How to Onboard New Interviewers


Lewis Moore


min read


21 Jun 2024

Onboard interviewers

Onboarding new interviewers isn't just about handing them a guidebook and expecting them to excel. You need a structured approach to ensure they are well-prepared and confident in their roles. If you're facing high turnover because interviews aren't going as planned, it's likely due to onboarding gaps. Let's delve into the essentials to make your interviewer onboarding successful.

This article will help you understand the key elements of successfully onboarding new interviewers, covering the essentials of a solid onboarding programme, the detailed steps to follow, and the common mistakes to avoid.

1. Understanding the Basics of Onboarding New Interviewers

1.1 What is Onboarding?

Onboarding refers to the process of integrating a new hire into your company. It involves making them familiar with your company culture, policies, and their specific role. For interviewers, onboarding is crucial because it sets the foundation for how they'll represent your company to potential employees. Without a structured onboarding process, new interviewers may feel lost, misrepresent your company, or miss out on top talent.

You can think of onboarding as your interviewer’s roadmap to success. It moves beyond simple introductions and training sessions. A structured programme ensures new interviewers know what needs to be done and how to do it efficiently. This process often includes a mix of training sessions, shadowing experienced interviewers, and regular feedback. Creating a detailed onboarding plan not only streamlines the process but also ensures that no important aspects are overlooked, leading to a consistent and professional approach to interviewing.

1.2 Key Components of a Successful Onboarding Programme

A successful onboarding programme has several key components. Firstly, there should be a clear introduction to the company’s mission, vision, and values. This ensures new interviewers understand what the company stands for and can communicate this effectively to candidates. Secondly, comprehensive training on the company’s recruitment processes and tools is essential. Interviewers need to be familiar with applicant tracking systems, interview techniques, and evaluation criteria.

Additionally, shadowing sessions are invaluable. New interviewers should observe experienced interviewers to understand best practices. Check out our guide on interview shadowing for more details.

Regular feedback sessions should also be integrated into the programme to address any queries and provide guidance.

Pro-tip: Include role-playing scenarios in your training to help new interviewers practise common interview situations, ensuring they develop the necessary skills and confidence.

2. Steps to Onboard New Interviewers

2.1 Setting Clear Expectations

Setting clear expectations from the beginning helps new interviewers understand their roles and responsibilities. You can start by creating a detailed description outlining what is expected, making sure to include:

  • Core duties such as conducting interviews and evaluating candidates.

  • Metrics like the number of interviews per week or interview punctuality.

  • Behavioural standards to ensure professionalism.

Make this information accessible through your company's internal portal or by emailing it directly to the new interviewer. Clear communication here will prevent confusion and set a strong foundation for their new role.

Next, introductory meetings with key team members can help contextualise these expectations. During these meetings, allow new interviewers to ask questions and discuss their role. This can be an opportunity to address any specific queries they might have about their tasks or company policies.

Pro-tip: Create a checklist for both you and the new interviewer to track progress and ensure all criteria are met.

2.2 Providing Comprehensive Training

A comprehensive training programme is essential to equip new interviewers with the necessary skills and knowledge. Start with formal training sessions to cover fundamental interview techniques, company-specific interviewing guidelines, and compliance requirements:

  • Workshop-style sessions for hands-on practice.

  • E-learning modules for flexibility.

  • Mentorship programmes for one-on-one guidance.

Regular feedback sessions during the training phase can boost confidence and competence for new interviewers. Set up a schedule for these one-on-one meetings to review their progress and address any areas requiring improvement.

Evidenced allows you to easily review interviews together with new interviewers. You can quickly see where they asked questions and leave comments on their performance or provide tips on how to improve.

Pro-tip: Record training sessions using so new hires can revisit them when needed.

2.3 Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Training

A crucial component of onboarding new interviewers is providing comprehensive training on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This ensures that interviewers understand the importance of unbiased hiring practices and can conduct inclusive interviews that attract diverse talent.

Key elements of DE&I training for new interviewers should include:

  • Unconscious bias awareness: Help interviewers recognise and mitigate their own biases that may affect candidate evaluation.

  • Inclusive language: Train interviewers on using gender-neutral and culturally sensitive language during interviews.

  • Accessibility considerations: Educate on accommodating candidates with disabilities and creating an inclusive interview environment.

  • Cultural competence: Provide insights into different cultural norms and communication styles to enhance cross-cultural understanding.

  • Legal compliance: Cover anti-discrimination laws and regulations relevant to the hiring process.

  • Diverse representation: Emphasise the importance of diverse interview panels and their impact on candidate experience.

2.4 Evaluating Interviewer Performance Regularly

Regular evaluation is crucial for maintaining high standards. Implement a multi-faceted review system that includes:

  • Self-assessments for personal reflection.

