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Pre-Interview Stakeholder Meetings for Effective Hiring

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Posted On Jun 11, 2024 

At first glance, an interview may seem simple. You assemble some team members to consider a candidate based on the appropriate skills, questions, and character assessment. Easy. In reality, there is much more that stakeholders should consider to ensure a fair and positive experience for the candidate.


A pre-interview meeting sets the stage for a more effective and smooth interview process that benefits both the candidate and the employer. It allows the team to prepare for a comprehensive assessment of a future employee and makes the interviewee feel as if they’ve had a fair and thorough evaluation. Win-win.


How to execute an effective pre-interview meeting


Before the initial interview, the interviewer (yes, that’s you) should set up a 15- to 30-minute meeting. Note that you don’t necessarily have to do this for every candidate.

Some cases where this might be useful:


  • When hiring for a completely new position
  • When more than six months have passed since the role was initially opened
  • When the interview panel differs significantly from that of previous candidates.
  • In the event of a company transition, such as restructuring or merger


What to include in the pre-interview meeting


A good way to stay organized and keep everyone on track is to send out a shared document. On it, include:


  • Link to the job description
  • The focus area designated to each interviewer, along with sample interview questions
  • A comprehensive overview of the interview process, specifying the responsibilities of each individual involved, from initial screening to extending an offer
  • Descriptions outlining the ideal qualities of a candidate (referred to as "benchmark candidates")


Be sure everyone involved has access to the document, is well-versed in the job description, and is aware of the organizational requirements for filling the position.

The “pre-brief”


During an interview, it is crucial to avoid appearing disorganized or out of sync with each other as a hiring team. The goal is to present a united front and showcase your company positively to the candidate. Holding a pre-brief meeting before the interview can alleviate potential oversights and ensure that everyone is on the same page. You can assign each interviewer their own

specific assessment area to drive the conversation forward in a structured way, presenting a well-coordinated and professional image to the interviewee.

Once the team is clear on their individual focuses, it’s helpful to give everyone an idea of the “best-fit” candidate so they may gauge each person as the interview progresses. Outlining a description of the characteristics and skills of the “perfect” candidate will help with this. Use past candidates as a benchmark if the role has been previously filled. This pre-brief protocol will increase interview success and even inspire the team with potential referrals.

What if there’s no time for the pre-brief?


If you are facing a tight timeline and unable to conduct a pre-brief meeting, request the hiring manager to share the document that outlines each interviewer's role, the candidate's background, and a description of the ideal candidate. All this to say, it’s important for the hiring team to be just as prepared as the interviewee will be!

For more guidance on attracting the right candidates to your organization, connect with an LHH recruiter today.