HR Types: A question about interviewing from the candidate's perspective

I’ve been asked to be part of the panel for a candidate here. HR scheduled the interview and then doubled up, i.e two people interview the candidate simultaneously. I said that didn’t really make sense since the two interviewers are unrelated, from different teams, with different backgrounds and probably looking for different things.

They came back and said from the perspective of “candidate experience” we must make sure they don’t have to repeat themselves too many times and we don’t want to scare anyone off.

What are your thoughts? I understand what they’re getting at but ultimately I don’t see why 2 30 minute interviews is objectively worse than 1 60 minute interview.

They’re talking about subjectively, and subjective factors are very important. Objectively, probably your input in the process is not valued anyway, so let’s stick to the subjective stuff. :slight_smile:

What kind of work are we talking about?

I work in software development. When I interviewed for my current job, there were three people from different groups. It’s not necessarily that every interviewer is there for their own specific group, but to get a general feel for what the person knows and how they would fit in the company (including 3 years down the line, when the projects will be different and the candidate may be working in a different group).

Wouldn’t each 30 minute interview involve a “go through your job history” segment? If so, then you should be able to shave off a couple of minutes by combining them.

Where I work we do interviews by committee. When selecting the hiring committee for a position I’m trying to fill, I try to include a mix of folks with the capability of evaluating the candidates’ technical qualifications as well as folks better at evaluating soft skills. It’s been my experience that any given candidate pool is likely to have a selection of technically qualified individuals, so the trick is finding the one who best fits with the group dynamic of the team they are being hired to join. Having everyone hear the candidates’ responses to the wider variety of interview questions helps get a better overall view of how any individual candidate might fit. It also saves time for the candidate by not having to do multiple interviews with a variety of staff members. The worst part of the process is arranging an interview schedule that works for all of the committee members and candidates.

The real danger here is that the candidate will get a feel for how you all work together. LOL! In my business we necessarily have several internal customers as well as our bosses. I always try to get and interview with a couple of those in the room so I can suss out the dynamics.

What do you think you will gain meeting alone with the candidate that you cannot gain with an interview partner?

The idea is that you guys have more commonality than you think. Even if we’re talking about one team being Sales and the other being Design, well, if there are candidates you’re both interested in it’s got to be because some of the candidates’ characteristics are of interest for both.

Why should the candidate hear the same company presentation twice? Why should his fit with the company’s culture be evaluated twice? Sometimes I get presented to a customer for multiple slots in the same or different teams: there’s customers who dislike this (apparently they can’t understand someone being good at more than one thing), others who set multiple-subject/team interviews so they can determine which if any is the best fit. If someone from Production says “I don’t like that she doesn’t speak Pototish” but someone from Quality says “not a problem for me, her English is fine and so is my people’s” - well, I won’t be learning a lot of Pototish in that project but I’m in!