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So you’ve finished interviewing all the candidates for a position. Congratulations! Take a deep breath, collect any last-minute thoughts, and organize your notes. 

While it may be tempting to “sleep on it” and let your opinions of the candidates percolate, the best thing to do now is to debrief with your colleagues as soon as possible. Whether this debrief happens asynchronously (via emails, chats, or shared documents) or in a synchronous meeting, it should happen as soon as possible after all interviews are completed. This gives each stakeholder a chance to share their thoughts while they are fresh, minimizing the chances that they’ll forget things or become biased by other factors.

If your team chooses to have a synchronous debrief meeting through video conference or in-person, we’re here to help you conduct the most productive and equitable version of that meeting possible. 

How to run an interview debrief

Read on for our tips on conducting an interview debrief, and put them into action with our guide and editable template (download them here!).

Before you start, make sure your team is prepared

Make sure participants have recorded notes and scores for all candidates they interviewed. If you have access to interview recordings (or even better, an interview intelligence platform), ask team members to review the highlights of conversations they were not part of.

Be sure to follow the recruiter

The recruiter or HR manager who oversaw the interview process should lead and moderate the conversation, and other colleagues should defer to their leadership. The recruiter is responsible for keeping track of time and making sure all teammates are heard equally.

Agree to maintain a structured discussion flow

A structured discussion leaves less room for bias and creates more equitable opportunities for everyone to contribute their opinions. You can use the following steps as your guide:

  • Introduce the discussion: Explain the purpose of the debrief and provide an overview of the process. Establish any necessary ground rules – for example, to not interrupt during another colleague’s speaking time.
  • Review the candidates: Follow a structured order when reviewing each candidate. Announce the candidate to be discussed, and ask each teammate who participated in (or reviewed the highlights of) an interview with them to give their scores and commentary for each of your Role Pillars. Share all scores and general comments in succession and in order of seniority (least senior to most senior, to avoid bias based on deference) before opening the floor to conversation/debate. For each Role Pillar or section, probe major discrepancies. Explore why there are differences of opinion and invite commentary to compare them.
  • Review the pool: Once all candidates have been discussed, examine their scores in aggregate. You can compare candidates easily using an editable scorecard like this one. Allow additional time to discuss candidates who performed similarly. You can also use the additional time for teammates to offer any last-minute commentary.

Looking for even more ways to improve your hiring process? Check out our full Interview Bias Tool Kit to incorporate these and other strategies so you can make the best hiring decisions possible.

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