Improve Interview Process

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Improve Interview Process

Your hiring process decides the quality of your company. At a high level, we all understand this, but when attrition rates rise, new hires underperform, and we fall short of company goals, our hiring processes often stay the same- when it's the first thing we should be looking to improve.

One of the reasons for this is that improving the interview process requires a tailored approach. We have to look at our systems, interviewers, and processes and that takes time- something many of us don't have as we're already running lean. We then have to assess personalities and company culture to see if we're actually putting people into a place where they can thrive. In this section, we'll discuss why it's crucial to improve the interview process and its potential effects on an organization's overall recruitment and hiring efforts.

Why Improve the Interview Process?

The answer is simple- because it affects every aspect of your company. A well-designed and executed interview process will attract top talent, increase retention rates, and ultimately lead to better company performance. On the other hand, a flawed interview process can result in hiring the wrong people, high turnover rates, and negative impacts on company culture.

How to Improve the Interview Process.

Improving the hiring process requires looking first at what's not working. If you're not attracting the right talent, maybe you need to look at your public persona, brand, and company reviews on Glassdoor and other organizational review sites. This will tell you if your company has a positive reputation that can attract top talent.

Next, you need to evaluate the interviewers themselves. Are they properly trained in interviewing techniques and do they accurately understand the company's culture and values? Also, are you using a diverse panel of interviewers? This is critical as DEI has been a big focus in the last few years.

Now, improve your interview process. You can do this by structuring interviews to create a consistent approach to candidate evaluation. This will allow a fair comparison, reduce bias, and ensure the best candidates stand out based on merit and fit.

Finally, assess your technology and candidate sourcing. Leveraging an effective tech stack can save you time and engage candidates through the interview process. From your candidate sourcing, and engagement tools to interview intelligence and onboarding, each stage of the process can be optimized with technology- saving time and shortening time-to-hire.

Interview Process Steps

Once you've identified the biggest challenges to attracting top talent now we need to build an interview process that works. The interview process steps should be meticulously designed to filter, assess, and finally select the most suitable candidates for skills, culture, and values. Here's a breakdown of the basic steps in the interview process as well as a look at how they can be improved.


The initial phase of an interview process often involves reviewing applications and resumes to shortlist candidates and create a pool. Utilizing an interview process flowchart can help streamline this stage. The flowchart should help you clearly define the criteria for selection and ensure a consistent approach to evaluation. Common pitfalls include overlooking candidates with non-traditional backgrounds, varying levels of education, and those who may offer unique skills and perspectives due to diverse backgrounds.

Telephone Screening

A brief (usually 30-45 minute) call helps assess the candidate's communication skills, motivation, and suitability for the role. This step can filter out candidates who do not meet the basic requirements, saving time and resources. However, it's essential to avoid making snap judgments based merely on a candidate's phone demeanor - as this may not be where a candidate shows up the best.

First Interview

The first interview can be either face-to-face or via a video interview platform and it's an in-depth assessment of the candidate's skills, experience, and cultural fit usually run by the hiring manager. A common mistake in the first interview is relying too much on a hiring manager's gut feeling instead of using a structured set of questions for fair and objective candidate assessment.

Technical or Task-Based Assessment

Depending on the role, candidates may be asked to complete a case study, task, or test. It's critical that these assessments are relevant and accurately reflect the real-world skills necessary for the job- if they're not, not only will the candidate set false expectations of the role, but the evaluation process will be tainted.

Panel Interview

In a panel interview, candidates get to meet several team members all at once. It's like getting a 360-view of what they'll bring to the table in terms of skills and personality. It's a great way to get a sense of how the candidate will fit into the team dynamic and culture. Be careful though, this can be an overwhelming experience for candidates if not done correctly- make sure each member has a specific set of questions related to their area of expertise and that there is no overlap.

Final Interview

The final interview is usually conducted by upper management or the CEO to assess cultural fit and make the final decision. This step is important as it allows for a top-down evaluation of the candidate and ensures alignment with company values and goals. At this stage, a lack of coordination in feedback from previous rounds can result in repetitive questioning, reducing the efficiency of the interview process.

Offer and Negotiation

Making an attractive offer and being open to negotiation is crucial. Failure to transparently communicate expectations and compensation can lead to last-minute declines and is the biggest reason for failure at this step.

Improving the interview process steps requires us to take a step back and look at the whole process like a casual observer. This is challenging for those of us who have been conducting interviews for years, but it's crucial to make sure we're not missing any critical steps or falling into common pitfalls. Adopting an effective interview process flowchart that helps us define and improve each step is a key first step, but then we need to look at common areas for improvement including diversity in hiring panels, interviewer training, and implementing more effective candidate feedback mechanisms to ensure we're getting the best results.

The Importance Of An Equitable Interview Process

Over the last decade, a huge push has been made toward equitable interview processes. An equitable interview process is one that ensures that all candidates, regardless of their background, receive fair treatment and equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. This approach minimizes biases, both conscious and unconscious, and promotes a level playing field for all candidates.

Understanding the importance of an equitable interview process is key as it's the law, but it's also how you build a diverse team and inclusive culture. Before trying to build an equitable hiring process, look at your local guidelines to ensure your hiring processes and the strategies you're considering are compliant. Then, follow those guidelines to improve the virtual hiring process ensuring your team is treating everyone fairly and without prejudice. Some practical ways to ensure an equitable interview process include:

  • Using structured interviews with a set list of questions for all candidates
  • Diversifying the hiring panel to reduce biases
  • Providing equal opportunities for all candidates, including those with non-traditional backgrounds or varying levels of education
  • Implementing blind candidate screening so that candidates with unique and hard-to-pronounce names aren't overlooked.

Implementing these things not only enhances the fairness of the virtual hiring process but also expands the potential talent pool by removing geographical limitations, contributing further to workplace diversity.

How To Improve the Hiring Process

Now that we've covered the hiring process steps, how to assess which steps aren't working, and the importance of equitable hiring, let's dive into some practical strategies for improving your hiring process.

How to Improve the Recruitment and Selection Process

First, let's look at why you're losing your best candidates. Is it because of a long hiring process? Is it because your company culture isn't attractive to diverse candidates? Or is it simply because you haven't accurately defined the role and expectations for the candidate?

To improve recruitment, start with efficiency. Streamline your hiring processes by looking at each step and assessing its effectiveness in identifying top talent. Eliminate unnecessary steps and ensure that each step has a clear purpose, all while keeping the candidate experience in mind.

Next, consider ways to make your company culture and values more apparent throughout the hiring process. This can include sharing employee testimonials or highlighting diversity and inclusion initiatives within your organization. It may also include enrolling your employees in your search for talent offering bonuses and benefits for those that recommend great candidates who get hired.

Finally, look to improve each step of the hiring process with technology. Starting with tools like HireEZ that source candidates and ATS systems that serve as the foundation of your recruitment tech stack, look for efficiencies for each and every step. Consider seamless scheduling tools, interview intelligence software, and digital assistants that can communicate with candidates.

In conclusion, how can you improve the recruitment and selection process? Through intentional efforts to streamline the process, promote an equitable hiring experience, and leverage technology for efficiency. Continually assessing and improving these things will greatly impact the quality of your candidates and ultimately, the success of your organization.  So don't be afraid to challenge your hiring process and make changes as needed – it's all part of creating a successful and diverse team. 

If you've been struggling to create a hiring process that fits your company's needs, book a demo of Pillar today. We'd love to show you how interview intelligence with interview insights can help you improve your hiring process and attract better candidates.