The Post-Interview Debrief: 5 Questions to Ask

You already know that interviewer training doesn’t stop after the interviews begin, but are you putting enough focus on your interview debrief? Too many recruitment pros run debriefs that essentially consist of asking hiring managers how the interview went. Respectfully, that is not going to do much to help your process.

Interviewers and hiring managers need a little more hand-holding. They need pointed, guided, specific questions to help them determine how an interview went. They might have a gut feeling, but as we all know, hiring with your gut is often not the best way to secure long-lasting, high-performing hires.

To eliminate biases, remain objective, and make the best possible hiring choice, it’s key to standardize your entire hiring process, starting with an effective intake meeting and rounding out with a post-interview debrief.

There are tons of articles for candidates about how to nail the all-important interview, but there’s a surprising lack of information for interviewers about how to run a productive interview debrief with the hiring team. But we’ve got your back.

We’ve collected five key expert-vetted questions to help you run efficient and effective debriefs.

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1. Did the candidate seem excited about working here?

While some individuals are just naturally reserved, it’s easy to tell if someone is excited at the prospect of working for your company if you know what to look for. Little things like sustaining eye contact, asking questions, and trying to start a conversation are all baseline metrics.

Other tell-tale signs are making references to research they did about your company. This should go beyond just knowing when you were founded or your CEO’s name and can include referencing events that involve the team, your company’s core values (and how they align with them), and more.

Above all, if you ask them why they want to work there, they should have an answer.

2. Should anyone else interview the candidate?

Besides the obvious individuals who they should speak to (their potential manager, team members, someone to interview for a core values-fit, HR phone screen, etc.), there might be an additional person that the HR Manager wants them to speak with before proceeding with an offer.

Bringing this up during the post-interview roundup helps you avoid a potential backlog when it comes to bringing an offer (or not) to a candidate. After all, we’re living in a job market where candidate relationships are key, and this means fostering a smooth and swift interview process.

3. Is the candidate able to cope with failure?

As you undoubtedly learned in training on conducting stellar interviews, the questions that you ask provide a window into a candidate’s future performance. Bouncing back from failure is an essential skill, yet only 27% of employees have high levels of resilience. Failure, and the candidate’s reaction to it, is a crucial topic to broach both during the interview and the debrief.

4. Do they align with the attributes we’re looking for?

Defining your focus is incredibly important when it comes to making sure your post-interview roundup runs quickly and smoothly. When as much as 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions, thoughtfully considering your ideal candidate’s qualities can translate to better employee retention.

The first step is setting a candidate scorecard through your Applicant Tracking System. A candidate scorecard will give you and the other interviewers different categories and subcategories to focus on during the roundup, such as whether the candidate was collaborative, analytical, and receptive to feedback.

We recently spoke with Jenny Jongejan, a deeply experienced senior recruiting consultant and standardization fanatic about how standardization prevents mis-hires. She shared a four-step framework for standardizing your process that starts with aligning on key attributes. Getting everyone on the same page about these upfront is a great way to jumpstart your entire process and have an effective debrief conversation.

You can check out her full four-step framework in the short clip below.

5. Do we want to hire the candidate for the right reasons?

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You never want to hire someone just because everyone’s feeling the strain left by the open position. With poor hiring decisions costing companies up to $240,000, the harm of hiring someone who’s a bad fit is astronomical and way more costly than the interview process as a whole.

Taking a step back and discussing with each other if you want to continue with the candidate because they’re a good fit or just because there’s a critical need will save your company upwards of millions of dollars in the long run.

You’ve aced the post-interview debrief. Now, let’s optimize the entire process.

We all want to excel at our jobs. But sometimes, you need a little extra firepower in your corner. That’s what GoodTime Hire is here for.

Hire elevates your team’s interviewing skills with interviewer training paths that broaden your pool of interviewers and reduce each person’s load. Remove bottlenecks, increase interviewer diversity, and take your interviewing process to the next level.

Discover how GoodTime Hire’s interview scheduling software creates empowered interviewers.

Neurodiversity Hiring: The Essential Guide

A diverse workforce is invaluable to a company’s innovation, creativity, and holistic success. In fact, diverse teams produce 19% higher revenue (no joke). But while talent acquisition professionals have turned their attention to attracting and supporting candidates from diverse backgrounds, neurodiversity hiring is still overlooked.

Neurodiversity refers to variations in the way that people’s brains work. The term is often used in reference to people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological conditions. 

Despite the benefits of a diverse workplace, the hiring process often leaves neurodiverse candidates at a disadvantage. Traditional recruitment methods favor neurotypical candidates (people with “typical” neurological development or functioning). This makes it incredibly hard for neurodiverse individuals to land roles; one in five adults with autism is unemployed.

It’s time to close the neurodiversity hiring gap. Here’s how to make your hiring process inclusive and supportive of neurodiverse candidates.

1. Recruit With the Right Mindset: Differences, Not Deficits

Neurodiversity represents differences in cognitive functioning, not deficits. Take this sentiment and make it the foundation of your neurodiversity hiring efforts. Viewing neurodiverse candidates as less adept than their neurotypical counterparts is harmful and completely incorrect.

Neurodiversity brings fresh perspectives and out-of-the-box thinking to the workplace. Neurodiverse talent deserve an equal shot at employment, just as all candidates do. 

