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Debriefing candidates first, WHAT?


Mar 31, 2023

Why do we debrief a candidate after the interview?

Why do we debrief a candidate after the interview?

Debriefing is the MOST overlooked process in recruitment? WHY?

It all comes down to being LAZY and not really understanding the value of this step.

Now that the candidate understands the role and possibly the company better than you do it’s time to collect this information so you can increase your knowledge base to share it with future candidates.

The first candidate that you send into a client is the most unprepared candidate you will send. By doing a proper debrief you will gain tons of additional data-points that will better prepare the next candidate and so on.

An average candidate debrief:

We all ask the candidate to “call me after the interview” but what are you really getting from them on the call?

What are your typical questions?

  • How did it go?

  • Did you enjoy the conversation?

  • Are you interested in moving forward?

  • Bla, bla, bla …

  • What is the value you obtained from these questions? Nothing right?

So why should we dig deeper into this step?

  • Gain insights on what questions are asked during the interview

  • Gain insights on the culture of the company

  • Understand the hiring manager's style

  • Understand what the hiring manager is “really” looking for

  • What questions do they ask?

  • How difficult is it to locate the company?

  • What does the facility look like?

What information can you gather from a debrief?

  • Questions they ask in the interview

  • Culture - should future candidates not wear a suit or should they go more business casual?

  • What are the technical interview questions that may require a study beforehand?

  • Any behavioral questions they may ask?

  • Any testing or personality tests required?

  • How many people do the interview with, and who are they?

  • Any quirky things this client may do during the interview process? Some companies ask strange things from candidates, believe me

  • Any pet peeves the hiring manager has when interviewing?

  • How long does the interview typically last

  • Etc…

Questions to ask the candidate on the debriefing call:

  • So specifically what are the questions to ask to gather all this information successfully?

  • How did the interview go today?

  • Was the location hard to find?

  • Walk me through the process of getting into the office

  • Tell me about the culture of the company?

  • What was the hiring manager and the others in the office wearing? (Suit or no suit?)

  • What is the facility like? (open floor plan, modern, old fashion)

  • What did you think of the product or service offered? Cutting edge, average, or less than average?

  • In detail what were the questions they asked during the interview?

  • Let’s walk through them together ….

  • And how did you answer them?

Do you think you gave good answers? Why or why not?

(You can learn about what they are looking for here so take notes)

  • Did the hiring manager do most of the talking or did you?

  • What else can you tell me about the interview?

  • How many people did you talk with?

  • Who were they and titles?

  • What specific questions did they ask?

  • Who do you think is the “real” decision maker?

  • What is your gut telling you?

  • Do you think they will be calling you back for another interview

  • How long was the interview from start to finish?

  • Did they ask you about money at all?

  • What is your overall assessment of the company? Why?

  • Did they ask you about money at all?

Now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it?


Now you have a have a ton of valuable information that MOST (If not all, really) recruiters have overlooked!

Each time you debrief a candidate you will get additional information.

Update your information and profile the client and hiring managers.

This information is SO valuable and will be used to get more offers from clients

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