7 Effective Strategies to Train Your Hiring Managers to Acquire The Best Talents


The purpose of job interviews is to figure out if both parties will benefit from the hire. Employers use interviews to assess whether a candidate's education, skills, experience, and personality suit the job vacancy and demands.

As a hiring manager or recruiter, you may encounter some problems during a job interview, such as managing the interview process, asking inappropriate or illegal questions, or making a snap judgment. This is why interview training for hiring managers and recruiters is important to ensure a smooth hiring process.

In this article, you'll find a comprehensive training guide for hiring managers, which includes interview tips, and the do’s and don’ts. By following this guideline, you can train your hiring managers, or if you’re a recruiter yourself, to become better at selecting the right talents.

The Importance of Interview Training for Hiring Managers

Recruit effectively

Training for interviews will help ensure that each interview goes as smoothly as possible, resulting in an effective recruitment process. When knowing exactly what your company is looking for in an ideal candidate, you know what information to ask and pull. This can help you to recruit the right people in the most effective way (time-to-hire).

Create a better interview experience for candidates

Candidate experience refers to how an applicant feels when going through your organization's recruitment process. This encompasses not just those who excel in the interview but also every participant in the hiring process. To achieve this, gaining knowledge of interviewing skills and techniques is important.

Enhance your business branding

Creating a positive candidate experience will present your company in the best light and thus promotes your employer brand. Through the training for hiring managers, you can learn about how unconscious bias may show up during the interview process, how to follow up with candidates after a job interview, as well as legal “to-dos” and “not-to-dos” in general. These are the key elements of a successful business brand.

Avoid inappropriate interview questions

Doing so will reflect badly on both yourself and your company image. 

Below are 8 topics you should never question the candidates about in an interview:

  1. Race or ethnicity
  2. Religion
  3. Marital status
  4. Gender or sexual orientation
  5. Whether or not they have/plan to have children
  6. Whether or not they have any health problems (except when physical strength is required for their jobs)
  7. Retirement plans
  8. Salary history 

📚 Further reading: 55 Illegal Questions to Avoid Asking in a Job Interview

While interview training for hiring managers is highly advisable, other individuals who might have the duty of conducting interviews should attend the training program as well. These include:

  • Company founders
  • C-level executives
  • Heads of Departments
  • Team leaders
  • HR staff
  • Recruiters
  • etc.

How to Train Interviewers in 7 Steps

Thorough training for interviews is the first step toward ensuring a smooth interview process. Here’s how to build an effective interview training program for you and your HR team.

#1: Help them acknowledge the need for interviewer training.

First off, it's critical to persuade those in charge of conducting job interviews that they need training. Even though experienced hiring managers probably know how to build rapport with applicants and identify the good ones, they still find it a struggle to:

  • Handle interview anxiety
  • Learn new, complex interview techniques
  • Identify and combat unconscious bias 
  • Avoid cliche questions 
  • Maintain consistency among different candidates

Since these don’t always come with hiring and interviewing experience, untrained interviewers can lead to bad interviewing and hiring results.

To convince your colleagues about the importance of this, you should prepare an interview training for hiring managers PowerPoint that discusses the current recruitment performance and give them some pointers on what they can improve. 

#2: Create an interviewer checklist.

Think of it as a guide that helps you have a clear idea of what you need to do and what you should ask candidates in the interview. This hiring manager’s interview guide may also consist of the specific steps you should follow to make your interview experience a successful one.

Below is an example of an interview checklist for hiring managers:

I have read the candidate's resume and other relevant documents.
I know what skills and qualifications are required for this position. 
I know what duties and responsibilities are involved in this position. 
I have briefly introduced myself and other fellow interviewers to the candidate. 
I have delivered a good description of the business and the company culture.
I have prepared all interview questions to identify suitable candidates. 
I have dedicated time for the candidate to ask his/her own questions.
I have explained the recruitment process to the candidate. 

#3: Train them to avoid bias in the selection process.

Unconscious bias is part of human beings. However, this can be a hindrance when it comes to hiring a diverse workforce for your company. All applicants should be given an equal chance to compete for the job opening, regardless of their gender, age, or race.

To become the best interviewer, you should be able to identify and remove all forms of bias from the recruiting process. But how?

Here are 8 best practices for hiring managers to avoid bias when conducting an interview:

  • Educate your hiring managers and recruiters on the subject.
  • Aim for diversity goals. Try DEI questions.
  • Follow a predetermined interview guide with the same questions for every candidate.
  • Conduct panel interviews or structured interviews. 
  • Take notes as you go. 
  • Make decisions based on candidate evaluation forms. 
  • Perform a background check only when the candidate has accepted the job offer. 
  • Ask for candidate feedback after the job interview. 