2. Partner with Experts in Neurodiversity Hiring

Supporting and hiring neurodiverse candidates might feel like uncharted territory. If you’re questioning whether you have enough knowledge to implement effective initiatives, reach out to expert organizations for help.

For instance, the non-profit organization Specialisterne helped Goldman Sachs shape its Neurodiversity Hiring Initiative internship program. Neurodiversity in the Workplace, another non-profit organization specializing in supporting neurodiverse candidates, has partnered with Dell and VMware to set up their neurodiversity hiring programs.

3. Make Your Job Adverts Inclusive of Neurodiversity

Convoluted, exclusionary job adverts can dissuade neurodiverse talent from applying to your organization. Even if you think your job adverts are inclusive, give them another glance and analyze them from a neurodiverse applicant’s perspective.

Part of using inclusive language involves using concise, plain words and phrases that could be understood by any applicant, regardless of their cognitive differences. Are your adverts straightforward? Or do they include unnecessary corporate jargon? 

Candidates from underrepresented groups (URGs), like neurodiverse candidates, have a tendency to self-eliminate from the hiring process if they don’t meet all of the requirements. As one of our many inclusive recruiting best practices, remove any requirements that aren’t directly conducive to success in a position. 

If you don’t already have one, draft up a diversity and inclusion statement for all of your adverts. SHRM has provided a template to use. State your willingness to make reasonable accommodations in the application and/or hiring process; this will go a long way in making neurodiverse talent feel confident enough to apply.

4. Schedule Interviews Across Multiple Days

Some neurodiverse candidates practice masking when they interview, a method where they hide certain traits and behaviors to pass as a neurotypical person. Now, imagine having to do that for hours on end in back-to-back interviews—yeah, it’s rough.

All-day interviews can feel like an inconvenience to neurotypical candidates and an incredibly exhausting ordeal to neurodiverse candidates. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: break up the interviews into chunks across multiple days. This gives neurodiverse candidates time to decompress and prepare themselves for the next meeting.

And if there was ever a time to ditch all-day interviews, the time is now. With the rise of remote work and remote recruiting, the traditional all-day, onsite interview is quickly becoming an outdated practice. Our thoughts? Good riddance. (What, too harsh?)

5. Interviewing Neurodiverse Candidates: Prioritize Training

Whether your candidate is neurodiverse or neurotypical, training your interviewers and modifying your interviewing tactics for inclusivity benefits all candidates. (Need a guide on all-things interviewer training? Check this out.)

Here are several quick tips for interviewing neurodiverse talent:

  • Select questions about a candidate’s work experience and skill set; avoid hypotheticals.
  • Be direct with your questions. Don’t be vague.
  • Neurodiverse candidates might struggle to make eye contact or fidget. Don’t let body language influence your decisions.
  • Patience is a virtue: allow candidates time to gather their thoughts, and don’t interrupt.

6. Ask for Candidate Feedback—and Use It

Did you know that 75% of candidates report rarely or never being asked their opinions, even though 68% want to provide feedback after an interview? Talk about a missed opportunity.

Collecting feedback from neurodiverse candidates gives you insight into the quality of your hiring process. You’ll find out if your process is really as inclusive as you think it is, and learn how you can improve the interviewing experience for future candidates. 

If you’re questioning whether you have the bandwidth to kickstart a feedback collection initiative, the answer is yes. You just need the right tech tools to automate the process.

Keep Inclusivity at the Center of Your Hiring Process

Neurodiversity hiring doesn’t have to be complicated. It begins with putting yourself in your candidates’ shoes and fine-tuning your hiring process. Celebrating neurodiversity is the right thing to do, and it gives your team an edge over the talent competition.

With GoodTime Hire, you can start the hiring process on the right foot by creating diverse and inclusive interview panels.

Hire’s self-identification tagging system allows you to group interviewers based on characteristics—such as “nerdette” for female engineers—to create panels that represent the diverse perspectives at your company.

Learn more about how Hire can help elevate DE&I in your hiring process today.

Remote Hiring 101: How to Convey Company Culture

In any hiring process, there’s a fair chance that candidates will ask, “How would you describe the company culture?” Candidates deeply care about company culture; 72% would reject an offer because they feel disconnected from the culture. Yet in a remote hiring process, culture can get lost in translation.

Touring an office and shaking hands with employees makes the intangible concept of company culture incredibly tangible. But with remote hiring now the norm, recruiting teams grapple with conveying culture through a Zoom screen.

Recruiters must take a thoughtful approach to sharing company culture—a difficult task, but not impossible. Read on for our top tips on how to communicate culture when hiring remotely.

Before the Remote Interviewing Stage

While most hiring teams focus on conveying culture during interviews, you shouldn’t ignore the pre-interview stage. First impressions matter; it’s important to communicate your culture before candidates even walk through the (virtual) door.

Optimize Your Careers Page

The careers page is much more than a place to display job openings. With the proper optimization, your careers page can act as a gateway into your company culture.

Our friends at Greenhouse gathered several examples of careers pages done right. Here are some elements from those pages that make company culture stand out:

  • Clearly defined mission and values
  • Company story
  • Quotes from employees
  • Videos/photos of employees collaborating
  • Engaging interactive features
  • Strong brand voice and tone

Fine-tune Your Interview Scheduling

Don’t underestimate the significance of the interview scheduling stage. The way that you navigate this stage reflects your company culture. To communicate a culture of understanding and empathy, you need to show it through your scheduling.

For instance, accommodating a candidate’s schedule conveys that you value their time. Be sure to ask for your candidate’s availability upfront. 

