Group Interviews

One way companies can mitigate hiring-related risk is to use Group Interviews. But you’ve been told that group interviews are too challenging to plan and worse to execute. It seems like so much trouble; you might as well do the tried and true – right? Wrong. Here, we will explain the benefits of conducting group interviews and guide how to achieve them effectively.


Why Do a Group Interview? 

So, why do a group interview? For one, a group interview is the way to go if you’re in a time crunch and need a whole group of people hired quickly for the same position. It’s not only more affordable, but it’s a massive savings of your valuable time.  

In a group setting, you can compare your best candidates and see which shines brighter than the rest. You can ask questions across the group and evaluate their responses in real-time. While a group interview may be a little stressful to everyone concerned, it is especially so for the interviewees. But that is okay – primarily if the job entails some pressure. In the group interview, you can observe how your best candidates deal with stress, keep their composure, and even relate to the other interviewees.   

Another facet of the group interview is that there are a few interviewers. Multiple people observing and hearing the same behaviors and responses will provide several opinions. Your team can rely on something other than your second-hand information to make their decisions or contributions. You can all see what you need to see at the same time.   

Three colleagues going over the results of a group interview.

How to Host a Group Interview 

Hosting a group interview will take planning. Here are five steps for a smooth interview process: 


  1. Inform your candidates that it will be a group interview. It is inconsiderate and counter-productive to neglect this step. The candidates need appropriate preparation to put their best foot forward. And just like your preparation for a group setting will be different, so will theirs. Give them at least a week’s notice, and recognize that many personality types don’t do well in a group setting but might still do a great job.   
  1. Get together with the other interviewers. The interview can only go smoothly if you and the other interviewers are all on the same page. Go over the questions you will ask and how you will conduct the interview.  
  1. Allow each interviewer to introduce themselves. At the very start of the group interview, allow each interviewer to say who they are, their position, and why they are a part of the interviewing process. This will break the ice in the room and help the candidates to feel at ease. 
  1. Take turns asking questions – no interrupting and no repeat questions. Have a moderator among the interviewers to ask the agreed-upon questions in order. And remember to designate a time for the candidates to ask questions.  
  1. Evaluate the candidates. Soon after the candidates are released, all interviewers should take a brief break and reconvene to evaluate them.   


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What Are the Benefits of a Group Interview? 

There are many good reasons to do group interviews. Here are a few: 

Interview Multiple Applicants Quickly 

If time is an issue (which it usually is), you can interview multiple applicants in one go. Interviewing one person at a time is time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring several people for the same role.   

Finding Great Teams 

You can observe your candidates interacting and working together in a group setting. This can give you great insights for team-building later. You can know early who works well with others and who doesn’t. 

Quickly Find the Best Candidates in the Group 

No matter the setting, your best candidates will begin to shine. It is difficult to tell the best candidates from their applications, but you can find the best, most appropriate people when you see them in the room with their paperwork.  


Three happy young women at the end of a successful group interview.

Put Their Skills to the Test 

The group interview with exercises will cause your candidates to utilize their soft skills. 

These are: 

  • Communication 
  • Adaptability 
  • Teamwork 
  • Problem-Solving 
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Time Management 
  • Interpersonal Skills 


This information is invaluable in choosing the right people. 

Find the Leaders 

A group setting will immediately reveal people with natural leadership abilities. You can observe that some candidates defer to others. Knowing who has leadership potential is still good, even if you aren’t hiring for a leadership role.  

Are Group Interviews Right for You? 

We’ve discussed the benefits, but here are a few other things you should consider when considering a group interview.  


  • There is little privacy for candidates. As every candidate can hear the responses of the others, some may hold back information to avoid embarrassment. This might be the information you need.  
  • You won’t notice everyone. Some personalities speak up in a group and get noticed, while others get overlooked. There may be some excellent people among your quiet candidates that you will miss.  
  • Candidates won’t be themselves. If one candidate’s opinion or answer to a question seems well-received, others may jump on the bandwagon, never sharing their true selves. 

Methods You Should Use in Your Group Interviews 

In your group interview, you will, of course, include the usual question-and-answer format. But depending on the role you’re interviewing for, you may consist of some group activities. These can demonstrate teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills.  


Finding the Best Candidates in Your Group 

Despite the cons of conducting group interviews, you must recognize the benefits. This is a method of interviewing that can save you time, money, and effort. It can also help you pick out the best candidates in the group by hearing their responses and working together to see their soft skills in action. 

Are you looking for a recruitment company that understands your hiring needs? We strive to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with employers and job-seeking professionals. Contact Work/Life Recruitment today.  



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