Which processes in companies – regardless of industry or size – can (and even should) be constantly optimized, ensuring that they bring increasingly better results? Undoubtedly, one of them is recruitment, which is not only characterized by very high importance (as it helps to acquire the company’s most important resource) but also requires the commitment of a large portion of financial and time resources. Companies reach for all sorts of tools to improve the activities carried out by HR staff, but the basis is an effective summary of the interview. Below we point out what recruiters should do to achieve such a result every time.

Effective Interview Debrief with Candidates – table of contents

  1. Interview summary – why conduct it?
  2. What should debrief look like? 5 tips for Recruiters
  3. Interview debrief – summary

Interview summary – why conduct it?

Just why is a proper interview summary so critical? Because it is the key to the decision to hire the best candidate for the job – especially in a situation where several people (hiring manager, recruiter, talent acquisition specialist, etc.) participated in the recruitment meeting and each of them may have a different opinion about the candidate, his skills, personality or experience. Thus, debriefing aims to collect and analyze the information that was gathered during the recruitment interview by all the people involved.

The confrontation of impressions and opinions allows looking at the person from a different perspective and making the right decision, ensuring the best fit of the new employee with the company, organizational culture, or team.

What should debrief look like? 5 tips for Recruiters

The hiring manager is responsible for conducting the meeting that summarizes the interview, and it is up to him or her to make the final decision to hire or reject the candidate. To make it right, you have to prepare properly and ensure that it follows several basic principles. We have outlined the most important issues that matter to the hiring manager below.

  1. Prepare before the meeting

    After meeting with the candidate, the hiring manager should set a date on the calendar when the debriefing will take place, making sure that each person fits the date indicated. He or she should also send a request for feedback on the candidate in writing to each person attending the hiring meeting. This will give the interviewees a chance to organize their thoughts and convey the most essential findings, and it will allow the hiring manager to prepare to conduct a summary of the interview.

    Still, make sure that the period between the meeting and the briefing is long enough to give the interviewer a chance to send you feedback, but at the same time not too short, enabling the candidate to remember the meeting.

  2. Form your own opinion

    As a hiring manager, you should enter the interview summary with a thoughtful opinion of the candidate. Hence, before you get other people’s opinions, gather all your notes – recall what happened during the meeting, what questions were asked and what answers came up. Consider whether you think the candidate made a good impression, has the necessary skills and experience, and has a personality that fits the company’s culture. Only in the next place review the information provided by others – this way you’ll know that in forming your own opinion you did not suggest the answers of others.

  3. Write down the key issues

    What matters to you as a recruiter for an open position – experience, specific hard or soft skills, personality, answers to a relevant interview question? Think about it, then write down all the key issues you need to mention to the hiring team. If you have them in writing, they will certainly guide you during the discussion. It is also worthwhile in this regard to prepare questions that you will address to individuals in the area of your key issues. The meeting will then become more structured and will more easily ensure that the desired effect is achieved.

  4. Give everyone a chance to voice their own opinion

    You already know very well what elements were pointed out by other people participating in the interview, for everyone’s benefit to know the other party’s opinion so that all views get can get and discussed. Thus, at the beginning of the interview summary, allow each person a maximum of 2–3 minutes to voice their opinion, highlighting the issues that matter to them.

    This is important because everyone pays attention to different elements – this way everyone will get the full picture. Aspects that are particularly worth sharing may concern the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the overall impression he or she made or areas of behavior that caused concern.

  5. Ask the right questions

    After giving everyone a chance to voice their own opinions, move on to asking questions that will help you to discover what is behind the indicated feelings and thoughts of other recruiters involved in the process. During the interview process, you are bound to come to areas of concern, issues that you didn’t have time to address or sufficiently explore, and concerns that the candidate’s weaknesses will prevent him or her from adequately fulfilling his or her role. Your job is to conduct the discussion in a cultured as well as calm manner while trying your best to understand each point of view.

Effective Interview

Interview debrief – summary

An interview debriefing meeting can become an effective tool for deciding on hiring the best person for the job. However, you must conduct it well, and hopefully, the tips we have shared should help you make it. Most crucially though, as a hiring manager, remember that your job is not to convince everyone to change their minds and agree with your thoughts about a person. Debriefing only provides you with the broadest possible picture of the candidate, which is necessary to make the most appropriate decision.

Read also: STAR interviewing method

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5 Top Tips for Effective Interview Debrief with Candidates nicole mankin avatar 1background

Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.