Another way to communicate an empathetic, flexible culture is by straying away from all-day interviews. Scheduling all-day interviews suggests that your company doesn’t value a work-life balance. Most candidates would much rather interview in chunks across several days. 

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During the Remote Interviewing Stage

Once you reach the interview stage, it’s time for all systems go. This is the prime opportunity to relay what your company culture is like. 

Nearly all (90%) of the companies from our 2022 Hiring Insights Report said that they designed their interview process to reflect their culture. However, 47% said that they don’t actually communicate their culture to candidates. 

Don’t be like those companies. Here’s how to make your culture loud and clear.

Train, Train, Train Your Interviewers

Your interviewers are your company’s spokespeople. Their interactions with candidates should align with your culture. That’s why it’s essential to have each interviewer participate in interviewer training. 

Interviewers should learn how to speak about company culture in a vivid, true-to-life manner. This doesn’t mean listing a jumble of different adjectives. (What does having a “fun” culture even mean?) Instead, interviewers should share concrete, specific examples that paint a picture of your company.

Emphasize Diversity in Interview Panels

Remote hiring opens the door to a broader talent pool—and more diverse candidates. These candidates want to know that DE&I is vital to your company culture. But they don’t want to be told that your company cares about DE&I—they want to see that your company cares about DE&I.

One of the best ways to show that DE&I is crucial to your culture is by increasing the diversity in your interview panels. Candidates from underrepresented groups want to be interviewed by diverse interviewers with whom they share traits. Seeing employees similar to them makes candidates feel represented by their potential employer.

After the Remote Interviewing Stage

The post-interview stage can be a nerve-wracking period for candidates. “Did the interviewers like me? Did I interview the best that I could?” How you approach this stage says a lot about your organization and company culture.

Keep Consistent Communication with Candidates

Is there anything worse than a recruiter who ghosts candidates? Interviewing can be a high-stress ordeal for candidates, and dropping contact with them out of nowhere can kick their stress into overdrive. 

Ghosting reflects incredibly poorly on your culture; if candidates feel mistreated before joining your company, how can they expect it to be any different as an employee?

Be sure to maintain consistent communication with candidates. If setting up a second interview takes you longer than expected, give candidates a quick update to show that you haven’t forgotten about them. Not only will this reflect positively on your culture, but it’ll also dissuade candidates from looking for opportunities elsewhere.

If Rejecting Candidates, Do it With Tact

No one likes to deliver bad news—especially when it’s employment-related. Rejecting candidates is an unfortunate yet necessary part of being a recruiter, and there’s a right and wrong way to do it.

The way that you reject candidates says a lot about your culture. Tactfully rejecting candidates sends the message that your company has a heart. A personalized email with thoughtful wording breaks the news in a considerate manner. 

And remember: delivering bad news is better than providing no news. A survey found that a whopping 75% of candidates never hear back from an employer. Receiving no response after trying your hardest in an interview deals a significant blow to your self-esteem; deliver the rejection as soon as possible so that candidates can move on and discover the job that’s right for them.

Level Up Your Remote Hiring Process Today

Amid your recruiting tasks, never lose sight of your company culture. It should permeate every corner of your remote hiring process (and it’s much easier to convey than you think). Successfully communicating your culture can be just the thing that gets candidates to a “yes” when it’s time to deliver offers.

To cultivate a remote process that’s head and shoulders above the competition, you need some extra firepower in your corner. You need GoodTime Hire.

Hire harnesses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, build relationships during interviews, and provide actionable insights to continuously improve your hiring process.

Learn more about how Hire’s interview scheduling software can transform your talent acquisition process.

10 Essential Ways to Use Inclusive Language When Recruiting

Do you use inclusive language when recruiting? Or is your unconscious bias roaming free? For some recruiting teams, ensuring that all language is inclusive isn’t top of mind. But it should be.

Research consistently proves that a job description’s exclusionary language can prevent subsections of candidates—specifically underrepresented groups (URGs)—from applying.

It’s crucial to use inclusive language at all touchpoints in the recruitment process, from job descriptions to interview conversations. Inclusivity helps level the playing field for underrepresented applicants, effectively making them feel welcome.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. Here are 10 important ways to use inclusive language in your recruiting efforts.

1. Steer Clear of Gendered Language

Do your job descriptions include words like “rockstar” or “ninja”? That’s a red flag. Gender-biased words like these skew masculine and can reduce the number of women that apply to a role.

If that sounds far-fetched, then check out this investigation. HR specialists learned that the reason that their company received less than 2% female candidates for their developer jobs was because of the word “hacker” in the job titles.

When in doubt, opt for clear, gender-neutral language. If you’re looking for an account executive, just plainly say that.

2. Swap Out “Culture Fit” for “Culture Add”

If job descriptions or recruiting materials say that you’re looking for someone who will be a good “culture fit,” consider swapping that phrase out for “culture add.” In some cases, hiring for culture fit turns into hiring for homogeneity, as recruiters seek out candidates similar to them or similar to what already exists in the company.

In this sense, culture fit creates a workforce that recruits people who think and look the same. On the flip side, saying that you’re looking for a culture add conveys that you want a new hire who could enrich the company culture with their diverse experiences and ideas.

3. Highlight the Salary Range

Data on the uncontrolled gender pay gap shows that American Indian and Native Alaskan women, along with Hispanic women, have the widest pay gaps. When analyzing the controlled gender pay gap, Black women have the widest pay gap.

