Recruiting Tips

Preparing & Conducting Group Interviews | How Can Recruiters Master it?

A group interview is a popular recruitment tactic that recruiters often use to achieve better hiring results. 

Why? Because they not only save time but also bring details about a candidate to light that may otherwise go unnoticed. 

This interviewing strategy puts job seekers in a more competitive environment and tests their ability to thrive under pressure.

Whether you’re trying to find a candidate who can work in a fast-paced environment or recruiting several people to be a part of a team, it should be the ultimate strategy you must have up your sleeves!

5 Simple Tips on How to Conduct a Group Interview

1. Prepare & Analyze Their Applications

how to conduct a group interview

To conduct effective group interviews, you first need to analyze all your job applicants. Carefully go through their resumes, cover letters, portfolios, and other vital documentation to gain a deeper insight into who they are. 

Some job seekers will have a more personal tone in their cover letters and resume, while others will be more professional and reserved. 

Modern candidates like to use professional services to spruce up their resumes, and C-level applicants will probably use executive resume writing services to grab your attention. 

After all, they will need someone to put their years of experience and achievements in a one-page resume (to be honest, this is quite difficult). 

Notice the differences in their writing and then go ahead and do a preliminary match for a first interview. 

Depending on your goals, match completely different personality types or similar types of candidates in groups for interview rounds. 

2. Determine the Questions You Will be Asking the Group

The best way to elicit constructive and detailed responses to group questions is to present a problem or a specific scenario first and then ask the group how they would approach it and find a solution.

On the other hand, individual questions are not only for gauging how an individual acts when surrounded by their peers but also for getting to know each applicant in depth. 

You can ask each applicant, “why did you leave your job?” or “how do you approach teamwork and communication” and then note their answers in relation to the other responses.

If you’re interviewing candidates for a remote position, you might ask the group questions about what they see as the benefits and pitfalls of working from home and how they can take advantage of the positive aspects and overcome the negative ones. 

That said, capturing all of this information can be difficult, so you need more than one interviewer. The best way to preserve information and extract valuable insights is to record these interviews for later analysis. 

Don’t forget to use the right tools to make your group interviews successful.

3. Use HR and #RecTech to Your Advantage

how to conduct a group interview

To conduct group interviews effectively, you need to use the right technology, especially if you want to track your applicants through multiple stages or switch the candidates in each subsequent group.

There are several HR technologies that you can shortlist for your interviews. 

For instance, to conduct remote interviews, you will need a tool that can support multiple attendees and features like break-out rooms. 

To analyze and parse resumes, you would need to invest in a resume parser and an Applicant Tracking System to monitor all your candidates and store valuable data on every candidate in a centralized system.

This will allow you to structure and organize your group interviews using actionable data and reporting. It will also make the whole process easier on your team as a whole.

You need this information in a centralized system so that you and your colleagues can develop new talking points, questions, and challenges for your candidates to solve individually or as a group. 

4. Always Determine the Interview Structure and Milestones During Group Interviews

Group interviews can be overwhelming for both sides. 

It’s easy to lose control of the flow of your interview, especially if you don’t use the right tech, but also if you don’t have a clear structure and interview itinerary.

What’s more, your candidates may become disengaged from the whole process, and the best talent might decide to grab another job offer

Always remember that a good interview keeps people engaged and preps them psychologically to become a part of your brand and your employee collective.

With that in mind, be sure to:

  • Define your interview goals and OKRs (objectives and key results)
  • Prep group and individual questions with their time slots
  • Have clear talking points with timestamps
  • Leave enough time during the interview for questions and answers
  • Allocate time for end-of-interview feedback
  • Arrange appropriate times for problem-solving and break-out sessions
  • Include regular pauses during long interview sessions

5. Evaluate the Candidates 

Lastly, don’t move on to the next round of interviews before analyzing the data and extracting valuable insights about each candidate and the group as a whole. 

If you are recruiting for a high-performing team, the individual and group data you collect will be invaluable in shaping every subsequent interview until you find the team composition you are looking for.

On the other hand, if you are using group interviews to test individuals, you will need both data sets to gain a complete insight into a person and how they’ll fit in the new workplace. 

Individual traits will give you an insight into their future performance, but group insights will tell you how well they’ll work in a team when it comes to:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Trust
  • Transparency
  • Culture
  • Accountability 

Keep these simple-to-implement tips in mind on how to conduct a group interview, and it will allow you to source the right talent in record time

Remember that these need a lot of planning and resources, but if done strategically, they can work wonders in your recruitment process. 

Tell us about your experience in conducting group interviews in the comments!

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