So, you have to hire many employees quickly for similar positions. You can set up days’ worth of individual interviews and waste most of that time, or you can arrange a group interview. 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’ll explain why you should consider doing group interviews, their benefits, and how to conduct them, so you reap all of those benefits.
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 to get 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’ll be able to compare your best candidates and see which shines brighter than the rest. You can ask questions across the group and comparatively 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. Having 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.
How to Host a Group Interview
Hosting a group interview will take planning. Here are five steps for a smooth interview process:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take turns asking questions – no interrupting and no repeat questions. Have a moderator among the interviewers, so the agreed-upon questions are asked in order. And remember to designate a time for the candidates to ask questions.
- Evaluate the candidates. Soon after the candidates are released, all interviewers should take a brief break and reconvene to evaluate them.
Is your company hiring? The outcome must work well for you and we can help with that. Demand the best – visit Work/Life Recruiting today!
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 when you see them in the room with their paperwork, you can find the best, most appropriate people.
Put Their Skills to the Test
The group interview with exercises will cause your candidates to utilize their soft skills.
- 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 as some candidates defer to others. Even if you aren’t hiring for a leadership role, knowing who has leadership potential is still good.
Are Group Interviews Right for You?
We’ve discussed the benefits, but here are a few other things you should keep in mind 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 information you need.
- You won’t notice everyone. In a group, some personalities speak up 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 include a couple of group activities. These can demonstrate teamwork, problem-solving, and communication skills.
Related: DO YOU KNOW WHO HAS YOUR RESUME?
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 to pick out the best candidates in the group by hearing their responses and having them work 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.