Fostering salary transparency wields a real impact on the gender pay gap. Women who feel that they are paid transparently reportedly do as well or better than men for every $1 they earn. 

Setting the precedent that the salary range will always be included in your organization’s job descriptions lays the groundwork for an inclusive, pay-transparent organization.

4. Spotlight Your Commitment to DE&I

If your company diligently champions DE&I, allude to this in the job description. Most organizations reference this in an “equal opportunity employer” blurb, yet going the extra mile to elaborate on your commitment and convey it in your own words is worthwhile.

Once applicants make it to the interviewing stage, ensure that you’re prepared to expand on exactly how your company uplifts DE&I. Eighty-six percent of candidates globally say that DE&I in the workplace is important to them. More likely than not, they want to hear how you’re reaching your DE&I goals!

5. Underscore Inclusive Benefits

For certain applicants, benefits like childcare subsidies, paid family leave, and paid parental leave aren’t just perks—they’re must-haves. Be sure to emphasize these types of inclusive benefits in the job description. 

Yes, not every employee will utilize them. But for applicants with families and those who are starting families, having these benefits will make all the difference.

6. Don’t Assume. Ask for Pronouns.

Unless stated in their cover letter, resume, or any other materials that they’ve submitted in their application, don’t assume a candidate’s pronouns. Misgendering a candidate is harmful and undoubtedly starts the candidate relationship on the wrong foot. 

When interviewing a candidate, ask for their pronouns early on in the conversation. Ensure that this is noted as a best practice in your organization’s interviewer training.

7. Narrow Down the “Must-haves”

When a hiring manager comes to your recruiting team with a laundry list of “must-haves,” set realistic expectations with them. An excessive list of requirements deters certain applicants from applying.

A study shows that while women commonly only apply for jobs where they meet 100% of the requirements, men typically apply if they meet just 60% of them. If a requirement isn’t directly conducive to success in a role, it’s not crucial to include it in the job description.

8. Remove Any and All Racially Biased Language

It shouldn’t have to be said, yet it needs to be said: the vast majority of job descriptions have no reason to include racially or culturally explicit phrases. The only exception is if it’s directly connected to the position in some way.

There’s cases where common phrases can inadvertently exclude applicants of a specific racial or cultural background. For instance, when job posts say they’re looking for a “native English speaker,” this excludes speakers who are fully fluent in English, yet aren’t native speakers.

9. Eliminate the Corporate Jargon

If an applicant isn’t familiar with a certain acronym, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t skilled in their field. Their previous companies might’ve not used the term, or used a different term in its place. 

Using too much corporate jargon in a job description can deter promising candidates from applying—especially candidates from different regions of the globe, or candidates whose first language isn’t English. Plain language is better.

10. Watch Out for Ageism

Have your recruiting materials ever said that you’re looking for a “digital native”? This phrase identifies people who were brought up during the information age. Phrases like that deter older workers, as they imply that younger applicants are preferred. 

A company with a wide variety of age groups benefits from diverse perspectives. Examine your job descriptions and careers page for any words that favor specific ages. 

Keep DE&I at the Center of Your Recruiting Process

The importance of inclusivity in the recruiting process cannot be overstated. Using inclusive language when recruiting is essential to leaving applicants with a sense of belonging, yet there’s so many more ways to commit to DE&I.

With GoodTime, you can start the interview process on the right foot by creating diverse and inclusive interview panels.

GoodTime’s self-identification tagging system allows you to group interviewers based on characteristics, such as “nerdette” for female engineers, to create panels that are truly representative of the diverse and wide-ranging perspectives at your company.

Learn more about how GoodTime can help supercharge DE&I in your hiring process today.

5 Things Candidates Wish They Could Tell Your Recruiting Team

Do you ever wonder what’s going on inside a candidate’s head? You should. In today’s hiring landscape, it’s crucial for your recruiting team to put themselves in your candidates’ shoes. 

We’re still in the thick of a candidate’s market; there are two jobs for every available worker. With candidate’s having the upper hand, the smartest talent teams try to channel a candidate’s perspective when evaluating their hiring process. 

Your candidates might start each interview with a beaming smile, but behind that smile, candidates are carefully examining your hiring methods, forming their own brutally honest thoughts on your team and organization.

Here are five things candidates wish they could say to your recruiting team.

1. “My time is precious. Please respect it.”

Don’t expect candidates to move their schedules around to accommodate your interviewers’ calendars. It’s a candidate’s market, remember? Candidates want to schedule interviews at times that best fit their calendar. Ask for their availability upfront.

And don’t even get us started on scheduling all-day interviews. The expectation in the past might’ve been that candidates should block out their full day to speak with your company’s employees, but the past is the past. Now, candidates would much rather interview in chunks across several days. 

Above all, remember: your candidates are most definitely interviewing for roles at other companies. They’re more likely to remember and appreciate your interview process if you schedule their interviews with flexibility and understanding.

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2. “Salary and benefits: be honest upfront.”

Transparency is top of mind for candidates. The Pay Transparency Pulse Report shows that 79% of employees want some form of pay transparency, and 32% want full transparency. To add to that, 68% of respondents said they would switch employers for greater pay transparency, even if compensation was the same. 

It’s common for companies to try to get leverage by waiting until the last moment to disclose the position’s true salary and benefits. This is a practice that recruiting teams need to leave behind.

