Group Interviews: What You Should Know and How to Conduct It

January 6, 20171:39 pm2739 views

As businesses grow bigger and you plan to expand for wider market reach, it often requires to advertise job openings to meet the growing human capital requirements. The dilemma however is, there are hundreds or sometimes even thousands of applicants for a particular job role and all you seek is quality hires to meet the job demand as soon as possible.

However, with all the candidature filling your Inbox, you cannot afford to invest more time to interview each and every applicant. This can be a slow and time-consuming exercise for HR managers thus reducing on efficiencies.

If you are faced with similar problems at work, then conducting group interviews as a part of the recruitment process could be a great solution to find the best possible hire for certain positions.

Basically, during group interviews many applicants are gathered in a single room, to be interviewed simultaneously. The numbers can vary, and you can arrange it to suit your hiring preferences and requirements. Small group interviews usually comprise of only two to five people, while big group interviews could involve anywhere between six to twenty people.

The process of group interviews is increasingly used by many majors  to speed up the recruitment efforts, as it helps save on costs and energies invested. Not only this, leaders can also assess candidate’s ability to work with others, measure their leadership skills, and evaluate their ability to work under pressure in group environments.

See: Balancing the Power of ‘Carrot and Stick’

However, despite these benefits, conducting group interviews  seems like a daunting experience and exercise for many applicants and employers alike, owing to which many actually despise it. Hence, in order to conduct meaningful group interview sessions with the aim of finding the best talent for the right job, you need to conduct the interview right practising these steps below:

  • Inform beforehand

Before conducting interviews with applicants, make sure you have informed all candidates about the need to clear group interviews rather than individual ones. This way, they can be better mentally prepared. With no prior idea or intimation about the interview type, the candidates could be shocked or even choose to walk out before the interview starts.

  • Pick the right location

It is important to pick the right location to conduct group interviews that involve many people. Use a room that allows for little interruption such that you can conduct the session smoothly. Arrange the room, to suit the kind of atmosphere you would like to create.

For example, if you want an informal setting for a group interview then, arrange the chairs in a circle. This will enable candidates to interact with each other easily. If you choose for a more formal setting, classroom style chairs should suit better.

  • Introduce everyone

Do not jump onto the point of the interview before introducing everyone in the room. Introduction can a good icebreaker to start the session. Greet everyone in the room and introduce the interviewers on the panel. You might need to explain the interviewer’s name and position in the company, their job role and brief achievements.

After which, you can ask them to introduce themselves in turn. Do not appoint certain name on the list. Instead, ask them to volunteer to portray their leadership skills.

  • Initiate group discussion

The point of conducting group interviews is to see how people can engage working in groups. One of the best ways to conduct group interviews is by initiating a discussion. Throw an open-ended question for candidates to offer feedback, opinions and views on the subject. Candidates’ personalities will show up during the process. You can easily notice the good leaders, the egoistic, the respectful, and the close-minded.

  • Ask individual questions

During the discussion, you might notice that there could be few candidates who choose to keep their mouth shut. While there are some comfortable joining group talks, there are some others who choose to withdraw. It is important to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak, to express their views, ask individual questions to candidates to exemplify their capabilities for the coveted job role during the group discussion.

  • Invite candidates to ask

When interviewers have finished questioning applicants, you can ask candidates if they have something to say or some questions about the hiring process. Not only would it give them the  opportunity to seek for further information, but it would also allow hiring managers to assess candidate potentials based on the quality of their queries.

Read also: Effective Ways to Motivate Underperformers

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