On Our Minds

Working with so many organizations across multiple issue areas gives us a unique view into what’s happening in the social sector. This is where we share our insights and ruminations.
The Second Round: What to Share and How to Share It
In advance of second round interviews, we are frequently asked some variation of the following two questions: ”Should I share my feedback from first round interviews with my colleagues before they meet candidates?  Shouldn’t I allow them to form their own opinions?” To these questions, we respond: “yes and yes.” To make the best use of everyone’s time, we believe that it is important to constructively share what came out of the first round of interviews, while encouraging interviewers to form their own assessments – ones that enable the hiring manager to confirm or disprove initial observations and delve more deeply into potential fit for the role. We recommend the following three steps.
  • Put the current set of candidates in context – Before meeting candidates, interviewers should understand each candidate fits into the broader context of the search.  Typically, we share the following:
    • Statistics – How large was the applicant pool? How many candidates have advanced to this stage thus far? While each candidate should be judged on his or her own merits, without regard to how many candidates came before or will come after, interviewers benefit from having a sense of how robust the pipeline has (or has not) been.
    • Source – More importantly, interviewers benefit from knowing where each candidate came from and his or her level of interest in the role. For instance, did the candidates at hand proactively apply?  Were they cold called?  An active job seeker who proactively applied for the role will typically need less cultivation than a passive candidate who was invited to apply for the role.
    • Process – Interviewers should have a sense how extensively candidates have been vetted and who has done the vetting.  Similarly, interviewers should have a sense of what the remainder of the interview process looks like.  This will enable interviewers to understand where their feedback fits in to the larger assessment and will enable them to consistently set candidates’ expectations.