Candidate selection – who should participate in the selection process?

You have the best situation. You planned a great recruitment strategy and now you have all these fantastic candidates. How will you decide who is the best fit?!

I’ve written some blogs about candidate selection more related to making selection decisions on objective criteria like experience and education; and a separate blog on making selection decisions on subjective criteria like cultural fit and attitude. This blog will help you consider another factor – including your team on the interview and selection process.

You may want to get someone else’s perspective as part of your candidate selection process. Having multiple people participate as interviewers can be valuable during the selection process. You can hear a different perspective and get insight on examples given by candidates. But you need to plan ahead!

Picture this – You’re invited to interview with your dream company. You receive your agenda ahead of the interview and it looks like you’ll meet five different people at the company. Wow! Five people at this company are going to meet me! Awesome! You get to your first interview and the person asks you a number of really great questions. You are pumped because you nailed the answers to every single question. Then you get to the second interview. This person asks you the same questions. But that’s okay because you just nailed the answers in the first interview. Good thing! Then you get to the third interview. And that person asks almost the exact same questions. Hey, wait a minute … Don’t these people want to know more about me? I have a great story to tell but there are more chapters to my book than just this one set of examples.

See what I mean?

Preparing for the interview ahead of time is critical, particularly if you have multiple interviewers. I have found that the best method is to assign certain questions or topic areas to the interview team members. Because each person focuses on a different area of the candidates’ backgrounds, you will walk away from the interview with a more well-rounded picture of a candidates. You have to have trust in your interviewing partners that each person will thoroughly investigate his/her assigned topic area, take notes, and bring the information back to the team for a wrap up discussion.

Helpful tips to this method include

  • Assign the same topics to the same interviewing team member for each candidate. This way the interviewer has familiarity with the questions and the ability to more objectively evaluate the responses from the candidates.
  • Assign interview topics based on the interviewing team member’s relationship to the role that’s being recruited. So for example, if you’re hiring a Certified Project Manager consider having the Controller of your company target the candidates’ experience managing a project to budget and similar questions.
  • Panel interview set up is explored in another blog. Check it out!
  • Conduct an interview wrap up session after all of the candidates have been interviewed. I recommend going candidate-by-candidate allowing each interview team member to present pro’s and con’s about the person’s background, experience, and skills.

Ultimately you are the decision maker about who joins your team. It’s not the decision of the interviewing team. But hearing their thoughts and opinions can help you determine the best fit for your organization!