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Whenever someone is interviewing for a position, they typically interview with the manager they will be working under and possibly one or two others, like human resources personnel or a recruiter. However, some companies are now using peer interviews to get a better picture of how well a candidate will fit in. Peer interviews also help sell the company to the candidate. Here’s why peer interviews will make your company more effective at identifying outstanding employees and convincing them to join up.

What are Peer Interviews?

Peer interviews involve a group of team members conducting an interview of a prospective employee. Although the practice is not commonplace, it isn’t exactly new. The point of peer interviews is to sell the company to the candidate by allowing them to meet some of the people who work there.

Today there is such a significant demand for top talent in certain fields that it has become necessary to sell the company to the candidate and convince them to come work there. Selling the company to a job candidate has become extremely difficult, but some experts feel peer interview questions are the most important tool for convincing candidates who are in demand to come to the company.

Other top tools include a data-driven sales approach and personalized offers for the candidate. Here are several reasons peer interviews are so important now.

Peer Interview Questions Are More Revealing

When it comes to job interviews, speaking with managers won’t be as revealing as speaking with peers, who work the job every day. Fellow employees can better explain the positives of working for the company and present a more compelling case because they speak from the point of view of a peer rather than a manager.

Managers tend to reveal basic information about working for the company, but a candidate’s peers will be able to share their experience and stories about what it’s like to work there. Some studies have indicated that the best way to leave a lingering impression about the company with a candidate is to tell them stories about what it’s like to work there. In-person sales pitches can be quickly adjusted based on the candidate’s immediate reaction to them.

Peers will also be able to help candidates understand what kind of impact they will have on the company if they come to work there. This is important because every team member wants to feel as if they are contributing something and having a major impact.

Greater Understanding and Credibility

Another benefit of peer interviews is the fact that a candidate’s employee peers will have a better understanding of what will really matter to them. This is critical because managers may not focus on the most important aspects of working at the company, but other employees generally will. Peers will talk about what they like most about working there and what their greatest challenges are. They will think like a prospective employee, which enables them to sell the company by focusing on the aspects that will most likely receive a “yes” from the candidate.

Prospective employees will also view their peers as being credible sources about what it’s like to work for the company. Managers generally offer a glowing view of what it will be like to work for a company because they’re looking at things from the top. However, employees know what it’s really like to work there and will be seen as sharing an honest review of the company. They are also more likely to share a real view of what it’s like to work there because they know the prospective employee will hold them accountable if they get hired.

Letting Their Guard Down  

Peer interview questions also enable them to provide even more information about the job than what the candidate would get if they only spoke to management. Employees have a greater understanding of the day-to-day operations of the business than any manager or recruiter. They will also be in a better position to answer any objections the candidate may have about working for the company. Because candidates will view them as more credible sources than management, they will be more likely to believe positive responses to their initial objections.

Candidates will also be more likely to let their guard down when they are talking to their peers than they will when speaking with management. This will enable their greatest concerns about working for the company to be addressed.

Meet the Team

The opportunity to meet the people they will work with is also a great selling point for the company. The candidate will know that they aren’t going into a new job with no idea about what it will be like. They will already have met their co-workers, so they may start feeling part of the team much more quickly than if they hadn’t met their co-workers during the interview process.

Even candidates who are difficult to convince may be more likely to come work for the company if they know they will be getting a team they really mesh with.

Other Advantages of Peer Interviews

Perhaps the greatest benefit of peer interviews other than being able to sell the company is getting another opinion on job candidates. Having input from a greater number of people will enable you to better understand whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for the company.

Involving employees in the hiring process will also make them feel more involved in key hiring decisions. It makes them feel like their opinions are valued, and it can even boost morale and employees’ loyalty to the company. Employees may also be more accepting of the candidate if they are asked for input on the decision. Engaging them in the hiring process is also an excellent way to prepare them for future leadership opportunities at the company.

Peer interviews are becoming more and more common as the years go on, and as a result, there is more data to support their use. Many hospitals use them when hiring nurses, and even Amazon and IBM have been known to use them. Virtually any company can benefit from conducting peer interviews.