Improving candidate experience has quickly become a top priority for HR and recruiting teams across industries. Onsite interviews play a big part in leaving candidates with a lasting impression, so it’s important to give them a positive glimpse of what it’s like to work for your company.
How can you strengthen the candidate experience? Start by inviting a cross-functional set of interviewers. As long as you ensure interviewers are asking the right questions (and not repeating one another), there’s tremendous value in having more than one person in your interview lineup. However, assembling the right mix of interviewers can be tricky.
To help you create the perfect lineup, we’ve outlined who you should include. We recommend asking each interviewer to focus on certain competencies and skills and have included a few sample questions to spark your creativity.
1. Hiring Manager
This interviewer should be person that the candidate will report to if they are hired for this role. The hiring manager has the best understanding of the requirements and day-to-day duties the applicant will need to be able to perform. In the interview, they should plan to evaluate the candidate’s skills and competencies that directly relate to the position and the candidate’s ability to execute on the work.
Consider these sample questions to get you started:
What management style do you work best with?
What is the biggest challenge you faced in a previous role, and how did you overcome it?
This interviewer should be someone who will work directly with the candidate if he or she is hired. They should use this interview to assess work style and collaboration, and get to know the candidate as an individual. Peer interviewers should walk away with an understanding of how the candidate would fit in with the team dynamics and company culture.
Try these questions to get the conversation started:
What is the culture like at your current company?
What is your style of collaboration?
This interviewer should be in a position that would work closely with this candidate, but sits on a different team or department. This interviewer should focus on cross-team collaboration through competency-based questions. As a cross-functional interviewer, they should also plan to explain the ways in which different departments work together within the company.
Here are two questions to consider:
Tell me about a time when you had to work on a project that wasn’t in your job description. How did you handle it?
How have you worked with other teams in your previous roles?
4. Manager / Team Lead
This interviewer should be in a management or lead role on your team, but will not be the direct manager of the open role. This interviewer should assess job fit and act as sounding board for the hiring manager.
Consider these potential questions:
What qualities do you see yourself adding to our team?
What is one thing you like most about your current manager, and what is one thing you would change?
Tell me about a time when you fell behind on a goal. What did you do to catch up?
Depending on the size of your company, this interviewer could be your department head or the CEO. This should be a casual conversation to help excite the candidate about the mission and values of the company. They can also answer any “big picture” questions the candidate might have.
A few interview questions from an executive might be:
What excites you most about working at our company?
What are you most excited about as you grow in your career?
Once you’ve assembled the ideal interview team, it’s important to make sure they know what they can and cannot ask. Remind interviewers that they are not only there to assess, but also play an important part in the candidate experience. Ideally candidates will walk away from an interview just as excited to work for you as you are to offer them a position.
Emily Smul is a Senior Demand Generation Associate at Namely, the HR, payroll, and benefits platform built for today’s employees. Connect with Emily and the Namely team on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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