The recruitment of competent employees is among the many important jobs of those in an HR role. When prospective recruits are found, part of the HR plan includes scheduling an interview for them. Due to how time-consuming individual job interviews can be, HR professionals may consider conducting group interviews instead.
What Is a Group Interview?
A group interview is a recruitment screen procedure where three or more candidates are interviewed in a single sitting. This method occurs when multiple prospects apply for a specific job and are more frequent occurrences during times of mass or urgent hiring. Each candidate receives identical questions. From there, they respond to said questions in turns. Doing so enables employers to speed up the reinforcement of their workforce.
8 Steps in Conducting a Group Interview
Like its more traditional one on one counterpart, a group interview comes with its own process. Here are the eight specific steps that any self-respecting employer or HR professional needs to know about:
Inform the Candidates
An employer can invite a candidate through SMS, email, or phone call. The message must contain information about the date, time, and venue of the group interview. And because of its nature, an employer can send the SMS or email message to multiple recipients simultaneously.
Arrange the Requirements for Interview
In the midst of preparing the group interview, an employer must arrange every requirement before it takes place. In-line with the previous step, the employer should inform the candidates of the requirements in advance, such as what documents to bring and the proper dress code. Other important preparations, such as formulating an interview checklist and reviewing several hiring tips, are also required.
Introduce Yourselves to the Candidates
Courtesy is a must for any great recruiter. Before the group interview begins in earnest, the interviewer must introduce himself or herself to the gathered applicants. Doing so will not only start the procedure on a polite note, but it also serves to put the interviewees at ease. Remember that relaxed prospects do better and are more open to sharing, making this a win-win situation.
Ask the Candidate to Introduce Themselves
As a warm-up for the questions to come, grant the candidates a chance to introduce themselves. Aside from stating their names, credentials, professional background, and other useful information, encourage them to open up about their interests and hobbies. This promotes a friendly atmosphere and is among the first steps in employee engagement.
Start the Group Discussion
After the proper introductions of both parties, the actual session begins. In this step, the interviewer will discuss the company’s overview, organizational structure, and training and development procedures. After that, he or she will explain further the nature of the job vacancy being applied for by the candidates.
With the discussions finished, now comes the part where the interviewer poses the questions to the applicants. It is required that each question be relevant to the job vacancy and must help with assessing the candidate’s qualifications.
Observe the Candidates Carefully
As each candidate answers the interview questions, the interviewer will carefully observe them. He/She will assess whether their answers are in-line with the questions. And it’s through their responses that the interviewer can evaluate how knowledgeable the candidate is of his or her field. The interviewer will then take notes of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates based on their answers.
Conclude the Interview
After all the asking and answering of interview questions, the interviewer will conclude the session. Some employers will let the candidates wait for the results of the selection process, whereas some will let them leave and inform them later through SMS, email, or phone call if they got the job.
Why Conduct Group Interviews?
There’s no denying that one on one interviews lead to successful hirings. However, group interviews still boast considerable advantages that would be otherwise unattainable. Stated below are those advantages and why every employer should consider group interviews.
Especially in urgent mass hiring situations, group interviews can help employers lessen the time spent in the hiring process. Interviewing candidates individually can take days or even weeks, provided the necessity of follow up interviews.
The hiring cost of a single employee can reach up to $4,192 on average, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. Because group interviews save time, the money spent on recruitments will lessen substantially.
Can Find Candidates Who Are Good at Teamwork
Before a group interview starts, the candidates will likely socialize with each other to keep themselves company. If an employer sees that a candidate manifests excellent social skills, it could mean that he/she is capable of working as a team. A person’s behavior in a social environment can be used in measuring how well he/she functions within a team setting.
Can Find Candidates Who Can Work Under Pressure
Job candidates, whether they’re walk-in applicants or came from an employee referral or recommendation, must have the capability to work under pressure during operations. In a group interview setting, an employer can measure that capability through the candidate’s articulation quality in answering the questions with the presence of others. If the candidate maintains composure in doing so, it’s very likely that he/she is capable of working under pressure.
Easy Comparison Between Candidates
Putting various job candidates on the same boat can help the employer in determining the best among them. A group interview setting is an excellent stage for that. The employer can easily compare the candidates because they’ll be answering the same questions during the interview. He or she can then formulate detailed interview feedback afterward.
Can Spot Potential Leaders
A candidate with an exceptional leadership skill can manifest it in a group interview set-up. It can be spotted on his/her strong demeanor and grace in answering the interview questions. Most likely, a candidate who is a potential leader will standout amongst his/her co-interviewees.
Employees are a company’s most important resource. With that said, employers and HR managers must emphasize the interview process. Following the steps in conducting group interviews–and understanding its importance–can lead to your company boasting a roster of competent workers in the near future.