Group interviews are ways to capitalize on time and keep the hiring process moving forward. Employers have found group interviews particularly effective when they have multiple positions to fill. Group interviews do, however, require a little more forethought and finesse than interviewing each prospective candidate separately. Here are five tips for establishing a dynamic group interview.
Communicate clearly. Each of your interviewees should know ahead of time that they will be participating in a group interview. We encourage employers to assign a question to each candidate when scheduling the interview. Since candidates are sharing the interview slot, a devoted question gives them some control over the experience and a chance to shine.
Clarify expectations. Discuss with the other interviewers what the format will be and how each interviewer will play a role. Give some consideration to how you will redirect candidates if one individual is dominating the interview.
Manage time. Because of the many variables, it’s easy for group interviews to get off kilter. Begin by introducing everyone—interview panel and candidates. Overview the sections of the interview for the candidates before beginning your questions. Build in buffer time to ensure you keep to schedule.
Invite interaction. Group interviews are not only efficient uses of time, they are also opportunities to see group dynamics at play. Assign your candidates a task and then note their communication, teamwork, and leadership skills.
Debrief together. Immediately circle up with the other interviewers to discuss your impressions of the candidates and assign next steps. Include any suggestions for how you can improve future group interviews.
Properly deployed, group interviews are one of the most effective—and underutilized—tools an organization has to address talent gaps. With the current hiring challenges, there has never been a better time to utilize group interviews.