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Which team member should interview the candidates

Selecting the Right Team Member for Interviewing Candidates


“You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills,” said Simon Sinek, a best selling author and organizational consultant. At first glance, this quote may seem to place the emphasis solely on the candidates, but delve deeper, and you’ll realize the importance of the individual posing the questions too. The entire process of interviewing, so crucial to a company’s growth and the sustenance of its culture, is not just about identifying the right candidate, but also about ensuring the right people are in charge of the identification.


The hiring interview isn’t just a formality to tick off the recruitment checklist. It’s a gateway to understanding the mindset, attitude, skills, and potential of a person who might become a significant part of the company’s future. The quality of people a company hires directly affects its growth trajectory, work culture, and bottom line. After all, employees aren’t just resources; they’re the lifeblood that defines an organization’s ethos, capabilities, and potential.


Consider this: a poor hire can cost a company not only in terms of salary and onboarding expenses but also in decreased team morale, reduced productivity, and the potential fallout of mistakes or misjudgments they might make. A single misplaced hire can have ripple effects that extend far beyond their immediate role. Thus, the interview process is not just a door into the company for the candidate, but also the company’s window into the possible futures that each candidate might bring.


Entrusting the responsibility of interviewing to just anyone in the team can be likened to handing over the keys of a precious car to an untrained driver. No matter how good the vehicle (or the candidate), the outcome heavily depends on the driver’s (or interviewer’s) skills and judgment.


An interviewer not only assesses the technical skills and qualifications of the candidate but is also responsible for gauging their fit within the company’s culture, values, and vision. They are the face of the organization during that crucial first impression, representing the company’s ethos and character.


Furthermore, a skilled interviewer can glean insights from between the lines, understanding potential where others see none or recognizing red flags that others might miss. Their judgment plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the candidates who walk through the door not only possess the right skills but also align with the company’s larger vision and culture.


In the end, selecting the right interviewer isn’t just a procedural decision. It’s a strategic move that determines the future of the company one candidate at a time. As we delve deeper into this subject, we’ll discuss the qualities of a good interviewer and how organizations can make these crucial decisions. But for now, it’s essential to recognize and underscore the immense responsibility that rests on the shoulders of those chosen to be gatekeepers of talent.


Understanding the Roles: HR vs. Managers


Delineating the roles of Human Resources (HR) and managers within the recruitment process is not merely an administrative distinction; it’s a strategic differentiation that can shape the very foundation of an organization’s workforce. Each entity, while interwoven in the same recruitment tapestry, operates with a unique lens, contributing distinct perspectives and expertise to the process.


HR professionals, often seen as the custodians of organizational culture, have a panoramic view of the company’s ethos. They ensure that every candidate stepping through the doors aligns with the company’s values, mission, and cultural norms. Their primary concern is not just about the skill sets a candidate brings but also about their adaptability, interpersonal skills, and potential for long-term growth within the organization. By looking beyond the resume, HR professionals gauge how an individual might interact with peers, handle workplace challenges, and contribute to the larger organizational narrative. Their approach is, in many ways, a blend of psychology, organizational behavior, and intuition.


Managers, contrastingly, anchor their assessment in the granular details of the specific job role. Their domain expertise enables them to decipher whether a candidate possesses the technical proficiencies and role-related competencies to excel in the given position. Managers consider the immediate team’s needs, project requirements, and the strategic direction of their department. Through rigorous questioning and scenario-based assessments, they ensure candidates can not only perform the tasks at hand but also innovate, collaborate, and lead when necessary.


However, it’s the synergy between HR’s holistic view and managers’ detailed scrutiny that brings depth to the hiring process. Striking a balance between the two ensures that the company makes well-rounded hiring decisions, paving the way for both organizational harmony and operational excellence. To omit one from the process would be like trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces: possible, but not without noticeable gaps.


Identifying the Ideal Interviewer


Choosing the ideal interviewer is similar to selecting the right key for a lock. The right fit can open doors to a world of potential, bringing in candidates who not only excel in their roles but also elevate the company’s ethos. But this task is multifaceted, requiring a careful blend of expertise recognition and cultural attunement.


Firstly, alignment with the job role is necessary. An interviewer should not only understand the nuances of the position in question but also have a firsthand experience or expertise in that domain. This ensures that they can assess candidates with a discerning eye, identifying nuances in responses, and discerning between genuine competencies and rehearsed answers. Such alignment also enables the interviewer to set realistic scenarios, pose challenging questions, and evaluate the practicality of a candidate’s approach.


But while technical expertise is crucial, it’s only half the equation. An equally significant aspect is the interviewer’s grasp on team dynamics and the overarching company culture. Every team has its unique rhythm, communication style, challenges, and successes. The ideal interviewer should be able to visualize how a potential candidate would integrate into this ecosystem. Would they be a harmonizing factor or a disruptive one? Would they complement the skills already present or merely replicate them? Understanding these dynamics goes beyond mere intuition; it requires a deep dive into both the team’s and the organization’s fabric.


Furthermore, culture plays a pivotal role. Companies aren’t just built on products or services; they’re built on values, traditions, and shared visions. The interviewer must ascertain if the candidate can embrace and contribute to this culture. This doesn’t mean looking for uniformity but rather for harmony – individuals who bring their unique strengths while resonating with the company’s ethos.


In essence, identifying the perfect interviewer is a critical step in ensuring that the recruitment process is not just about filling vacancies, but about enhancing the company’s future, one strategic hire at a time.


7 Best Practices in the Interviewing Process


In the intricate dance of recruitment, the interviewing process is the pivotal moment when potential meets reality, where words on a resume come alive, and where future organizational relationships begin. To ensure that this dance is harmonious and productive, certain best practices can elevate the experience for both interviewers and interviewees.


