Nothing is more important to your success as a manager than hiring the right people to join your team. This requires equal parts salesmanship and assessment.
For many companies, a linchpin of their hiring process is to bring candidates in to have a series of discussions with existing employees. On its face, this is a great practice; it enables multiple people at the organization the opportunity to assess the candidate through their own lenses, and it allows the candidate to develop a holistic understanding of the opportunity.
But as the saying goes, the devil is always in the details and far too many in-person group interview sessions are completely squandered—largely due to the hiring manager’s failure to prepare the team adequately. Different people aren’t assigned different topical areas to explore, and therefore each interviewer walks in and covers whatever they deem to be important (or worse yet, just comfortable) to cover with the candidate. The conversations end up being redundant and the topics get covered repeatedly. The interviewing team fails to fully capitalize on the time they’re taking for their interviews, and the candidate picks up on the inefficiency of this team they’re thinking about joining.
A good standard practice is to create a team interview prep guide for all of the people who will be meeting with the candidate. This is a simple document created by the hiring manager that simply clarifies which topics which people should cover. It should also prep the team by giving a brief overview of what the candidate experience has been up to the point they’re coming in to meet with the team in person. This helps the team get grounded on what the candidate has been through, and it gives them specific topical areas to drill into. In many cases, sharing the team interview prep guide with the candidate can be helpful as well. In addition to helping the interviewing team be more effective and productive with its time, it conveys to the candidate that this organization is smart and organized.
The recruitment process for any given role should be consistent enough that hiring managers need only make a distribute one team interview prep guide for a given role (i.e. there shouldn’t be different team interview prep guides for each candidate)
The template for this is quite simple: