Interviewing Candidates with Multiple Managers

I’m a recruiter. I not only work with candidates/applicants, but I also work with hiring managers in order to determine their needs. Part of gathering details is to establish a screening process. Part of that process is the job interview. How many people do you want to be involved in the interview process? How do you want organize the interview teams? How long should they last? Who are those individuals that you want involved? Good questions, right? Here is one that really needs to be driven home…

What is the purpose of having Tom, Dick, and Hariett to be involved in the interview process?

It’s a common oversight by many recruiters, HR reps in corporate recruiting as well as staffing. Half the time we’re just happy that the candidate has made it that far. I don’t find the question above to be as important for staff level positions, but for management level, it is a must. It took me a year to realize this, probably because I have had influx of management job openings.

What happens if you don’t probe? It can put the hiring manager in an awkward place creating a predicament where they may have to justify their hire. Many managers don’t want to do this. Why would the? They want to make a solid decision and stick with it. They’re decision makers, but waffling is a tough thing to do. Ask the following questions so that the manager can make a smooth, solid, end-game hiring decision.

  • Have you told the team what you’d like each specific person to cover or uncover with the candidate? Outline the box for them. Jane’s pretty technical, I’ll want her to check the candidate’s technical skills. Jake is a great leader and knows how to motivate people, I want him to get those details.
  • What if you don’t agree with one of the interview team member’s opinion of the candidate? Is it a done deal? Do you need a¬†unanimous thumbs up to make the hire? There are going to be those that don’t agree. What if a superior is not sold on the person? In the end, you want to feel confident about the hire, regardless of conflicting feedback. People simply don’t read people the same way.
  • Are you selecting the right people for the team? If one manager’s hiring style is to employ folks that don’t push back, don’t challenge the status quo and simply toe the company line, you don’t want that person involved in the process where YOU want a go-getter, independent thinker. Guess what your peer’s feedback is going to be.
  • Inform the team of the role. Why are we here? “I don’t think he’s a senior manager.” Great! That’s good because that’s the role we’re interviewing him/her for. Lets get on the same page people. Ensure they know the level of the role, where this person will fit into the organization and who they will work with – to include stake holders, business partners, staff, etc.

Be the expert. You’re hired to think of these things. People will value your approach and will have a ‘ah hah!’ moment because you simply posed some simple questions that made them think about the outcome before it actually gets to that point.

Have you ever run into this? What has been your approach with managers that don’t may not understand this potential pitfall? Comment below, we’d love to hear and learn from you.

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