Displaying transparency not only makes a workplace more appealing to candidates, but is also holistically practical from a recruitment perspective. Waiting until the last minute to learn that a candidate’s expectations don’t match up with a role wastes everyone’s time. Smart hiring teams are transparent from the get-go.

3. “What do you really mean by ‘work-life balance’?”

“A great work-life balance” is a phrase that companies love to throw into the “perks” section of job posts. But what do they really mean when they say work-life balance? That’s a question that an increasing number of candidates have for hiring teams.

Does offering a great work-life balance mean that a company allows employees to set their own hours? Does it mean that the position is remote or hybrid? Job seekers care about the specifics. Candidates ranked work-life balance as more important than compensation, culture, and benefits. 

Interviewers should clearly describe how their company provides employees with the flexibility that creates a healthy work-life balance. In doing so, interviewers will open the door for a greater diversity of candidates, such as working parents, who cannot compromise on a lack of a work-life balance.

4. “Your company celebrates DE&I? These interviews don’t show it.”

Candidates from underrepresented groups want to be interviewed by a diverse array of interviewers with whom they share similar traits. Seeing employees that are similar to them makes candidates feel represented by their potential employer. Candidates will notice if a panel lacks diversity—trust us.

Besides creating diverse interview panels, another way that your recruiting team can uplift DE&I is by having all interviewers undergo bias training. Everyone relies on unconscious bias from time to time. But with the proper interviewer training, it’s entirely possible to reduce bias and create an objective interview process.

All in all, conveying a commitment to DE&I in hiring not only attracts candidates, but also benefits your bottom line. Diverse teams produce 19% higher revenue. Focusing on DE&I just makes sense.

5. “I’m not just a job candidate—I’m human, too.”

Candidates don’t want to be viewed as just a number. They want to be seen for who they really are: a human above all else. Within this, candidates want to feel a genuine, personal connection to your recruiting team. 

Take time to nurture your relationships with candidates. Here’s an insight to jump off of: 62% of employees say that well-being support is their top priority in the job hunt. Offering yourself as a resource if candidates have any concerns is a great way to show that you care about their well-being, and improve your relationship with them.

Make the connection between you and your candidates as mutual as possible. Find out what candidates want in a role—not just what they can offer your organization. After all, you want new hires to feel engaged in their jobs. 

Supercharge Your Recruitment Process Today

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse into what candidates wish they could say to you, it’s time to put these insights into action and level up your recruitment process. 

If you want to stand out among other companies, you need recruitment tech that truly prioritizes candidates. Look no further than GoodTime Hire.

GoodTime Hire harnesses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, build relationships during interviews, and provide actionable insights to continuously improve your hiring process.

If you want to take your recruitment process to the next level, learn more about Hire today.

Don’t Hire With Your Gut: Here’s How to Reduce Interviewer Bias

Facts are facts: all of us have biases. Not every bias is harmful, yet some certainly are. The true harm arises when people neglect to recognize their negative bias. This becomes especially problematic when the bias in question is interviewer bias.

Interviewers make nearly 5% of hiring decisions within the very first minute of an interview. They make 25% of decisions within the first five minutes. When interviewers make snap decisions like this, they often chalk it up to a “gut instinct.” Yet more often than not, this “instinct” is really just unconscious bias in disguise.

An interviewer’s unconscious bias prompts them to make decisions in favor of one person or group while leaving others at a disadvantage. When left unchecked, unconscious bias not only degrades the authenticity of your hiring process, but also the diversity of your company.

Less diversity means bad news all around. Diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow for every employee. Most importantly, a diverse company culture contributes to a welcoming and innovative workplace.

If you want to chip away at your own interviewer bias, the first step is recognizing what bias you might have. Here are four of the most common types of interviewer bias—and how you can reduce them.

1. The Contrast Effect

What Is It?

The contrast effect takes away your sense of objectivity and makes you pit candidates against each other based on non-meritorious factors. Comparing candidates muddles your ability to see them for their true nature. 


Let’s say that you have back-to-back interviews lined up. You decide that the easiest way to evaluate the candidates is to rank them against one another.

The first candidate that you interview doesn’t perform too well, to say the least. You measure the rest of the interviews against the first candidate’s performance. Suddenly, all of the other interviews seem a lot better than they actually are.

How To Reduce This Bias

Three words: assess candidates individually. Compare candidates against the job description, not against each other. You might find it helpful to imagine that each candidate that you interview is the first candidate that you’ve spoken to. This way, you’ll listen to them with fresh ears.

Another effective technique is to standardize your evaluation of the candidates throughout the hiring process. Assess candidates based on concrete factors, such as skills and experience. 

Looking for tips on how to standardize? Jenny Jongejan, a deeply experienced recruiting consultant, shares her four-step framework for a standardized recruitment process in the clip below. She also shares why standardization is key in recruitment and how it drives better hires.

2. Confirmation Bias 

What Is It?

Possibly the most widespread type of interviewer bias out there, confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that lines up with your pre-existing beliefs. Confirmation bias leads you to ask questions that would confirm your existing ideas about a candidate, whether positive or negative.


This bias is highly evident in conversations about candidate “red flags.” This is when an interviewer has a preconceived notion that a person with a specific attribute is undesirable based on previous interactions with people who have the trait. 

Driven by a desire to sniff out their red flags, the interviewer aims to prove their suspicions by looking for negative attributes while ignoring the positive ones.

