When executed correctly, an interview panel can be your secret weapon in optimizing your hiring process and securing top talent for your organization.
Interview panels offer a wide range of benefits, from reducing your time to hire, to minimizing interviewer bias, to gauging how candidates navigate group dynamics. A well-rounded panel — stacked with a diversity of perspectives, aligned to the same objective, and well-trained in interviewing — has the potential to wield spectacular results in meeting your hiring goals.
On the flip side, a weak, haphazardly assembled panel can be disastrous. And with today’s candidates, the stakes have never been higher: 44% of job seekers agree that the interview experience is the most influential part of the hiring process.
A negative interview can shatter a candidate’s impression of a company, and candidates aren’t afraid to share their bad experiences with the world. 72% of candidates say they’ve shared bad hiring experiences online, and we all know that negative word-of-mouth can do wonders in damaging an organization’s reputation.
All in all, a thoughtfully crafted interview panel can add significant value to your hiring strategy. Choosing adept, trained interviewers for your panel is key to standing out to candidates and delivering a memorable candidate experience. Here are five best practices to assemble the interview panel of your dreams.
Identify Potential Interviewers
At the crux of a successful interview panel building strategy is robust knowledge on the interviewers who are available to you. As a recruiter, this means you should know who’s completed interviewer training and who’s in the shadowing stage, as well as their available hours, their interview loads, etc.
When you have this information immediately at hand, it’s easier to identify and schedule the right people for your interviews. However, when tasked with scheduling multiple interviewers for a panel, navigating the different schedules, time zones, workloads, and training stages of your interviewers can quickly become overwhelming.
The good news: here in the digital age, your tech stack is vital to handling the logistics of panel interviews. Investing in interview scheduling software that assists in intelligent interviewer selection allows you to automate the process of identifying and load balancing your interview teams, reduce the complexities of communications, and schedule along with the risk of interviewer burnout. This way, scheduling an interview panel is just as easy as scheduling one-on-one chats.
Emphasize Representation and Inclusivity
A commitment to DEI is a must-have for job seekers – 86% of candidates say that DEI in the workplace is crucial for them when considering a role. With interviews being candidates’ first impressions of a workplace, presenting a diverse, representative interview panel ensures your organization is conveying a corporate culture that is both inclusive and equitable, all while mitigating factors such as unconscious bias.
Take time to thoughtfully consider what your interview panel looks like. Does your panel consist of interviewers with an array of backgrounds and perspectives, properly representing the diversity of your organization’s employees, or is your panel a sea of homogeneity?
Sharing pronouns (she/her, they/them, etc.) when meeting candidates is another way to actively practice inclusivity in hiring. Candidates want to feel comfortable where they work, and interviews are the prime time to show that your organization doesn’t just talk about the importance of DEI, but actually takes time to implement equitable practices.
Align on the Ideal Candidate
The interviewers in your panel should be in complete alignment with the attributes they’re looking for in a candidate based on the job posting’s requirements. When interviewers are in agreement with what they want a candidate to bring to the table in consideration of what the role needs to accomplish, the interview process becomes even more efficient and effective in identifying the right talent in the fastest time possible.
After the interview panel, holding a post-interview debrief is a great way to come together to understand how the interviews went, if the candidate matches the attributes the interviewers were looking for, and if an offer should realistically be made.
Widen Your Interviewer Pool
The more aggressive your hiring goals, the more employees you’ll need to be interviewers for your various interview panels and individual interviews. Less than 10% of HR executives require interviewer training in their companies, meaning that the vast majority of organizations risk losing out on candidates due to interviewers unequipped to fulfill their roles.
Broadening your interviewer pool with interviewer training is crucial to distributing the interview load evenly across your organization’s employees, all while making sure that your interviewers are qualified to hire quality talent in record time. Interviews are the first interaction that candidates have with your company – make sure you start on the right foot!
Download our guide to learn how interviewer training can transform your hiring process.