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Specialization makes interview
panels more effective

Informal surveys of participants in my Interview Right to Hire Right presentations suggest that most interviews are conducted by panels, rather than by individual interviewers. Certainly, there are advantages to this approach. As we were told during our youth, “Two heads are better than one.” It may follow that three or four heads are even better.

There seems to be a shift in how panels conduct interviews. In the past a group would get together and divide up the questions to be asked. During the interview, panel members would take turns asking their assigned questions.

After asking the question, the interviewer scribbled furiously as the candidate answered. Other panel members might also take notes, or they would spend the time preparing to ask their next questions.

Today’s interview panels are becoming specialized. One person is assigned to ask all the questions, while other members concentrate on recording the candidates’ responses. Everyone is more focused on her task on the panel. Freed from note taking duties, the interviewer can concentrate on listening intently and asking supplementary questions to probe for additional information that will enable the panel to make a better hiring decision.

The note takers, who don’t have to keep track of when it is time to ask their next questions, are able to focus on creating an accurate record of what the candidate says. This accuracy will be important later when the panel is assessing the responses and deciding which candidate is best for the position to be filled.

Specialization by interview panel members improves the quality of hiring decisions.

During his Interview Right to Hire Right workshop, Nelson Scott trains managers and supervisors to attract the right candidate, interview effectively, make the right hiring decisions and to use meaningful staff recognition as a tool to improve staff retention and reduce turnover.


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© Nelson Scott.  All rights reserved.

A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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