How To Reduce This Bias

Interviews are no place for preconceived judgment. To reduce your confirmation bias, rely on interview questions that gauge skills and traits that are relevant to the role. This forces you to evaluate candidates on predetermined questions that are pertinent to their success at your company.

But don’t just use interviews to form your judgments. Consider their resume and hiring assessments when crafting your opinion.

3. The Halo Effect

What Is It?

You could define the halo effect as the starting point of confirmation bias. It represents the positive feeling that you have about a certain candidate based on your overall impression.

If you’re projecting the halo effect, then seeing one particularly impressive trait in a candidate defines your entire impression of them. Suddenly, you forget all about their negative attributes, clouded by their positive element. 


Perhaps you’re in awe whenever you interview a candidate with an Ivy League background. However, an education received at a prestigious university doesn’t necessarily mean that a candidate is the right fit for a role, right?

How To Reduce This Bias

For every candidate that makes it into the interviewing stage, make sure that several people from diverse backgrounds get to speak with them. Incorporating multiple perspectives—specifically multiple differing perspectives—is the key to reducing this interviewer bias.

4. The Horn Effect

What Is It?

The horn effect is the halo effect’s not-so-starry-eyed sibling. While the halo effect is all about having an overly positive impression of a candidate, the horn effect is when you just can’t shake that negative feeling.


We’ve all heard stories that encapsulate the horn effect. Perhaps an interviewer passed on a candidate because they spilled tea on their suit. Or, maybe their suit wasn’t “nice looking” to begin with. One small negative aspect surfaces, and suddenly the candidate has no chance to impress at all.

How To Reduce This Bias

Watch any of the popular talent shows on TV, and you’ll see a contestant come into an audition and fail miserably. The judges will shake their heads in unison, but one will see a spark in the contestant and give them an opportunity to come back again. Then, they amaze everyone with their ability.

Give each candidate a chance to shine, regardless of a singular flaw. That flaw may not be the red flag that you think it is. No one is perfect, right?

Reduce Interviewer Bias With Advanced Interviewer Training

The best way to reduce all kinds of bias—and increase offer acceptance rates in the process—is to implement interviewer training. When interviewers receive proper training, they’re able to make fair hiring decisions.

GoodTime Hire elevates your team’s interviewing skills with interviewer training paths that broaden your pool of interviewers and reduce each person’s load.

Schedule a demo to learn more about how Hire can transform your talent acquisition process.

Behavioral Interview Training 101: How to Support Hiring Managers

Not all interviews are created equal. Behavioral interviews just happen to be better than most.

By using a candidate’s past experiences to assess their future potential, behavioral interviews serve as one of the most accurate predictors of how a candidate would perform as an employee. 

The popular logic is that if a candidate exhibited questionable behavior in professional settings in the past, who’s to say that they won’t do the same in the future? And by the looks of it, this logic usually prevails: 89% of hiring managers and recruiters rated behavioral interviewing techniques as effective, which was more than any other traditional interviewing technique.

If you want to harness the full power of behavioral interviews and weed out bad hires, the first step is ensuring that your interviewers are trained in the art of this special type of interviewing. That’s right—candidates aren’t the only ones who need to prepare for interviews.

Read on to discover several best practices to emphasize in your behavioral interviewer training.

WATCH: We asked Socotra’s Head of Talent Acquisition about his process for coaching and training interviewers, including behavioral interviewing techniques and making sure he has a reputation as a trusted advisor and mentor.

Craft Strategic Initial Questions

Your interviewers’ questions for behavioral interviews need to be thoughtful and strategic. Now isn’t the time to say, “Tell me about yourself,” or the classic, “Walk me through your resume.” All of that information can be learned from the materials submitted in a candidate’s application. Now’s the time to dig deep.

The behavioral questions that your interviewers ask should get to the heart of a candidate’s experience and uncover specific competencies most relevant to the role, such as leadership, quick thinking, and teamwork. 

To ensure that the questions are purposeful, write down several of the competencies that an ideal candidate should possess. Then, plan out questions that prompt candidates to discuss past behaviors that allude to each competency. These questions should be open-ended and shouldn’t hint at the desired response.

Ask Explorative Follow-up Questions 

Ready to dig even deeper? Initial behavioral interview questions are effective on their own, but your interviewers must be prepared to probe further with follow-up questions.

Unlike initial questions, follow-up questions shouldn’t be pre-planned. Rather, they should arise from cues that your interviewers pick up on from candidates during the interview. This makes active listening a crucial component in successful behavioral interviewing techniques.

Follow-up is necessary when responses need more detail, don’t fully answer the original question, or outwardly attempt to evade the question. Non-verbal cues, such as a shift in a candidate’s demeanor, should also elicit follow-up.

These additional questions shouldn’t feel interrogative toward candidates. Rather, they should feel explorative, adding nuance and depth to a candidate’s behavior.

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Look Out for STAR-Studded Answers

As another component of proper behavioral interviewing techniques, your interviewers should keep an eye out for candidates that use the STAR method when structuring their answers.

The STAR method is a structure candidates should use to answer behavioral interview questions in a thoughtful manner. A STAR (situation, task at hand, action taken, and result) response contains a structured beginning, middle, and end. This adds a storytelling framework to a candidate’s response, providing fluidity, depth, and clarity for your interviewers. 

The structure of a candidate’s responses tells just as much about their competencies as the actual content of their responses. A candidate who effortlessly employs STAR likely instills meaningful thought into their everyday speech. If a job requires articulate communication, your interviewers should highly prioritize candidates who demonstrate STAR.

