But so many companies overlook the key to hiring success: training interviewers and recruiters. Without training, they lack the knowledge needed to identify and hire top candidates.
That’s why more leading organizations are turning to interview training programs to help shortcut hours upon hours – or even years – of interview experience.
Help anyone in your company walk into an interview with confidence by training them on how to run an interview, what to cover, and how to spot a great candidate. Putting time and effort into your hiring process pays off: according to Glassdoor, businesses that invest in hiring see a 70% improvement in the quality of talent they recruit.
Undercover Recruiter found 33% of hiring managers know whether they should hire someone in the first 90 seconds of an interview. Interview training teaches interviewers equitable approaches that assess what matters: a candidate’s qualifications.
Interviews can be make-or-break for candidates: according to LinkedIn, 83% say an unimpressive experience can change their mind about a job. Trained interviewers are more likely to impress candidates by asking the right questions, giving thorough answers, and creating a welcoming space.
With this guide, you can build an interview training program that:
“The honest truth is, I think interview training is massively neglected industry-wide. At many companies, it’s just a one-off conversation given to interviewers before their first interview.
Establishing an interview training program makes an organization a more attractive place to work. The optimal state for any business is to increase its overall hiring capacity. In other words, everyone becomes a recruiter of sorts and is able to participate in the acquisition of talent and skills. If recruiting and interviewing is everyone’s job, I think that makes a business more inclusive.”
Curator at Recruiting Brainfood
Well-run interviews result in better outcomes for recruiters, interviewers, and candidates alike. But how do you build a training program that equips interviewers and recruiters with the resources they need to excel at hiring talent?
We spoke with top talent leaders to uncover their tips for building a training program that wins great candidates and keeps pace with rapid growth goals.
Before planning your program, invest time in research. Take it from the team at Unstoppable Domains, the leading provider of NFT domains and user-owned identity, who was tasked with growing the company’s workforce by 5x in just one year. They decided to implement an interview training program to reach this ambitious goal. Then, they began by gathering information across four key areas to inform their program.
Psssst. Don’t have enough time to build a full-scale training program? Find out how to set up an MVP version that can grow with your organization by skipping ahead here.
Candidate experience. Gather candidates’ feedback about their interview experience to find areas for improvement.
Tip: If you don’t currently collect feedback from candidates, this is the perfect time to start. Begin by creating a simple survey to send to candidates after they complete the hiring process. Ask questions like:
Hiring maturity. See where your company lands on the hiring maturity curve, so you know how your hiring process stacks up against four characteristics – chaotic, inconsistent, systematic, and strategic.
Tip: Want to uncover how your process ranks on the hiring maturity curve? Take Greenhouse’s assessment to find out.
Unconscious biases. Identify common unconscious biases and how interviewers can avoid them. Here are a few examples:
|Bias||How it Impacts Interviews||How to Overcome the Bias|
|Confirmation bias||Interviewers may focus on points that support their conclusions and ignore points that counter them.||Compare notes with colleagues and examine any discrepancies between opinions.|
|Contrast bias||If interviewing happens over a short period, interviewers may compare candidates to each other, potentially skewing their perception.||Delay your full assessment of the candidate pool until after all interviews are complete.|
|Subjective memory biases (like recency bias)||How an interviewer feels or the distractions they experience can impact their memory of the interview.||Use an interview intelligence platform to record the interview, transcribe, share, and play back key moments.|
Hiring process gaps. Meet with recruiters and hiring managers to understand where there are pain points in your hiring process, so you can address those needs in your training program.
Select key moments from interview recordings that help interviewers and recruiters spot good answers prepare for difficult questions, and share a consistent company story. Find examples of great conversations with candidates who turned out to be top performers and conversations full of red flags that ended up in mis-hires.
Not only will watching these moments help interviewers better prepare for interviews. It also equips them with the knowledge they need to improve candidates’ experience – an important but often overlooked part of the interview training process.
