How to Handle the Cons of Team Interviewing

In Yesterday’s Advisor we took a look at the many pros of team interviews and at a few of the negatives of team interviews. Today we’ll talk about some of the downsides and what can be done about them.

The best way to make sure that your team interviews are the best they can be is to understand their potential flaws. Take a look at this list of cons and consider how you might overcome them. Take a look at yesterday’s Advisor for a list of pros and a few cons.

Downsides to Team Interviews:

  • Having more people involved in the interview process increases the risk of someone asking an inappropriate or illegal interview question, especially if they’re not all trained in advance. Everyone involved will need to understand the legal ramifications of interviewing.
  • Just because it’s a group of people does not guarantee a better decision, and it may require many different groups to be involved across the organization to hire for various roles.
  • There could be disagreement among the team members when trying to reach a decision on whom to hire; more people involved does not guarantee agreement.
  • Even in a group, there is a risk of having one individual becoming the dominant interviewer, which can negate some of the benefits of the group dynamic.
  • It takes more time from more people’s day for the interview process, which can increase the cost of the process. However, if better hiring decisions result, this may be an acceptable trade-off.
  • Having more people involved can mean the process takes longer. It takes more time to coordinate schedules for the interview itself. It also takes more time to debrief and discuss the options. This delay can be problematic for high-value candidates who may have another offer already under consideration.

To reduce some of the risks, employers who opt to conduct team interviews will need to be very selective in forming the interview team to ensure there will not be negative influences on the candidate nor individuals who inappropriately dominate the process. Be aware that team members will often bring prejudices if they have someone in mind for the role or if there are other issues at play. Employers will also need to ensure all team members are properly trained in advance and should consider conducting mock interviews to allow the team to form a working dynamic.

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