Hire with Accuracy and Save Time with Team Interviews

In the right circumstances, team interviews can give you a great advantage when it comes to saving time, money, and hiring the right candidate. Today’s Advisor will explore the ups and downs of this practice.

Are Team Interviews for You?

Not to be confused with group interviewing (where one or two employees interview a number of candidates at once), team interviewing involves using a number of employees to conduct an interview with a single candidate. Not every company, nor every position, necessarily benefits from a team interview. When used correctly, however, it can be a powerful tool in your recruiting and hiring toolbox. Take a look at some of the advantages of team interviewing:

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  • Save time. Instead of conducting a series of interviews with a single candidate that can take an hour or more each, interviewing with everyone involved all at once can make that process far less time-consuming.
  • Avoid common hiring troubles. By hiring as a team, every member of the team knows exactly what questions have been asked, and what the answers are.  Compare that to avoiding an important question because you assumed it had been asked in a separate one-on-one interview.
  • Improve interviewing accuracy. A panel interview can highlight certain strengths and weaknesses in a candidate that are not as obvious in a one-on-one environment.
  • Assess candidates’ ability to collaborate. The way candidates conduct themselves in a team interview can reveal a lot about their ability to work as part of a team.
  • Promote a consistent and positive company brand. A united front when it comes to company branding and culture can help a candidate get a real feel for the company.

Without Planning, Team Interviews Can Create Problems

Throwing together team interviews is easy. Operating effective team interviews, however, takes a little practice and no small amount of coordination. Take a look at some of the most common team interviewing difficulties so you can take them into consideration when conducting your interviews:

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  • Failing to act cohesively. Operating a team interview is about more than just putting four or five people in a room together. If those people don’t act as a team, it can undermine the value of having a team interview in the first place, and likely, cause the candidate to reconsider.
  • Using a team interview for the wrong position. Some positions don’t require teamwork, or are too junior to warrant a team interview. Using a team for these interviews can be a waste of everyone’s time. However, job types like coordinators, managers, or team leaders are great opportunities for a team interview.
  • Using the wrong number of interviewers. Getting the number right depends a lot on the position at hand and what kind of expertise each team member has. That being said, more than five can make the meeting take too long or waste the time of team members who didn’t have much time to contribute in the first place.
  • Disagreement among team members concerning the candidate. It’s easy for members of a team to not see eye to eye on a candidate, and this can make the hiring process take up a lot of time.

Tomorrow we’ll continue to explore the ups and downs of the team interview, plus an introduction to HR Daily Advisor’s research report, Recruiting Best Practices: Finding and Attracting Talent in 2015’s Challenging Business Climate.