Who Belongs on an Interviewing Team?

October 2023
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Including diverse perspectives in the interview process is vital to making smarter hiring decisions. A collaborative mix of professionals across levels and functions allows you to vet an applicant on multiple aspects of an open role, while also reducing the risk of unconscious biases coming into play. 

Every member of an interviewing team can focus on specific things, which allows for a 360-degree view of a candidate’s fit with the open role, the team and the business at large. For example, some interviewers will ask questions that build rapport and explore a candidate’s communication skills, while others will focus on past experiences, existing capabilities and future potential.  

Today, let’s look into the key players on a well-fleshed-out hiring committee (in the typical order of participation) in an interview process:

Talent acquisition

The front line of an interviewing team is most often your talent acquisition person, recruiter or member of the HR team accountable for staffing. Often responsible for digging through résumés, sourcing passive talent and conducting in-depth, preliminary interviews for an open role, this person is deeply knowledgeable about the organization and the requirements of the position.

They screen for candidates who could not only be a great match for the existing opening, but also who are more likely to be cultural fits with growth potential. The talent acquisition person fine-tunes the process strategy and provides interview tips and guidance to the other members of the committee. 


Direct peers (or, ideally, individuals just slightly more senior than the open role) make sense as the next conversation for candidates. The new hire will be able to emulate and learn from peers as potential colleagues and mentors. Having recently been in that role themselves (or something similar), they know what it takes to thrive and grow in the company. 

If they’re direct peers or will simply work closely with this person from another team, then those perspectives are still valuable. They know what is needed to boost overall productivity, and they’re also the people who feel the vacancy most directly. 

Hiring manager

The hiring manager is commonly the person who will supervise the new hire. In some cases, they are also the leader of the entire department. At this point in the process, the hiring manager has received insights from the talent acquisition person, as well as another trusted member (or two) from their team, regarding an applicant. They are thinking of ways that they will be able to make someone profitable based on the current needs of their clients and the business. 

They are also vetting the potential for long-term success for this person. If the hiring manager isn’t sold, then it’s unlikely that interviews will proceed beyond this point.


Senior leadership is included in some hiring teams as the final stage interview before a decision or offer is made. Senior leadership is looking at the bottom line and the future plans for the entire organization, not just the department making the hire. Some leadership is very far removed from new people coming into the business. So, when an interview process includes them, you’re witnessing leadership that is hands-on and invested in the people. 


While a lean, specifically tailored interviewing committee is usually the best way to go, sometimes it’s helpful for a candidate to meet other people in an organization. If you’re hiring someone who will manage people, then it might be nice for them to meet their potential direct reports over lunch in a less formal setting.

If you have ERGs or a DEI Council, then including a representative in the process, even on an introductory basis, might be helpful to the candidate as they look deeper into a company’s culture and values. 

Comparing the assessments of these key players in the business who make up your hiring committee will provide valuable insights that lend toward the decision-making. Be sure to debrief after each interview phase and take into consideration the varying levels of expertise and perspective as related to the open role. 

This cooperative, thoughtful approach to building your hiring teams will lead to more successful talent acquisition and staff retention for your business in the future.

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