Creating an Effective Interview Panel

As the hiring manager, you want to solicit the perspectives of multiple colleagues in evaluating a potential hire. This makes sense and can assure that you make the best possible hire for your company.

It is important, however, to follow a few simple rules in order not to sabotage the process.

First, think carefully about the potential interviewers—are they peers, superiors, or subordinates to the open position? What is their perspective and motivation? A potential direct report of the person being interviewed may have very different motivations than a peer-level colleague, and his or her feedback on the candidate needs to be evaluated with this in mind.

Second, make sure the interviewers know they are tasked with recruiting, not just gate keeping. Too often, interviewers believe they are expected to give the toughest interview possible and to gather information, not provide it. It is fine to conduct a thorough interview, but the best candidates need to be shown why the company is a great place to work, how they will fit well with the team, and the professional growth they can achieve there.

Finally, make sure there is only one ultimate decision maker. Decision by committee is almost guaranteed to ensure that no hire is made. Each interviewer comes with his or her own personal story that results in different reactions to the candidates. Ultimately, the hiring manager needs to make the final decision regarding which individual is the right choice, despite the fact that one or more of the other interviewers may not be in complete agreement.

Click to read how to “preserve and promote the employer brand” when recruiting.