The Ups and Downs of Team Interviews

Interviewing techniques are constantly evolving, and one of the products of that evolution is team interviews. In today’s Advisor, we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons to team interviews.

Of course you want to hire the best applicant for the job. And, you want your hiring processes to help achieve that goal. Many organizations opt to conduct team interviews in an effort to get more opinions on a potential applicant before making a hiring decision. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to this approach.

Team Interviews: The Pros to This Approach

Here are some of the benefits to utilizing a team interview approach:

  • Team interviews can be a source of consistency in the hiring process because the use of a group of people to assess every applicant can go a long way to ensure that each applicant has a similar experience. Especially in a large organization, it’s much easier to standardize this than it is to confirm that every hiring manager throughout the organization acts consistently, especially if you limit the total number of hiring teams used.
  • It raises the bar. When an applicant must be the top applicant chosen by an entire group, it raises the standard for any applicant because there are more people to impress. This can have the effect of raising the bar on overall talent selection within the organization.
  • It can be a more efficient way to interview if the alternative is to interview the same candidate repeatedly by different interviewers.
  • It’s a great way to provide the applicant with more information about the organization and work culture from multiple perspectives. This can work to give the candidate a more accurate representation of the organization. This allows the candidate to better assess whether it is a good fit from their perspective.
  • It can be more objective since it smoothes out individual biases.
  • It can show more of an applicant’s natural tendencies while working in a group environment.
  • Involving team members in the interview process can be empowering for the team by allowing them more input in shaping the team via candidates. With more input in the process, they are also more likely to assist the new hire and help him or her succeed.
  • It can improve new hire fit. Since a hiring team may include multiple people who will directly work with a new hire, it can allow them to have input into who is the best fit for the role, which can help to get a better fit.
  • Some candidates will be more at ease in a group dynamic, especially if the interview includes peers rather than all managers.
  • There’s less of a chance of an applicant being asked the same question repeatedly, as is often the case when multiple one-on-one interviews are conducted separately.

Team Interviews: The Cons to This Approach

There are also, unfortunately, quite a number of potential pitfalls associated with team interviews. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • It’s possible that the whole group could be influenced by a strong opinion, which can take away some of the benefits of having multiple people in the hiring decision. This can be mitigated if interviewers write down impressions separately.
  • Team interviews can be intimidating for some otherwise highly-qualified applicants, though this is not always the case (as noted above).
  • Team interviews may feel less personal, since the opportunity to create one-on-one rapport is all but lost.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at more cons to the team interview process, plus an introduction to our new research report, sponsored by Silk Road, Recruiting Best Practices for 2016: New Research and Insights.