  • Peer reviews to get diverse perspectives.

  • Manager evaluations for comprehensive oversight.

Use performance metrics such as time-to-hire, candidate satisfaction scores, and interview quality ratings. Evidenced alongside your ATS can track these metrics efficiently, providing valuable insights without adding administrative burden.

Regular feedback loops, such as monthly review meetings, are important. During these sessions, discuss achievements, identify challenges, and set clear improvement targets. Make sure these meetings are documented so progress can be tracked over time.

Pro-tip: Encourage interviewers to set personal goals and align them with the company's objectives, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.

By adhering to these steps, you can ensure that your new interviewers are well-prepared, confident, and continuously developing their skills.

3. Common Mistakes to Avoid in Onboarding

3.1 Overloading with Information

When onboarding new interviewers, one of the most common mistakes is bombarding them with too much information all at once. This can be overwhelming and counterproductive. Instead of understanding and retaining key information, new interviewers may feel confused and stressed. Break down the training into manageable sections. For instance:

  • Week 1: Overview of company culture and values.

  • Week 2: Introduction to the interview process and basic interviewing techniques.

  • Week 3: Role-specific training and practical interviews.

Pro-tip: Include regular breaks and review sessions to reinforce learning. This ensures your new interviewers have time to digest and absorb the information effectively.

In addition, use visual aids such as infographics, videos, and interactive quizzes to make the learning process engaging. Diversifying the training materials helps cater to different learning styles and keeps the process interesting. Create a structured training schedule that outlines daily goals and expected outcomes. For example, use a checklist to track what has been covered and what still needs attention.

Pro-tip: Complement training sessions with hands-on practice, like role-playing real interview scenarios, to boost confidence and capability.

3.2 Neglecting Feedback Opportunities

Another mistake is not providing or seeking enough feedback during the onboarding process. Feedback is crucial as it helps new interviewers understand where they are excelling and where they need improvement. Schedule regular feedback sessions to discuss performance and address any concerns. These sessions can be weekly during the initial phase and then tapered to monthly as they become more confident.

  • 1:1 Meetings: Personalised feedback on recent interviews.

  • Group Sessions: Sharing best practices and common challenges.

  • Anonymous Surveys: Allowing new hires to voice concerns freely.

You should also encourage new interviewers to ask for feedback proactively. Make it clear that the aim is to help them grow and succeed in their role. Use specific examples to provide constructive criticism and actionable advice. For instance, instead of saying, "You need to improve your clarity," say, "Try rephrasing your questions to make them shorter and more specific."

Pro-tip: Use a combination of positive reinforcement and constructive criticism to keep morale high and motivation strong.

3.3 Failing to Monitor Progress

Failing to track the progress of new interviewers can lead to gaps in their development and skill acquisition. Regular monitoring is essential to ensure they are on the right track and to identify areas needing additional support. Implement a progress monitoring system with clear metrics and performance indicators. This could include:

  • Candidate Satisfaction Scores: Based on feedback from candidates, Evidenced can help you easily capture this.

  • Completed Training Modules: Tracking what training has been completed.

  • Observed Practical Sessions: Evaluations from more experienced peers.

Assign a mentor or a buddy who can provide continuous support and monitor progress informally. This creates a two-way communication channel and allows for real-time adjustments rather than waiting for formal reviews. Encourage self-assessment and reflection by asking new interviewers to review their own performance and set personal goals.

Effectively onboarding new interviewers is critical to maintaining high interview standards and ensuring a positive experience for candidates. By avoiding common mistakes like information overload, neglecting feedback, and failing to monitor progress, you set your new hires up for success and help them become valuable assets to your recruitment process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key components of a successful interviewer onboarding program?

A successful onboarding program includes clear introduction to company values, comprehensive training on recruitment processes, shadowing sessions with experienced interviewers, and regular feedback opportunities.

How long should the onboarding process for new interviewers last?

The onboarding process typically spans several weeks, with initial intensive training followed by ongoing support and development. A structured approach might include weekly focus areas for the first month, gradually transitioning to regular check-ins and continuous learning (check out our article on why regular training is important).

What are common mistakes to avoid when onboarding new interviewers?

Common mistakes include information overload, neglecting feedback opportunities, and failing to monitor progress. It's important to pace the training, provide regular constructive feedback, and implement a system to track new interviewers' development.

How can we incorporate diversity and inclusion training into the interviewer onboarding process?

Integrate DE&I training by including modules on unconscious bias awareness, inclusive language, cultural competence, and legal compliance. Use interactive workshops, e-learning modules, and encourage personal DE&I goal-setting to foster an inclusive interviewing approach.