Peer Interview: A Complete Guide
During the regular interview process, the candidate may not open up easily to the hiring manager, so to ease the anxiety of the candidate and find out whether the candidate is an excellent organisational fit, a peer interview is a great help.
This article will be a complete guide on peer interviews, including the pros and cons, steps to create a proper peer interview process, and commonly asked peer interview questions.
What Is a Peer interview?
Interviewing with the hiring manager or recruiter is the custom interview process, whereas, in a peer interview, the job seeker will sit down with the employee working on the applied role.
In other words, it’s an interview between peers (the people with something in common). Peer interviewers estimate whether the job seekers will be good team members.
The peer interview process is conventional in small and team-based companies. Through the process, the companies find the best team fit for their organisation as it is a significant success factor.
Large organisations, like Google, Facebook and Gitlab also widely use the peer interview process.
Advantages of Peer Interview
Peer interviews mutually benefit both the hiring managers and the job seekers. Here are some of the ways it does:
Better Team Environment
To lead a team and to have good teamwork coordination, the communication between the team members should be strong. The peer interview lets the employee and the future peers discuss needs and work styles to assure a better team environment.
The employee working on the team knows the team dynamics better than the hiring managers, which makes the hiring decision of the candidate with great teamwork skills easy.
Clear Outlook of the Company
The candidate gets a clear picture of the job, the company culture, and the organisational structure after being interviewed by multiple team members as the peer interview process gives different perspectives, opinions, and viewpoints. This realistic job preview helps the candidate make the right decisions.
Anxious Free Candidates
Usually, the other interviews are stressful, primarily when it is held face to face with the CEOs or hiring managers. In contrast, peer interviews make the job seekers feel comfortable and anxious-free, while letting them be themselves, resulting in a good understanding between the interviewer and the candidate.
Clear Q and A Session
Hiring managers will likely not know all the employee’s daily tasks, work ethics, and the team environment. Whereas, the peer interviewers who have held the role before know all the candidate requirements that allow the peer interviewers to ask better questions and get a better answer in return.
Peer interviews make the team member/peer interviewers more interested in the hiring process as they hold higher responsibility for bringing new hires. This sense of responsibility and cooperation builds a healthy work environment and a team of potential coworkers.
Disadvantages of Peer interview
Without proper guidance, the peer interviews could be an absolute failure. Some of the disadvantages of peer interviews are:
Peer interviews cost so much time, and the process is overwhelming as it involves many people. Sometimes, peer interviews are conducted by two or more team members. The peer interview method involves interviewing the peer interviewer and sharing the feedback with the hiring officials and the other peers, which is highly time-consuming.
Hiring a candidate who positively contributes to the company’s success is not the primary motive of the peer interviewers, which will subconsciously activate the biassed mindset. Sometimes, the peer interviewers may connect to one candidate and give the individual a positive review even if they are not a perfect team fit.
Untrained Peer interviewers
Hiring managers should train their peers to conduct an interview. Interviews conducted by untrained peers might result in illegal and unprofessional actions. Teaching their peers will be additional work and consume much of the time.
Skilled candidates applying for the same role or position will sometimes threaten their peers. Peers might consider the job seeker a rival and intentionally give negative reviews. The organisation might lose a candidate who is a perfect job fit.
Negative portrayal of the Company Culture
Peer interviewers might shed a negative light on the company culture while discussing the internal viewpoint of the company, which can give the candidate a wrong impression about the company.
Steps to Create a Proper Peer Interview Process
As mentioned above, peer interviews are an overwhelming process, but here are some steps to create a formal peer interview without the risks.
1. A Thorough Interview Training for the Peers
The first step to a proper peer interview will be consistently training the peer employees for the interview. Peer interviewers must be aware of the process. Peer interviewers and the employees should discuss all the peer interview questions beforehand. The hiring managers should test their peers before the interview, determine their skills and select the right interviewer.
2. A Perfect Interview Structure
Peer interviews are liberal compared to other interviews, but it has to have an established structure for the interview process. Hiring managers should impose a time limit and discuss the peer interview questions with the peers before the interview.
3. Clear Candidate Requirements
Hiring managers should clearly state their new hire’s expectations to the interviewer. Peer interviewers should have explicit knowledge of the job description, avoid personal life talks, and should not be biassed toward the job seekers. Interviewers who do not follow these specific rules should not be allowed to interview.
4. Standardised Evaluation Process
The standard evaluation process creates consistency through a feedback system. Feedback on pre-defined areas through a rating scale is a great way to analyse and compare different evaluations, which can help the hiring process.
5. Peer Interview as a Secondary Interview
Conduct a peer interview on a job seeker the hiring manager has already picked through an interview process. Since Peer interviews are time-consuming, they should utilise them efficiently.
6. Final Decision
Hiring managers should give utmost importance to the peer interviewer’s opinion, but the hiring managers or supervisors should make the final decision. The final decision should be made clearly after undergoing the whole process correctly.
Commonly Asked Peer Interview Questions.
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What type of work environment do you enjoy?
- What kind of company culture do you work in best?
- How did you hear about this position?
- What did you do in your last job?
- What did you talk about with the previous interviewer/hiring manager?
- Why are you looking for a new position right now?
- What motivates you at work every day?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- Are you a team person?
- Do you have any questions for me?
These commonly asked peer interview questions break the ice and help both individuals to understand each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do companies use peer interviews?
Peer interviews help hire a candidate who is a perfect organisational fit since the peer interviewing process focuses keenly on the candidate’s personality traits. The team-based companies can form an excellent cooperative team environment through peer interviews.
2. What is the difference between regular and peer interviews?
Interviewing with the hiring manager or recruiter is a custom interview process. In a peer interview, the job seeker will sit down with the employee working in the role for which they are applying.
3. What are the advantages of peer interviews?
The hiring managers and job seekers mutually benefit through peer interviews. A Peer interview helps build a better team environment, gives a clearer outlook of the company, makes candidates feel less anxious in the peer interview, and has a straightforward question and answer session between the interviewer and the interviewee.
Peer interviews benefit hiring supervisors and job seekers by giving a realistic viewpoint. The hiring official can see if the individual is an excellent organisational fit, and the candidate can determine if the job fits them.
Proper communication between the hiring managers and the employees is essential. Peer interviewing requires some hard work since it is a long process.
The peer interview brings existing and future employees together, which results in forming a better cooperative team. A company’s good team with potential coworkers is a significant success factor for the organisation.
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