Building an interview process that scales

Available for Roles Super Admin, Admin, Team Member, Limited Team Member
Permissions • Manage profiles and view associated postings
• Create and edit postings
• Manage feedback forms
• Manage Easy Book links
• View Visual Insights reports
Packages Lever Basic, LeverTRM, LeverTRM for Enterprise

Hiring is time-consuming and expensive. Getting it right is crucial, and getting it wrong can be detrimental, especially for organizations trying to scale quickly. Develop an interview process for your organization using some of Lever's key features in order to hire top talent quickly and efficiently. In this article, you will learn how to use Lever to organize your interviews, automate your parts of your recruitment process, and use feedback to improve over time.

Defining interview questions

Time is money. Scaling companies know they need to avoid spending too much time interviewing the wrong candidates - time that could be spent attracting the right candidates or completing other core recruitment tasks. An efficient interview process screens most candidates out during the "cheap" interview stages, and reserves "expensive" interview stages for its best qualified candidates:

Interview stage tiles with arrow running along the bottom and dollar signs placed cumulatively along the arrow.

Organizing and prioritizing your questions ahead of time will help you identify less-than-ideal candidates early on in the process - before you have invested time and money into a lengthy interview process.

Which questions need to be asked and when do they need answers?
In other words, if a hiring manager phone interview is the final screening process before an on-site interview - and an on-site interview is "expensive" - what does a hiring manager have to find out before they feel confident inviting someone to the office?

Once you have decided what to ask and when to ask it, hold your team accountable to asking these questions by building them into feedback forms. Feedback forms keep your team organized, prepared, and focused on the criteria that matters. They also capture interview feedback in a structured way, so that you can gather insights about your overall hiring process.

Remember to choose the most appropriate answer format, identify required questions, and use feedback form groups to organize your feedback forms.

Feedback form editor


Need some inspiration? Check out some of our sample feedback forms to get started.

As a best practice , we recommend making the overall rating question required on every feedback form. This ensures that your team's feedback is action-oriented, since neutral feedback or notes without any overall recommendation will not move your hiring decision forward. Requiring a decisive rating will help you adjust for any points in the interview process where you might not be asking the right questions. If a hiring manager feels they do not have enough information to give a rating, that is a sign you may need to rethink the questions on the feedback form.

Overall rating question in feedback for editor

Getting colleagues involved in the hiring process

Organizing your interview process into structured feedback forms means you can involve more of your team in the hiring process. One or two people shouldering the burden of interviewing, a common occurrence at small organizations, is unsustainable. You need the expertise of your entire team to make the right hiring decisions. You need the time of your entire staff to prevent scheduling bottlenecks and interviewing fatigue. By providing instructions, structured questions, and specific areas of focus, even brand new interviewers can participate in the process. For example:

  • General hiring dealbreakers should be handled by a recruiter, wherever possible
  • Career motivations may be best assessed by a hiring manager
  • Pure technical evaluations (for example, grading homework assignments or pairing assignments) could be handled by junior members of your technical team

At this point you may be asking yourself, "What if some of my team members have never interviewed before?". An interview training session will open up the hiring process to greater participation throughout your organization. It will also be a great refresher for experienced interviewers. During this session, you should cover how interviewing is done at your organization, which interview questions are illegal in your area, how to guard against unconscious bias, and how to provide your candidates with a great experience.

Once you have identified who will be responsible for each segment of the interview process, you can build out a default interview plan. Default interview plans empower recruiters and hiring managers to do their own scheduling by configuring stage-specific interview kits and linking them to postings.

Interview plan on a posting

To learn more, refer to our help article on creating an using interview plans.

Automating your interview process

Further streamline your interview process by automating key administrative tasks.

Use Easy Book links to automate scheduling 1:1 phone interviews
Eliminate tedious back-and-forth by allowing candidates to self-select a time that works for them based on their interviewer's availability. To learn how, check out our Easy Book links help article.

Interview availability as it appears to a candidate booking via an Easy Book link

Set up automatic interview reminders to promote accountability with interviewers
When scheduling an interviews with candidates, you can configure interview reminders to notify interviewers in advance of their upcoming interviews, as well as after their interview to remind them to submit feedback. To learn more, refer to our help article on scheduling interviews.

Send interview reminders through Slack
If you are using Slack for workplace communication, Lever's Slack integration allows you to automatically send out interview reminders and feedback requests to interviewers. Note, this feature is only available with the LeverTRM for Enterprise package or the Advanced Automation add-on. To learn more, refer to our help article on Slack notifications.

Using feedback to improve your interview process

Like your organization, your interview processes are always evolving. For organizations that are just getting their interview process off the ground, we recommend focusing on shortcomings in the process as opportunities to learn. For each candidate that ends not being a good fit for a role, ask yourself "Did we identify them as a bad fit as early as we could have?".

To identify patterns that can answer this question, take a look at the 'Stage conversions' chart on your Pipeline dashboard in Visual Insights (check out our Pipeline dashboard help article to learn more). Are you conducting on-site interviews with lots of candidates who turn out to be under-qualified?

Stage conversions chart

Are there interview questions that you could have asked earlier in the process that would have helped stave off those under-qualified candidates? If so, review your feedback forms (especially ones typically associated with early interview stages) and look for places to slot in questions that will suss out key information earlier on. General deal breakers such as job location, basic qualifications, and hiring timeline can and should be asked during an initial phone screen.

Are candidates coming into interview stages with misaligned expectations about the role? Consider updating your job postings to include precise and honest descriptions. If you are not willing to interview candidates without a certain qualification or ability, make this explicit in the posting. To learn more, refer to our help article on creating and managing job postings.

Are your colleagues missing crucial information they need in order to decide whether a candidate should move forward? Add those questions to a feedback form for an early interviewing stage. Remember, we strongly recommend making the overall rating question required on all feedback. If interviewers do not have enough information to know whether a candidate should move forward, find out what would make their decision easier and make sure this information is gathered in earlier stages of the interview process.

When it comes to feedback submission time, a good benchmark to aim for is returning feedback within 48 hours of an interview. Use the 'Time to complete feedback by interview' chart on the Interviews dashboard in Visual Insights to identify outlying interviewers and coach them improve their feedback submission time (to learn more, refer to our Feedback dashboard help article).

Time to complete feedback by interviewer chart

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