Remember to Practice Empathy

We all know how nerve-wracking a job interview can be, and the high level of thought that behavioral interviews require can feel even more stress-inducing.

When interviewers practice empathy, candidates feel at ease. Comfortable candidates are better equipped to demonstrate their abilities, which makes it easier for interviewers to assess their true nature and make smart hiring decisions.

Interviewers that fail to lean into their empathetic side are bad for business. 58% of job seekers reportedly declined a job offer due to a poor experience in the hiring process, meaning that an uncomfortable interview may prompt candidates to run the opposite way.

To practice empathy, interviewers should allow candidates an appropriate amount of time to think about each question before they respond. While interviews should be kept professional, starting each interview with light small talk can go a long way in alleviating a candidate’s stress. All in all, interviews that feel a bit more human form trust between interviewers and the candidate, cultivating the all-important candidate relationship.

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Ready to Elevate Your Behavioral Interviewer Training?

Behavioral interviews can be a fantastic tool for hiring teams, yet they are only as good as their interviewers. Enforcing training on proper behavioral interviewing techniques guarantees that your interviewers ask the right questions and use the best strategies to hire top talent and build meaningful connections with every candidate. 

Learn more about how interviewer training creates hiring success by reading our eBook, The True Cost of Untrained Interviewers.

Interviewing 101: Building a Superstar Interview Panel

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.

How to Run High-Quality Interviews in the Distance Economy

Interviews are a critical part of any hiring phase. But what happens when you have to undertake these interviews against the backdrop of an emerging distance economy? It’s more challenging when you have to undertake the interviewing process remotely. Unless you employ impeccable skills and tactics, you’ll likely miss the mark in your recruitment process. 

So, how do you ensure that your remote interview process is above board? Scott Parker, Director of Product Marketing at Goodtime, spoke with Siadhal Magos, Founder and CEO of Metaview. Here’re some useful takeaways from the LinkedIn Live conversation that can be handy for hiring leaders managing the remote hiring processes. 

Prepare Your Interviewers Like Your Company Depends on It

When it comes to building candidate relationships, there’s little room for error during remote interviews. The days of the fashionably decorated offices loaded with perks are done for the foreseeable future, so preparation and proper training are key.

In most cases, candidates anticipate a polished interview process with minimal hitches. Having specialized training paths to ensure you have the right people asking the right questions to the best candidates is everything.

The interview preparation phase involves more than just selecting a panel of interviewers. Preparation involves optimizing your tech stack, the questions being asked, the interview sequence (who’s asking what and at what stage), and the scheduled times for the interviews.

Unlike face-to-face interviews, where you have more leeways to make adjustments, there’s very little wiggle room for remote interviews, especially if they’re across multiple time zones. If you want to run a high-quality interview in the distance economy, create training paths and interview templates to scale your process efficiently while keeping it bespoke to each candidate and role.   

Train a Broad Pool of Interviewers 

The new distance economy means the candidate pool is far deeper, which could easily overwhelm your team. A mistake some hiring managers make is settling for a smaller interviewer pool, which exposes the team to two negative outcomes: burnout and a slow time-to-hire.

It’s critical to empower your interviewers both in skill set and in load balancing. If you anticipate interviewing 70% of the shortlisted talent, you need to have at least 30% of an equivalent number of interviewers to oversee the interviews. 

It’s essential to expand the interviewer pool when dealing with remote interviews. This way, you have room for diversity, increased productivity and better succession planning. Before commencing the interview process, empower the interview team in a way that they can manage the process seamlessly. It’s also important to note that your interviewers are the face of your brand. What they portray during the interview is what the interviewees will take as the actual representation of your brand.

Plainly: an exhausted and dismissive interview panel will absolutely send the wrong signal. Don’t let it happen. 

Invest in the Right Resources

It’s surprising how hiring managers can set a very high standard for the candidates, yet rarely invest as much in the interviewing team. The interviewer training process is helpful as it sets the standards when dealing with interviewers.

Properly trained interviewers can cut the actual time of recruitment by up to 50%. The quality of the actual interview process depends more on the skill level of the interviewers than on the number of panelists. An interviewer should have conversational skills and analytical capabilities when managing the recruitment process. Other aspects such as experience in managing people also come in handy.

As an organization, it’s essential to invest the time in training your interviewers. When dealing with remote candidates, specific skills are critical. Unfortunately, most of these necessary skills cannot be attained without a formal, standardized training. 

Vary Your Question Types 

The process of interviewing candidates encompasses both open and closed-ended questions. Sometimes, direct, closed questions during an interview save time. But in other cases, you also need to listen to what the interview has said in length about some topic areas. This is significantly more so when dealing with remote interviews. 

In most cases, open-ended questions are helpful in the modern distance economy context. Open-ended questions allow you to probe the candidates more and invite them into a conversation. It’s important to do this, since it will enable the candidate to feel at ease and blend into the conversation. It’s essential to set questions so that they invite a broad range of responses.

The future of hiring will witness a mix of remote, in-person and hybrid work settings. Open-ended interviews present a chance for interviewees to explain how they intend to ensure flexibility in response to the uncertain future. 

 It will also help put the interviewee on the different spot-on issues. On the other hand, closed-ended questions allow the interviewee to give short answers on direct matters. 

