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You’re probably familiar with the concept of job shadowing, but have you heard of interview shadowing? Interview shadowing is an easy way to ensure that your team’s interview process is always efficient and fair. This is especially important during technical interviews, when candidates need to be evaluated on a variety of skillsets, and usually by members of the existing technical team. Proper coaching and feedback during the interview process is beneficial not just for the technical team, but for the company and the candidates as well.

What is Interview Shadowing?

Interview shadowing is pretty self-explanatory – it’s when one employee “shadows” another interviewer by listening in, but not participating verbally.  If it’s a video interview or phone call, this can be very discreet as the shadower can just put themselves on mute or turn off their webcam. If it’s an in-person interview, it can be a bit more difficult.

The purpose is to evaluate the interview itself, not the candidate. One employee may be wording questions incorrectly or adhering to interview bias and not realize it, so having someone sitting in and observing can bring these issues to light. After the interview is over, the shadower should talk it over with the interviewer for around 15 minutes to share any feedback they have.

How Often Should You Participate?

Interview shadowing shouldn’t be a one-time event. New employees and tenured employees alike should be participating every few months to keep the quality consistent. New employees who aren’t familiar with the company’s specific interview process should go through proper training, and shadowing interviews is a great way to do this. Employees who participate in the interview process for new members of their team should also be shadowed periodically to make sure the process isn’t broken.

What is the Outcome?

The goal of interview shadowing is to improve the process for the current team and make the candidate experience the best it can be. If there are problems in the process, this is the perfect way to address them and take the next actionable steps, whether that’s bringing in an interview coach to help or reworking your entire technical interview process. Much like being interviewed, interviewing is a skill that not everyone is blessed with, so this feedback process is essential.

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