Interview Best Practices: How We Train Hiring Managers

Businesses do more hiring today than ever before. When looking for new employees, many companies hold multiple rounds of interviews, which may include phone or video interviews as well as in-person meetings. As the applicant pool narrows, businesses often rely on hiring managers to do late-round interviewing.

Hiring a new employee produces a ripple effect that can impact everything from company culture to the bottom line. Final interviews are your company’s last chance to see if a candidate is a good fit for the position and if those ripples will be what you’re looking for. With such an important responsibility, it’s in your organization’s best interest to invest in interview training for managers.

Hiring is a complex process. It involves respecting legal protocol (like knowing what can legally be asked in an interview), understanding and utilizing the most effective interviewing methods, and providing an excellent candidate experience. Understanding interview best practices for hiring managers and, more importantly, training your managers to use those best practices will help your entire organization as you hire more high-quality candidates faster.

Most hiring managers have enough common sense not to include, “What’s your religion?” or “How many kids do you have?” on their list of interview questions, but we cover all the legal do’s and don’ts surrounding the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s protected classes, just in case. We want them to be confident they can conduct a bold, insightful interview without making any missteps on behalf of the company. When you know you’re doing it right, there’s no need to be timid. Instead of providing a list of appropriate questions, we train hiring managers on a couple of areas they should assess in interviews:

Rather than following a script, we want our hiring managers to have a natural conversation with candidates covering appropriate subjects. Ideally, that will give them the information they need to know in order to make a good hiring decision.

Use Hiring Methods That Actually Work

One of our recruiting team’s favorite books is Who: The ‘A’ Method for Hiring, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. In the book are ten “voodoo” hiring methods—common hiring methods that are actually ineffective at determining whether a candidate will be a great fit. A few examples:

By making hiring managers aware of these pitfalls, we help them rely instead on sound interviewing techniques that will actually help them select a great candidate. You can read a quick overview of the ten voodoo hiring methods by Greenhouse or, better yet, buy the book and read the entire thing.

Creating a Consistent (and Excellent) Candidate Experience

Providing a consistently excellent experience for candidates is vital to our employer brand, and our hiring managers carry much of the responsibility for that experience. To help create a consistent experience, we outline:

By making sure all managers are on the same page when it comes to interview steps, timelines, and providing a positive experience, we increase the chances that candidates will come away with a positive image of our organization and the brand in general. We want them to enjoy the time they spend with us so much that they refer their friends or re-apply in the future.

Taking the time upfront to train hiring managers on how to find and hire employees has allowed our recruiting team to delegate parts of the interview process, leaving more time for strategic initiatives, sourcing, and initial screening. Since our hiring managers know legal boundaries, stick to effective interview methods, and understand how to provide an excellent experience, they’re confident in their ability to select the best candidates for their teams.

Extra Tip:

To help make your interview candidates more comfortable send an email to clear up this common concern for interviewees, “what should I wear to a job interview?