The Bottom Line

The distance economy continues to disrupt how businesses run and operate. Talent acquisition teams must adjust and adapt to this evolving world of remote hiring. Optimizing remote interviews is among the new norms that every TA leader must embrace to develop the best candidate relationship possible. 

Interview Strategy Basics: Build the Candidate Relationship

A seamless candidate experience has become even more elusive in today’s distance economy, where things move faster than ever. It’s a new world of work, and people use technology to collaborate from anywhere — a change that’s had an enormous impact on the priorities of job seekers.

Now, candidates expect employers to give them the work experience and flexibility they need in order to flourish — and rightfully so.

With so many people experiencing emotional, physical, and financial burdens from the fallout of the pandemic, they’re reevaluating what’s most important to them and starting to put their own needs first. They want to be part of a workplace that is aligned with their values, and where genuine professional connections and holistic support are the norms.

Remote work and virtual hiring have been a monumental shift for talent teams, and organizations that are winning the race for critical talent are now focusing on building candidate relationships throughout every single part of the hiring funnel. 

That’s why today’s talent teams need to provide candidates with a flexible, personal experience as well as authentic insight into the company, the role, and the team they’re considering. To help you make the changes that matter, consider how you can focus on the candidate relationship before, during, and after the interview.

How To Create Genuine Candidate Connections Before the Interview

Train Your Talent Teams

Cultivating genuine connections starts long before a candidate’s interview is even scheduled. It starts by training the people who make the first impression on the candidate — the interviewers.

This is critical, and here’s why — an interviewer’s performance is a direct reflection of your company. So, to create genuine connections, train your interviewers on these key practices:

  • Always treat candidates with respect and kindness.
  • Be attentive when they’re talking so you can better understand their needs.
  • Despite hectic schedules, use the interview to truly connect with candidates. Smile and nod to show you’re listening.
  • Allow candidates to engage in real conversations about the things that matter to them.
  • Help them feel heard and understood by asking them to elaborate or by reiterating what they’ve said.
  • To minimize bias, ask open-ended and behavioral-based questions.
  • Be transparent, and be prepared to answer questions about topics like culture and pay.

Promote Flexibility and Fairness

Flexibility is at the top of most candidates’ lists. Prove that your company values flexibility by making it a key part of the interview process.

Start by respecting candidates’ time and letting them self-schedule their interview appointments. Automated interview scheduling platforms empower candidates to select their own interview slot and even reschedule, if necessary.

Besides flexible scheduling, here are some other ways to provide a fair, flexible interview process:

  • Look for bottlenecks in getting candidates through the process and address candidate dropout. Optimize for efficiency and speed. Can you reduce the number of interviews to speed up the process?
  • Candidates may need accommodations —provide options and support for candidates with your interviewing technology.
  • Understand when life happens, and candidates need to reschedule.
  • Diversify your interview panels. The more trained interviewers on your hiring panel, the more diverse candidates you’ll be able to connect with as they’re able to envision a place for themselves in your organization.

How To Create Genuine Candidate Connections During the Interview

Promote and Enable Authenticity

Will candidates join your company if they feel like they don’t really know what you stand for and what it’s like to work with you? Probably not.

For candidates, transparency in the interview is a reassuring sign. And if you want to win the best talent, honesty, and openness should be the top goals for each interview. To do this:

  • Be up-front about potential challenges or deal-breakers. No one likes having their time wasted.
  • Foster honest, mutual conversations from the beginning.
  • Be open about job requirements and expectations.
  • Talk about compensation and benefits early.
  • Absolutely no ghosting!

Be Willing To Be Interviewed

Candidates are putting their priorities first, and it’s showing up in interviews — that’s right, they’re interviewing you just as much as you’re interviewing them.

Candidates want meaningful work. So, it should come as no surprise that they’re initiating discussions on wellness benefits, flexibility accommodations, growth opportunities, and DE&I initiatives (a topic that 33% of recruiters say they now get more questions about than in previous years).

And in a competitive job market like this one, you have to bring your A-game. That means welcoming candidates’ questions, and being prepared to answer them thoroughly. Ensure you leave plenty of time in the interview to answer their questions — in more than just a rushed moment at the very end.

How To Create Genuine Candidate Connections After the Interview

Give and Receive Candidate Feedback

The best talent teams build genuine relationships with empathy. And this goes two ways — by understanding the candidate’s perspective, and by giving the candidate helpful feedback.

Hiring teams need to actively assess how their interviews are being perceived by all candidates — whether or not there’s an offer on the table. To do this, create open doors for candidate feedback. Then, use that feedback to examine blind spots and uncover growth opportunities for developing future candidate relationships.

Along with candidate feedback, leverage data to understand and refine your process. Continually making small, incremental changes will have a huge impact over time.

For candidates that did not receive an offer, don’t just quit the relationship after the interview. Continue nurturing genuine connections by providing helpful feedback. Here are some tips:

  • Be honest but considerate, giving praise when appropriate.
  • Provide helpful tips for future interviews.
  • Keep in touch with candidates for future opportunities.

Companies That Put Candidate Relationships First Will Be Hard To Beat

In today’s virtual world, the best hiring teams understand candidate needs while delivering best-in-class experiences.

To create the most efficient, candidate-centric process, use hiring automation to maximize personal touch. With GoodTime, hiring teams can automate time-consuming, low-value tasks so they can focus on candidate relationships, instead.

To learn how GoodTime can help your company turn your talent strategy into a winning experience book a demo today.