The Problem With Interviewer Training, and How to Fix It


Philip Spain


min read


14 Jun 2024

Graph to show how training recall declines over time

You’ve probably noticed that much of what you learn fades from memory quicker than you’d like. In the realm of interviewer training, this is especially critical. One-off training sessions can feel like they’re here and gone, leaving your team scrambling when it’s time to make important hiring decisions. Interviewing is often just a small part of someone’s job, so these critical skills decay quickly if not refreshed regularly.

1. The Science of Forgetting

Research has shown that the effect of training decline rapidly if no effort is made to retain it. After learning something new, you might initially remember it well, but as time passes, the retention rate drops sharply. This decay continues at a decreasing rate, meaning the most significant loss happens shortly after learning. Simply put:

  • Day 1: High retention

  • Day 2: Significant drop

  • Subsequent days: Gradual decline

Understanding this natural process helps in planning repetition and reinforcement to combat forgetting. Research has shown that spaced repetition — reviewing the material at increasing intervals — helps strengthen memory and extend the retention period.

Pro-tip: Regularly review your notes or training material at intervals to solidify the learning over time.

1.1 Why Continuous Reinforcement is Key

Knowing how memory works allows you to design learning and training programs that improve long-term retention. For interviewer training, it's important to consider the intervals at which the skills need to be revisited and practiced. Without this continuous reinforcement, even the best-trained interviewers can become rusty.

Implementing structured training schedules that incorporate regular reviews is vital. This might include:

  • Allocating time for interviewers to reflect on their own performance after each interview.

  • Monthly refresher sessions

  • Quarterly workshops

By incorporating these touch points, organisations can ensure that the critical interviewing skills stay fresh and actionable when they're most needed.

Pro-tip: Set reminders for your team to revisit training modules at regular intervals to keep the information fresh.

1.2 The Power of Repetition and Variety

Repetition is a powerful tool against forgetting. By revisiting the learned material regularly, you help interrupt the natural forgetting process. This doesn't mean mindlessly repeating the same content, but rather revisiting key concepts and practicing them in varied contexts.

Consider adopting tools or mechanisms that track the intervals since the last learning session and prompt reviews on time. This could be:

  • Digital learning platforms with scheduled notifications

  • Regular team practice sessions

  • Feedback sessions after real interviews

By embedding these strategies, interview skills can remain sharp, ensuring top-tier hiring decisions.

Pro-tip: Use digital tools like calendar reminders or special training apps to automate and track your spaced repetition schedule.

2. Applying these Principles to Interviewer Training

2.1 Improving Retention in Interviewer Training Programs

The forgetting curve highlights the importance of refreshing skills regularly to keep interviewers sharp and capable of making effective hiring decisions. Retention can be improved through spaced repetition, where those being trained revisit crucial points over longer times.

Ways to improve retention in training programs include:

  • Spaced Repetition: Train interviewers in intervals to reinforce the memory.

  • Interactive Learning: Use role-playing and mock interviews for practical learning.

  • Feedback Loops: Provide continuous feedback and adjust learning plans accordingly.

  • Regular Assessments: Use quizzes and practical tests to gauge retention and understanding.

Pro-tip: Incorporate digital tools like Evidenced to record and transcribe interviews. This allows interviewers to revisit their previous interviews and refresh their skills continuously.

2.2 Techniques to Enhance Memory Retention for Interviewers

To combat the inevitable decay in skills, you need to employ techniques that embed the information more deeply into long-term memory. Repetition and application in real contexts can significantly help. For interviewers, practical experience combined with theoretical knowledge is essential.

Effective techniques to improve memory retention:

  • Active Recall: Encourage interviewers to actively recall information by regular self-testing.

  • Application of Knowledge: Make interviewers apply what they learn in real-life interview situations.

  • Discussion and Teaching: Encourage interviewers to discuss techniques with peers or train newcomers.

  • Scheduled Reviews: Plan frequent review sessions to go over the key points from earlier training sessions.

Evidenced can assist by ensuring the training is not a one-off event but a continuous learning process. By using Evidenced, organisations can regularly review transcripts and recordings to provide contextual feedback, reinforcing the skills required for effective interviewing.

2.3 Evidenced: A Tool for Reinforcing Learning in Interview Situations

Maintaining interview skills over time requires constant reinforcement. Evidenced stands out as an essential tool for this purpose. It records and transcribes interviews, allowing interviewers to review their own performance, share examples of best practices and solicit feedback from peers and managers.

Key benefits of using Evidenced:

Evidenced can also highlight where interviewers are drifting from the best practices, allowing teams to identify where targeted training or support is needed. This regular feedback and guidance is crucial for preventing the decay of interviewing skills over time.

Incorporating these practices into your interviewer training transforms it from a static, one-off event into a dynamic, ongoing process. Tools like Evidenced play a key role in facilitating this approach, making the learning process continuous and ensuring that the skills required for effective interviewing are always at their peak.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is spaced repetition important for learning?

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that involves reviewing information at increasing intervals over time. This method has been shown to be more effective than cramming for long-term retention because it interrupts the forgetting process and strengthens memory connections.

How can I apply spaced repetition to interviewer training?

Implement a structured training schedule with regular refreshers like monthly sessions, quarterly workshops, post-interview reflections, etc. Use tools like calendar reminders or training apps to automate review prompts.

What are some effective techniques for enhancing memory retention?

Active recall through self-testing, applying knowledge in real interviews, discussing with peers, scheduled review sessions. Also use tools like Evidenced to review past interviews.

How does Evidenced help reinforce interviewing skills?

Evidenced records and transcribes interviews, allowing review of performance. It provides real-time guidance, ensures consistent format, and enables post-interview analysis and feedback.

What are the benefits of continuous reinforcement for interviewer training?

It prevents skills from getting rusty, keeps interviewers sharp, ensures consistent hiring decisions. Turns training into an ongoing process rather than a one-off event.