What is the Best Training for Interviewers?

4 types of interviewer training. One clear winner.

1 min read

There’s a bit of research about this and there seems to be at least four different types of training that can help interviewers.

  1. Regulatory compliance training, which focuses on whether there are any questions that interviewers have to ask, and what kinds of things they are not legally allowed to ask.

  2. Interviewers can be trained in questioning techniques. For example, some companies choose to teach interviewers about building rapport and asking different sets of questions.

  3. Training focusing on potential biases that interviewers may have and that can reduce the quality of their judgments.

  4. Frame of reference training, which involves providing people with examples of interviews and then getting them to rate the interviewee. The idea is that this helps create a common reference point for what good looks like.

Research shows all of the above can improve the validity of interview judgements, but presuming that you can’t provide all of them, where should you start?

Well, all interviewers should be given basic information about regulatory compliance. And there is evidence that frame of reference training can have a greater impact on the validity of interview judgements than training in questioning techniques. So our recommendation would be to focus first on regulatory compliance and frame of reference training. Beyond this, if time and budgets allowed for further training we would focus on reducing biases, and only after all this provide training in questioning techniques.

With some companies that we have worked with, for example, we have provided just the basics (regulatory compliance and frame of reference training) to the majority of managers, and then bias-reduction and questioning techniques training to a smaller subset of people who do a lot of interviewing.

© Nik Kinley, 2024

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