Group interviews are a recruitment technique used by employers in order to assess and evaluate multiple candidates at the same time. Group interviews can either be conducted as an initial screening for individuals, who can then be invited for a one-on-one interview in the future. However, it is likely that group interviews are conducted with individuals after their one-on-one interview as a tool to evaluate their behavior with other individuals.
The traditional structure of group interviews follows a simple guideline: introducing candidates and the company, outlining the structure of the interview and then conducting a group activity or discussion to engage all individuals present. The most important part of the group interview is the activity or discussion as it enables all individuals to participate and contribute.
Recruiters design the structure of the activity and discussion based on the industry and type of job they are interviewing for. For example: a company that wants to hire an individual to work in marketing, they can design an activity around marketing a product. This includes brainstorming ideas and reaching a marketing plan of action. Through these, the employer will be able to see the team-building, initiative, leadership and communications skills of all individuals present at the interview.
The rest of the group interview is based on the first part of the interview. Interviewers are advised to ask questions based on the activity and subsequently ask all candidates questions, alternating the order, to ensure that they are all able to provide their feedback. Some example questions are outline below:
- What was the plan of action and how was it devised?
- How was the team work successful?
- What was your personal contribution to the team?
- How did you propose to resolve any conflicts?
- Describe one of your team members
fter the questions about the activity have been answered, interviewers are able to move into more personal territory with the interviewees and ask questions in regards to their personality and skills. It is important to lead onto these questions gradually and asses how the candidates respond to questions that are targeting their specific skills. These questions include:
- How did you skills help you in making the right decision for this task?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What would you bring to this position?
- What appeals to you the most about this position?
After the interview is finished, it is important to inform all candidates of the follow up procedure and when they should expect to hear from the recruiter. It is advised to ask the candidates if they have any questions as this provides them with the opportunity to voice their queries and clarify any information.