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How to Conduct a Peer Interview

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Peer-to-peer interviewing occurs when a potential job applicant interviews directly with a member of his future work team instead of a supervisor or manager. This interview method provides a number of benefits, including familiarizing new employees with their coworkers and giving team members a say in who is brought onto their team. If you are preparing to interview a new job candidate and are not sure where to begin, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basic process of conducting a peer interview before you enter the room.

Work with your current teammates and managers to develop a list of questions pertinent to the position. Gathering questions from several people will help you create a strong list of interview topics to use in the actual interview.

Make a short list of the things you think are most important about your job. Since your potential new-hire will be performing the same tasks, you can look at your own performance for an idea of what type of person you need.

Add questions to your list that address how an individual will fit not just within your team, but in the company as a whole. Remember, you are hiring a new employee to your company first and to your team second.

Familiarize yourself with illegal interview questions. You are not allowed to ask about race, religion, gender, country of origin, age, disabilities or marital status, as hiring based on these qualities may be considered discriminatory. If you are unsure about your questions, ask a supervisor to check your list before conducting the interview.

Make eye contact with the interviewee but try to keep a casual atmosphere. You’re not looking to intimidate the new hire, just to get an idea of his or her skills and personality.

Keep interviews to 30 minutes or less, if possible. Long interviews will waste both your time and the candidate's, as you can usually get an idea of someone’s relative organizational fit within a half hour with the right questions.

Act friendly and personable but keep the interview professional. Do not delve into personal topics and avoid being derailed from your primary role--finding the best person for the job.

Tip

Remember to take notes on each candidate--you may see dozens of people and have to make a decision days after the initial interview.

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