Spotlight: Interview Training Topics
Check out the Index of Key Interview Training Topics for a bank of topics that help interviewers and recruiters navigate every part of an interview with confidence – from giving a company pitch to handling objections.
Here’s a preview of the training topics you’ll find:
Probing Beyond Surface-Level Answers
Sharing a Description of the Open Role
Uncovering Candidate Motivations
“If a candidate has one bad experience, it can have a real impact on whether they want to work at that business. By training interviewers, I think we’ll see offer conversion rates go up and dropout rates reduce.”
Curator at Recruiting Brainfood
When Jenna Young, Manager of Global Talent Acquisition Operations at Tekion, started at the company in 2021, they had 1,000 employees worldwide. In one year, the company doubled in size, with plans to add an additional thousand team members by the next year.
To keep pace with the company’s aggressive growth goals, Jenna and her team began holding weekly interview training sessions for new managers.
Tekion’s weekly interview training covers 3 core topics:
“One thing we struggled with was managers not giving detailed feedback. Instead, they’d just say, ‘this candidate isn’t a good fit,’ which isn’t helpful to the recruiter. To help interviewers provide better, more specific feedback, we started incorporating scorecards into our interview training sessions.”
Manager, Global Talent Acquisition Operations at Tekion
The last thing you want is to create a static interview training program that stays the same while your company and candidates evolve. Track the impact of your program and make adjustments by regularly looking at:
How confident are your interviewers?
Open the lines of communication with interviewers by getting their input via a survey, using these sample questions as a starting point:
Don’t have time to build a large-scale program? We’ve got you covered. Here are 3 low-lift things you can do to strengthen your interviewers and recruiters and build consistency across your hiring process.
Interview intelligence transforms how companies hire – from interview training all the way to winning top talent. It unlocks valuable data from every interview conversation and brings that information to the center of important hiring decisions. The result? A faster, more insightful, and less biased hiring process.
Spotlight: Off-Limit Topics to Avoid
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protects groups of people from
discrimination under employment, which means there are certain topics that cannot be
brought up during interviews. Make sure interviewers and recruiters are aware of
avoiding any topics about:
Build an effective team of interviewers. Know with confidence that interviewers ask the right questions, sell your company in the right way, and make the right judgment calls.
Watch interview recordings via BrightHire and give interviewers valuable feedback that helps improve their questions, pitches, and decisions
Help interviewers recognize great answers. Build a base of qualified interviewers who understand your ideal candidate profile and can identify a good answer when they hear it.
With BrightHire, you can create a playlist of interview examples that demonstrate what to listen for in conversations, so interviewers can practice spotting a good answer.
Encourage diversity. Expand your talent pool and improve pass-through rates for underrepresented candidates by helping interviewers hone their ability to recognize transferable skills, competencies, and experiences.
Share with interviewers BrightHire recordings of previous candidates from a broad spectrum of backgrounds who turned out to be great hires.
Grow interviewers’ self-awareness. Empower interviewers with critical feedback after interviews, like how much time they spoke versus the candidate, to improve and grow their interviewing skills.
After every interview, BrightHire shares key metrics with interviewers that can spark change and improve hiring decisions.
Help interviewers answer any question with confidence. Keep interviewers on message when candidates ask about the impact of external changes or macro trends on your business. By equipping interviewers with excellent responses to these questions, you can protect your organization from losing top candidates.
Stay responsive to candidates’ concerns with BrightHire by taking snippets of timely interview questions and sharing guidance on how to respond with interviewers.
Empower your team to develop future leaders. Help managers excel at their most important job – hiring – by giving them access to the resources they need to interview effectively.
With BrightHire, leaders can personally invest in developing the most essential skill for their teams: knowing how to interview and hire well.
Make learning a continuous process. Engage interviewers beyond a single training or shadowing session to help them continue strengthening their interviewing skills. By offering ongoing opportunities to expand their knowledge, you can build a team of confident, effective interviewers.
Drive structure, consistency, accountability, and transparency around interview training with BrightHire, so interviewers can learn from the same examples and grow their skills faster.