

How we found  the candidate:

Was the candidate a direct applicant? Were they sourced? If so, through which channel? If the candidate is an employee referral, list the referring member of your own team and where the two of them previously worked together. Giving some background on how this person came to be in your funnel will clue interviewers into how active or passive the candidate is, and in the event they are a passively sourced candidate, how much your team might need to sell the role.

Why I’m excited about the candidate:

This section is best written by the hiring manager, and it serves to explain why specifically they wanted to bring this candidate on site. What are their strengths? What set this candidate apart from others in the pipeline? What about the phone screen did the hiring manager find inspiring? This section can also help recruiters get an intimate understanding of what hiring managers seek in the ideal candidate, and how that aligns with the reality of the available candidate pool and who was ultimately recruited for the role. Calibration is key here.

Concerns about the candidate:

The flipside of the above coin is any misgivings the hiring manager has about the relevance of the candidate’s experience. Can the candidate make the move from one industry to another? Are they likely to want to stick around long-term? Do they have the proper management experience? This section offers interviewers an opportunity to dive in with questions to learn more about the candidate’s background and to potentially alleviate doubts about their fit for the role. List off a handful of question marks and give the team some more intensive areas to assess. Remember not all interviewers’ concerns bear the same weight – use your best judgment.  

What each interviewer should address:

Next, list off the scope of each individual team member’s interview. Depending on seniority and their ultimate proximity to the role, each interviewer will have a different perspective on what a great candidate looks like. Think about how the role relates to each team member’s work, and provide some guidelines for topics they might cover. This not only ensures a fair assessment based on a multitude of categories, but also saves the candidate from having to go through the same line of questioning multiple times.

Anything specific the interview team should be selling on:

Remember that evaluation is a two way street, and just because someone agreed to come on site doesn’t mean they are head over heels in love with the opportunity. The team may need to sell the role a bit and explain why they enjoy working at the company and why the open role is a big opportunity. This is often left to more senior interviewers, but anyone with a significant history with the company, regardless of seniority, should be able to lend a hand in pitching the organization.

The pre-interview team email is a great way to sum up what’s exciting about the candidate, ensure a full assessment and a positive candidate experience, and refresh your interviewers on their role in the process. Loop in your hiring managers and start prepping your teams today!

Recommended articles:

What Happens When You Standardize Your Interview Process
Recruiter: The Strategic Talent Partner
6 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates at Any Management Level

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