#4: Provide information on types of interviews.

Each type of interview adopts a specific format with different characteristics. Learning about the most common interview types will allow you and your team to come up with the best interviewing skills and training. On the other hand, a lack of understanding can play havoc with the interview process and create a negative candidate experience. 

There are 15 major types of interviews used by most companies, including:

  1. Traditional interview
  2. Behavioral interview
  3. Structured interview
  4. Semi-structured interview
  5. Unstructured interview
  6. Video interview
  7. Phone interview 
  8. Panel interview
  9. Group interview
  10. Informal interview 
  11. Case interview 
  12. Job fair interview
  13. Technical interview
  14. Competency-based interview
  15. Final Interview

📚 Further reading: 15 different types of interviews you need to know

#5: Coach them on body language.

When it comes to communication in general, body language is extremely important. It refers to nonverbal cues such as smiles, facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures, and posture. 

Using proper body language is a key interviewing skill and training that helps interviewers like you demonstrate professionalism, which in turn better reflects the employer brand. The fact is that positive body language suggests that the individual is approachable, attentive, and open to new opinions. Apart from this, you can understand how the candidates are feeling — whether they are confident or nervous and whether or not they are truly interested in the role.

#6: Make sure they know the requirements of the role.

Make sure everyone who is responsible for hiring decisions will read the job description carefully. It may sound simple, but some people don’t know what the job entails and just choose to “go with the flow" instead. 

Listed as the most common interview do's and don'ts for hiring managers, reviewing the JD prior to an interview helps you come up with relevant questions to ask candidates and be able to answer their questions regarding the position as well. Besides that, you can clearly identify what the best fit looks like based on the requirements included in the job ad. 

📖 Further reading: How to Write a Job Description that Attracts Perfect Candidates

#7: Train them to write interview feedback.

Some candidates are not the right fit for your company. In this case, how to provide clear, constructive feedback to candidates is another essential interview skill when training hiring managers. Doing this the right way can offer them valuable insight for their next interviews and maintain your positive employer brand.

Example of giving feedback to interview candidates:

“After a thorough discussion, we have decided not to move forward with your application. We can see your enthusiasm and passion for architecture design. However, this role needs in-depth expertise that you can gain over the next few years.”

Another aspect of interview feedback refers to when your team reviews and shares opinions about the candidates joining the interview. Well-rounded hiring decisions rely on effective communication and collaboration within the team, so everyone should be able to provide fair, coherent feedback.

Example of giving feedback to interview candidates:

“After the interview with A, I can see her keen interest in the Digital Marketing position in our company. She also did a lot of research on our company prior to the interview. However, she has no experience in SEO, which is a must-have for this role. We could consider her in the future if we have an opening for Social Media Marketer. This seems to be her area of expertise.”

Common Interviewer Mistakes

Besides interview best practices for hiring managers, you also need to be aware of some common interview mistakes that can sabotage your own recruitment process. Learning how to avoid these is also as important as interviewing skills and training. 

❌ Show up late.

Not only candidates but employers have to be on time for the job interview. A lack of punctuality may be a sign of unprofessionalism and ruin your company’s image.

❌ Start with questions immediately.

Doing so can make candidates really stressed and nerve-wracking. Instead, start by introducing yourself and walking them through the interview process, which helps ease into the interview in a friendlier way. These are important interviewing skills and training for managers. 

❌ Be unprepared. 

There is nothing worse for a job interview than a lack of preparation. The interview best practice for hiring managers is that you should prepare in advance, including:

  • Go over the candidate's CV, cover letter, and portfolio 
  • Identify the key skills and qualifications that the perfect fit will possess 
  • Prepare an interview evaluation form 
  • Create a list of interview questions you will ask
  • Research the questions that the candidate might ask you 

❌ Make quick judgments

While it's normal for you to develop a positive bias toward candidates with impressive job applications before meeting them, you should avoid jumping to conclusions during the interview. This might lead to hiring the wrong person very quickly and destroy your employer's brand.

❌ Be dominant 

Speaking more than listening is another critical part when it comes to training interviewers. You want to break the ice and ask them a lot of questions. You want to advertise the job and promote the company. Yes, however, it’s also crucial to let the candidate do the talking 70% of the time. That way, you can see their skills and qualifications better. 


By implementing these seven strategies, you can train your hiring manager to attract and acquire the best talent for your organization. 

In a nutshell, make sure to equip your team with the necessary knowledge and skills; this can greatly enhance your recruitment process and secure top-tier candidates. Investing in training and development is essential for a successful hiring process and can pave the way for long-term growth and success within your organization. 

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