what is a group interview?
A group interview is an interview in which a panel of interviewers or a single interviewer interviews multiple candidates simultaneously. Such interviews are becoming increasingly popular, allowing organisations to save time and money by interviewing multiple candidates at once.
Group interviews are standard in retail, hospitality, and food service industries. For instance, industries that employ seasonal employees for the holiday season often use group interviews.
when do employers use group interviews?
Employers tend to use group interviews for entry-level or semi-skilled positions. These positions often receive a high volume of applications, making it difficult to interview each candidate individually.
Group interviews are also used for positions that require teamwork or customer service skills. By observing candidates in a group setting, employers can better understand how candidates interact with others and handle customer service inquiries.
what are the advantages of group interviews?
A group interview has the following advantages:
- Efficiency: Since multiple candidates are interviewed simultaneously, group interviews save organisations time and money.
- A variety of perspectives: Group interviews allow employers to gather various perspectives from different people. It can help make hiring decisions.
- Assessment of team skills: Employers can assess how well candidates work in a team setting and how they interact with others. Gauging this is especially important for positions that require teamwork.
- Assessment of performance under stress: Many people tend to be stressed when performing in front of a group. A group interview allows employers to see how candidates react under pressure.
when is a group interview not the best option?
Although group interviews work well for some employers, there are certain situations when a group interview is not the best option.
when hiring for leadership positions
When interviewing for a top position within an organisation, it is usually best to interview the candidate one-on-one. For instance, if you're hiring a project manager for your design team, you want to know the candidate's qualifications, work experience, and personal strengths and weaknesses to make the best decision.
A group interview will limit your one-on-one interaction with the candidate and may give you an inaccurate picture of their qualifications.
when you need to evaluate specific skills
If you're looking to fill a position that requires specific skills, like a marketing strategist or web developer, you'll want to give the candidates a chance to show off their skills in a one-on-one setting. Unfortunately, a group interview makes assessing each candidate's skill set difficult.
when you're hiring for the long term
Group interviews are best for seasonal or short-term positions. For example, you can use a group interview if you need to hire additional customer support staff for the holiday season.
But what if you need to hire a manager for your new store? What if you want to hire talent for a year-long project? A panel interview is the better option in this regard.
how to conduct a group interview.
If you're planning to conduct a group interview, there are several factors to remember. Here's the general process:
1. tell the candidates
Avoid surprises by letting the candidates know they will be interviewed in a group. It will help them mentally prepare for the process.
2. create a structure
Before the interview starts, decide on a structure. Will each candidate be interviewed individually? Or will you direct a question to everyone and get an answer from each candidate?
Whatever you choose, make sure other interviewers also know. Everyone should be on the same page to prevent confusion.
3. prepare questions
Since you're interviewing a group, avoid general questions. Instead, prepare specific questions that are in line with the job requirements.
Suppose you're hiring support staff for the holiday season. You can ask questions such as:
- Have you worked in customer service before?
- What are some of the most challenging situations you've handled?
- How do you deal with demanding customers?
- What would you do if you couldn’t solve a customer's issue?
4. make introductions
On the day of the interview, introduce yourself to the candidates. Give them a brief overview of the interview process. For example, you can say, "We'll be asking each of you a question. We'll then give you a minute to think about your answer. After that, we'll open the floor for answers."
5. take turns asking questions
If two or more interviewers are present, take turns asking questions. Doing this ensures you don't overwhelm the candidates. It also gives everyone a chance to focus on one question at once.
After the interview, take some time to debrief with the other interviewers. Discuss the candidates' answers and decide who to call for a second interview.
streamline and speed up your group interview process.
Group interviews can save time, but only if you automate repetitive tasks and delegate admin tasks. With hireful's ATS, you can reduce your admin time by automating repetitive tasks, such as sending interview invites.
Plus, you can speed up shortlisting and improve collaboration by gathering feedback from all your interviewers in one place. It allows you to move candidates through your process quickly and efficiently. Schedule a 15-minute intro call with your team to learn more.