#1 Preparation: 

The foundation of a successful interview begins with meticulous preparation. This doesn’t merely mean skimming the candidate’s resume moments before they enter the room. It entails a deep dive into their work history, understanding the arc of their career, formulating specific questions that cater to their experiences, and envisaging how their journey aligns with the company’s future. This groundwork enables the interviewer to craft a more personalized and effective conversation.


#2 Interview structures:  

When considering interview structures, there are myriad formats, each with its merits and challenges. Traditional face-to-face interviews allow for a personal connection, gauging body language, and fostering rapport. Panel interviews, on the other hand, bring multiple perspectives to the evaluation but might overwhelm the candidate. Virtual interviews, increasingly popular in today’s digital age, offer flexibility but can sometimes lack the warmth of in-person interactions. Thus, understanding the nuances of each structure and choosing one that aligns with the job role, company culture, and logistical considerations is crucial.


#3 Soft skills:  

Beyond technical prowess, evaluating a candidate’s soft skills is often the differentiator between a good hire and a great one. Attributes like communication, teamwork, adaptability, and problem-solving often prove as pivotal as domain-specific skills. An ideal interviewing process seamlessly assesses both, ensuring the candidate is well-rounded and fits the holistic needs of the organization.


#4 Feedback: 

Lastly, the process shouldn’t conclude when the candidate exits the room. Implementing a collaborative feedback mechanism, where different interviewers or panel members converge to discuss their impressions, can provide a more 360-degree evaluation. It ensures diverse perspectives are considered and fosters a collective decision-making approach.


#5 Maintain Consistency:

One of the most important requirements of an interview is asking the same questions of every candidate, regardless of who they are or what their situation is. While conversation can evolve organically, the starting points must be the same for everyone. Deviating from those questions can be the root of discrimination.


One of the hardest parts of interviewing is setting up the list of questions that need to be asked. Every role within the company will have two sets of questions. The first set is specific to the job and should be developed through working with a team leader or manager in the department that needs the new employee. The other set of questions is generic to your entire company and needs to look for culture fit.


#6 Body Language Awareness:

Body language goes both ways. Candidates will be watching you as you conduct an interview, looking for responses to their answers. Building awareness of your body language helps you control it, to present the kind of impartial face you want to set your candidates at ease.


Likewise, learning to read body language can help your hiring manager learn to interpret additional cues from your candidates. Are they expecting specific questions? Are they prepared for what you’re asking them? Have you thrown them a curveball? Are there signs that they’re lying to get their foot in the door? There are a lot of signs, both good and bad, that can be interpreted from candidate body language.


#7 Let the Candidate Talk:

In a conversation, particularly in a high-stakes setting like an interview, it’s human nature to want to fill dead air and make every moment productive. Many novice hiring managers fill the air with small talk, mention comments they should generally keep to themselves, or dominate an interview with their presence.


The truth is, it’s often better to suppress that instinct and let the candidate deal with the dead air themselves. Do they speak up? Do they offer relevant information, make small talk, crack jokes, or ask insightful questions? How they act in the gaps between questions can tell you a lot about them.


Interviewing Mistakes to Avoid 


The interviewing process, while a gateway to organizational growth, is riddled with pitfalls that can inadvertently lead to suboptimal decisions. Being aware of these mistakes and actively working to circumvent them is imperative for an effective hiring process.


Foremost among these pitfalls is bias. Every individual, regardless of intention, carries inherent biases shaped by personal experiences, beliefs, and backgrounds. Whether it’s a penchant for candidates from certain universities or an unconscious favoritism towards familiar experiences, biases can skew judgment. Recognizing these biases, actively acknowledging them, and employing strategies to minimize their influence are crucial steps in ensuring a fair evaluation.


Promoting diversity isn’t just about the candidates; it’s equally about those conducting the interviews. A diverse interview panel ensures multiple viewpoints, cultural perspectives, and evaluative criteria come into play. It enriches the assessment process, ensuring no singular worldview dominates and broadens the understanding of what a candidate brings to the table.


Lastly, while feedback from experienced team members or senior leadership is invaluable, it’s crucial to avoid over-reliance on one individual’s opinion. Every interviewer, regardless of their stature in the company, views a candidate through their unique lens. Over-emphasizing one viewpoint can lead to a skewed perception, potentially overlooking a candidate’s multifaceted potential or flaws. A balanced approach, where every feedback is weighed with consideration, ensures the hiring decision is holistic and well-informed.




The hiring process, in many ways, mirrors the broader journey of organizational growth and evolution. It is a confluence of strategy, intuition, collaboration, and continuous learning. As we’ve navigated through the intricacies of best practices and potential pitfalls in interviewing, it becomes clear that the objective isn’t merely about filling a vacancy. Instead, it’s about crafting the future mosaic of the organization, one tile at a time. Each decision made, each bias recognized and countered, each best practice employed, contributes to the larger tapestry of the company’s future.


The art of interviewing, while age-old, remains one of the most pivotal processes in an organization’s journey towards excellence. It serves as the linchpin, determining not just the skills and competencies that enter a firm, but also the values, attitudes, and potential that can shape its future. As businesses grow and industries evolve, so must the techniques we employ to decipher the intricate layers of human potential.


For those seeking to elevate their hiring processes, to marry tradition with innovation, and to ensure every candidate is evaluated with precision and empathy, our services stand as a beacon. Let us guide you through the labyrinth of talent acquisition, ensuring that every hire isn’t just a new employee, but a harmonious addition to your organizational symphony. Explore our solutions today and embark on a recruitment journey that’s both transformative and future-ready.


Page updated on October 9, 2023. 

Natalie Bollinger

Natalie Bollinger

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