Benefits of conducting panel interviews
Going from one to multiple interviewers can add depth to your interviewing process and improve the quality of your hires. Some benefits of a panelist interview process include:
- Different perspectives: When you only have a hiring manager meeting candidates, you could miss out on different viewpoints and insights. The people who will work closely with the hire might better understand what skills and traits will be beneficial.
- Decreased bias: Having a diverse hiring team can reduce unconscious bias. A single interviewer could let those unintentional biases affect their hiring decisions. For instance, affinity bias might cause a hiring manager to favor a candidate because they have something in common.
- Intro to the team: Including prospective coworkers can give candidates a glimpse of the culture and what they can expect if they get a job offer. It can help put them at ease when they start working, and it can help them decide if the department is a good fit for them.
- Skills analysis: Putting candidates in a panel interview situation lets you see how they handle dealing with a group and different personalities. It can help you assess their people skills.
- New skills: Your existing employees who participate in the interviews can gain new skills. Offering those additional learning opportunities can increase employee satisfaction and encourage employees to stay with your company.
Related link: 10 Major Types of Job Interviews & Tips for Success
Drawbacks of panel interviews
Panel interviews might not be ideal for every situation, and there are some possible issues to consider. Being aware of the potential drawbacks can help you avoid them. Some drawbacks include:
- Disorganization: Without proper preparation and understanding of the process, the hiring team could interrupt each other or generally be disorganized, which can interfere with decision-making.
- Intimidation: Being the only interviewee with a group of people staring at you can be intimidating. Some candidates might be anxious and not perform as well in a panel interview setting.
- Additional training: To conduct panel interviews well, the involved parties need interviewing skills. Everyone needs to understand the expectations. It can be time-consuming to choose and train the interviewers if your team doesn’t have much interviewing experience.
- Decrease in productivity: Even if you have well-trained interviewers on the team, conducting panel interviews pulls those people away from their regular jobs. With interview prep, conducting interviews and meeting to make decisions, that can add up to several hours, which can hurt their productivity in their normal job duties.
- Differing options: While different perspectives can help you make a more well-rounded decision, it can also cause conflicts if some panel members have different opinions. Having a clear selection process in place and selecting interviewers who are comfortable debating.
- Scheduling conflicts: Coordinating the schedules of the candidates and interview team can be challenging. Holding a virtual interview can increase flexibility if scheduling is an issue.