The Importance of Post-Interview Debriefing with Your Candidate

As a recruiter, it’s normal to focus most of your time on the “before” part of the interview process. First you have to identify top candidates, then comes the phone screen, next, approval from the hiring manager and finally the interview prep. But your job shouldn’t end there. Post interview debriefing is just as important as the pre-interview prep and should be done after every interview. Here are the 5 main reasons I feel a seasoned recruiter should do a detailed debriefing with the candidate after his/her interview with the Hiring Manager.

1.  Opportunity to ensure your understanding of the Hiring Manager expectations:

The questions asked in an interview will help reveal what's most important to the Hiring Manager. If your hunt or job description differs from the questions asked, it will lead you in right direction and help you find better questions.

2.  Opportunity to get a feel on Hiring Manager decision on candidate:

The candidate will usually share his/her thoughts on how the interview went & whether or not he/she was able to adequately answer all the questions in his/her opinion. Hence, you can get an advance indication on the outcome of the interview and plan your further search strategy for the role accordingly. A lot of the time, if the Hiring Manager has really liked the candidate, the call will end with an indication for a next step like: "I would like to meet you soon, let me revert with my availability,” or “how soon will you be able to join,” or “when can you come in for an in person meet" etc. Hence, you can approach the Hiring Manager accordingly to expedite the steps.

3.  Opportunity to get a grip on your candidate's thought process & feel for the role:

In debriefing, the candidate will often share his further thoughts on the job & his experience during the interview. This information will help you  get a sense on his interest level in the role & excitement for the opportunity.

4. Opportunity to gauge the candidate's perspective on interview methodology & process:

Any negative feedback during the candidate debriefing helps in evaluation of any changes needed in the interview process.

5.  Opportunity to establish a new connection:

Last but not least, debriefing will help you to further strengthen the candidate-recruiter relationship. It will also give you an opportunity to sense any red flags from the candidate. A great candidate-recruiter relationship can go a long way, and if the candidate doesn’t land this role, maybe they’ll be perfect for another role down the road. You never know when you will be able to utilize his/her skills for a future position.

I hope the above information shall motivate you to make a habit of candidate debriefing if you’re not doing it already and ultimately give you a better understanding of Hiring Managers’ expectations & candidate interest and hence, the fulfillment of open jobs.