Lessons Learned: Interviewer Training Best Practices

Jean Paul Rastrullo
Oct 5, 2021
Roblox: Manager, Recruiting Coordination

After nearly a decade recruiting for global, high-growth companies, I’m convinced that developing a well-thought-out, structured, and effective interview training program is one of the most impactful things that recruiting teams can do to successfully compete for talent.

I joined a pre-IPO Pinterest in 2017 and over the course of my four years there, the company tripled in size, going from 1000-3000 employees. We opened new global markets and in some cases, quadrupled the size of existing teams. We also experienced some familiar recruiting growing pains:

  1. Our interview teams began to fatigue after years of high-volume interviewing leading to interview declines and slower hiring processes.
  2. We struggled to continually manage and train existing and new interviewers to ensure their aptitude for evaluating talent.
  3. We had to learn to be a global company, adapting to remote interviews, differences in time zones, and maintaining a consistent candidate experience across borders and teams.

Interview training builds consistency and rigor in how your organization evaluates talent. This mitigates bias and ensures that candidates experience the same interview process and are hired based on the same principles. When done properly, it sets the expectation that hiring is a team sport. Interviewers will feel more confident and prepared and will be better representatives of your company. Moreover, regular interview training will increase the size of your interviewer pools, reducing interviewer fatigue, and allowing for hiring at scale. 

This is also why I am so excited to share that I have signed on to be an advisor for ModernLoop, an innovative company that seamlessly integrates interview training operations with the processes of interview scheduling. 

While building out your interview training program is one of many steps needed to compete for talent in today’s unprecedented markets, it’s a critical one for teams that intend to win. Below are three recommendations for doing so that really shine with a platform like ModernLoop behind the scenes. 

Leverage a shadowing mechanism that ensures that interviewers are prepared before meeting candidates on their own. 

Shadowing can act as a buffer for newly hired employees who are not ready to interview candidates. It gives them the opportunity to observe, experiment, and be coached on how to properly assess talent according to your company's principles.

I recommend including both shadowing, sitting in and observing a trained interviewer's meetings with candidates, and reverse-shadowing, having the newly trained interviewer observed when taking their first interviews. The booking of these sessions is done with ease in ModernLoop and new interviewers who pass the program are recorded and managed in the tool for future interview scheduling.

Develop a centralized and connected system for the tracking and administration of your interviewer populations.

For many companies, training is managed in an unruly spreadsheet that doesn’t scale with hiring needs or worse, in a learning management system that is disconnected from recruiting tooling. Both options lead to a plethora of manual work and will require bandwidth from your teams to be effectively managed.

Connecting this system to an interview scheduling platform like ModernLoop is the best case. It makes your interviewer pools available during the scheduling process, guaranteeing that only trained interviewers are meeting candidates, and readily offering alternatives when changes need to be made. ModernLoop also allows you to assign newly hired employees to be trained up as interviewers through the shadow and reverse shadow requirements specified per interview type. This way, your company is continuously growing the pool of interviewers. Moreover, ModernLoop is constantly looking out for your team by balancing interview load at every opportunity during the interview scheduling process so that you can optimize and properly spread your interviews out across a larger population.

Utilize tooling that is capable of interview scheduling and interview training for a growing distributed workforce.

The pandemic has changed the way that we work. Workforces have become distributed and global. This adds a layer of complexity to interview scheduling and interviewer training as recruiting teams now have to consider time zones and virtual interviews when evaluating talent. 

ModernLoop simplifies interview scheduling and interview training processes by finding the best dates and times for the interviews based on the working hours and respective time zones for your interviewers and trainees. 

Video conferencing has become the de-facto method of conducting remote interviews. In the past, interviewers were able to see if an interview had concluded by looking into a physical room. Today's internal interviewer coordination and communication is handled by private Slack channels dedicated to each interview loop. ModernLoop's Slack integration helps automatically create these private Slack channels and include all relevant information about the interview loop so that interviewers are well prepared to meet the candidate.

Given what we’ve learned about remote workforces and the persistence of Covid-19, I firmly believe that virtual interviews are here to stay, even with a return to pre-pandemic work life. The companies that will win the war for talent are those that will be armed with the tools that enable them to scale in this new era of recruiting.