Any recruiting leader is likely all too familiar with rogue interviewers—the ones who go off-piste when talking to candidates and threaten to undermine a high-quality hiring process. They can take many forms, but here are some of the most common types of rogue interviewers I’ve come across:
- The Egoist: Spends the majority of the interview talking about themselves. The fact that we’ve got a candidate to evaluate and attract is incidental.
- The Hesitator: Reluctant to make a strong recommendation on a candidate either way. They default to “yes” early in the interview process, then default to “no” when it comes to decision time.
- The Clone-seeker: In their view, the only thing that will do is someone that is just like them. They compare the candidate to themselves instead of to the rubric.
- The Loose Cannon: They think they’re doing you and the candidate a favor just by being involved in the interview. They pay no attention to the competencies they’ve been asked to assess.
No matter the type, the effect is the same: rogue interviewers seriously slow down your process and prevent you from hiring the best talent.
Recognizing a rogue interviewer is one thing, but what can you actually do to reduce the chances of them jeopardizing your hiring? Here I’ll outline three strategies to rein in rogue interviewers so you can preserve the speed and velocity of your hiring process.
1. Use your best interviewers to train the rest of your interviewers
The best companies rely on shadowing for training up new interviewers. Shadowing is when a trainee interviewer listens in on an experienced interviewer doing their thing. It’s a super effective way to show new folks what good looks like. It can calibrate them on how to run the interview, and on how to evaluate and judge candidates.
I strongly recommend you do this using interview recordings, because then you can handpick the very best interviews to train everyone on. Metaview can help you train interviewers based on a common bar of excellence while also automating the training process. In a Metaview Shadow Path, you choose best-in-class examples for each interview loop and use those recordings to create a training module for new interviewers. Trainees are then automatically enrolled in Shadow Paths and watch the recordings on their own time, removing the unnecessary complexities of manual scheduling. Recruiting teams have full visibility into where a trainee stands in the process and can reverse shadow trainee’s first interviews with candidates to provide feedback
By training everyone to a common standard, you can prevent the void of direction that gives rogue interviewers the opening to make up their own approach.
2. Always run debriefs
It can be super tempting to skip a debrief after a candidate has finished their interviews in favor of something seemingly more urgent at the time. But, if you do that, you are starving your wider interviewing community of valuable insight into WHY a decision was made on a candidate. This helps interviewers calibrate and, maybe, voice an opinion that gets debated which they can learn from.
Debriefs are a vital part of the feedback loop that makes interviewers more aligned and less rogue. The quality of the signal discussed in the debrief will help everyone involved realize whether you/they need to improve the interviews. Without this space to reflect and share what happened in interviews, it’s tough to know what really went on.
If you’re looking for tips on how to empower hiring teams to run high-quality debriefs, check out our guide.
3. Empower your recruiters with insight into what is actually happening in interviews
It's impossible to identify and coach your rogue interviewers if you do not know what is actually happening in the process. As a recruiting leader, you need to do what you can to make interviews less of a black box. You and your fellow recruiters rely on the quality and velocity of the interview process to achieve your objectives, so it’s imperative to know what’s really going on.
Having recordings, analysis, and summaries of your interviews is a game changer for finally being able to take control of your interview process. And it’s what your recruiters need in order to really be empowered. A solution like Metaview can help you achieve this. Metaview records and transcribes interviews, then provides metrics on consistency and rigor as well as AI-generated notes to make sure you’re captured all of the key points. When there’s conflicting opinions on a candidate or disagreement about how they rank on a certain skill, you can review recordings or notes about what actually happened, even if you weren’t present yourself. Visibility into what’s really going on in interviews can also be a powerful tool to ensure interviewers are delivering a strong candidate experience and gathering the right signal—all effective measures to identify and coach rogue interviewers.
With a few safeguards in place, you can quickly right the course when you spot a rogue interviewer in the wild. If you're looking to increase the quality and consistency of your interviews, we'd love to help.