I work for a company where there are regular job walk-ins or scheduled face-to-face interviews. A few relevant technical staff would be selected to be interviewers and they would be part of the panel. The vacancy need not be for their own project but could be for any team/project in the entire company.

In the next few days, a few of my sub-ordinates would be part of such panel. Most of them are pretty excited about being at the other end. Though the HR person has given a few basic instructions, I want to add a few more.

From my past experiences as an interviewee, I have made a few observations as to how an interviewer should not be, esp when it is merely a technical round. For e.g., not getting into personal details, not making fun of them if they cannot answer a basic or a tough question, not coming across as condescending etc. In short, if I were a part of the panel myself, I would do none of the above. I keep it point to point. I want to convey the same to my sub-ordinates. I do not want to make it a boring lecture, but want to keep it succinct.

While doing so, will I be doing something that my role doesn't ask for? Will this be taken as an unsolicited advice? Or should I let my subordinates go with their own flow? I am into a senior role managing the technical aspects of my project.

  • 1
    Does the staff give you any indication that they would do any of those things? Mocking/getting personal/being condescending, et cet? Jun 7, 2018 at 13:44
  • Not really sure about that. But, I feel that being an interviewer gives a power which could be abused. But, since I manage only the technical aspect of my project, I was wondering if I might cross my role boundaries. Jun 7, 2018 at 13:49
  • Whether you're justified in telling them how to interview in your capacity as their superior would be a question only someone in your company can answer. Whether you're justified giving some advice as more of a mentor (which managers often are) should be judged based on what the advice is, what you know about them and what your relationship looks like. For what it's worth, I personally would be kind of offended if someone thinks I need to be told to not make fun of or be condescending to candidates. Jun 7, 2018 at 15:51
  • "I feel that being an interviewer gives a power which could be abused." Did you abuse the power when you first took up the interviewer role? Did your supervisor at the time "educate" you on how to be an interviewer?
    – Masked Man
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:12
  • Has you asked them to interview you? ;)
    – jean
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:36

4 Answers 4


I don't often quote the big, black book, but ... "whatsoever ye would that men should do to you: do ye even so to them" - Matthew 7:12.

Get that idea across to them, and they should be fine. Short, sweet and to the point; it shouldn't take long to explain.

  • 1
    I find this truly succinct; something which I was looking for. Jun 8, 2018 at 15:41

Have anyone you wish to train give you a mock interview. Give them feedback on what they did right/wrong. During this interview, deliberately make mistakes and gauge their reactions.

  • 2
    Doing mock interviews has the benefit that it is relevant regardless of the work or country's culture and helps instill exactly what you are looking for which can vary from company to company.
    – Anketam
    Jun 7, 2018 at 15:51
  • Having a list of predetermined questions, especially in a technical interview is good. It keeps the interview on track and lets the interview hone in on strenghts and weaknesses based on the interviewees answers.
    – Keltari
    Jun 8, 2018 at 8:41

It depends on how you phrase it. I would phrase it lightly as it is technically not your job, but something along the lines of

Hey (coworker's name), I had a few tips for you about your interviewing position. I remember during my interviews I really found it (uncomfortable, unprofessional, etc) when the interviewer did...

And then go through and list your concerns. Keeping it lighthearted will make your suggestion feel more like a suggestion rather than a demand. Crack a joke or two about a bad experience you had in an interview, or something along those lines.

Past your suggestion I wouldn't think about it too much. Once you made your suggestion don't press them anymore and let them do what they think is best.

  • 1
    +1. Best to avoid micromanaging the process. Feel free to give them some tips but ultimately, it should be up to them to decide on the best approach. Jun 8, 2018 at 3:48

The manager of a team is supposed to set the team expectations for hiring a new employee. As a subordinate on the interviewing panel, I would also expect to have a say in determining the team guidelines for interviewing.

I would tell your subordinates some thing along the lines of:

I am confident in your abilities to determine the candidate's technical skillset. However, I want to make sure that our interviews are a consistent and fair experience for candidates. Here are my guidelines that I want to start with. I invite you to discuss your opinions on these and any new guidelines you would like to add.

  • They also will likely need help on the aspect of fitting into the team vice purely technical questions. Cultural fit is extremely important in hiring and those things are not so easy to determine when you first start to interview people. Questions on how they work as well as technical knowledge are critical.
    – HLGEM
    Jun 7, 2018 at 18:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .