A group interview is the next logical step after sorting through a sea of resumes to find a stellar candidate. A group interview is your chance to meet with multiple candidates at once and see how they interact with you, your team and each other.
At the end of the day you’re likely looking to hire just one person, so how do you decide who to move forward with from the group interview? Here are our tips:
Get Your Group Interview Off On The Right Foot
Before you start scouting the group for you superstar candidate, get your interview off on the right foot. First, introduce yourself and any other interviewers. Give a brief explanation of how the interview will unfold and what will be expected of applicants. Then, ask candidates to introduce themselves and answer one specific question, such as where they are from or what their favorite hobby is. If you’re interviewing several people or are likely to forget names, name tags would be appropriate.
Ask Targeted Questions
Then on to the fun part: let the interviewing commence! Ask a targeted set of questions to the group to spark discussion. No need to have the group respond in any specific order, instead let them talk as they please and learn to keep the conversation flowing. Watch to see how candidates play off each other’s answers.
A superstar candidate will speak up, show confidence and use other candidates’ answers as a spring-pad for their own. When candidates speak freely in this manner, keep notes on how polite yet assertive they are during the process. Be wary of the candidate who sits quietly until everyone else has spoken before chiming in. In the professional world, sitting by aimlessly while others excel won’t be tolerated.
Assign A Group Project
After fostering some group discussion and getting a sense of your candidates’ backgrounds and qualifications, get the candidates involved in a group project. The project can consist of everyone working toward the same goal or multiple, smaller groups doing the same thing. When you have a large group of interviewees, breaking them down into smaller groups will not only help you evaluate them better, but it will also give them a better chance to shine on their teams.
The project candidates do should focus on team-building and interaction. Give them an assignment that matches the job description. For example, in a marketing interview ask them to devise a branding strategy. You and your other interviewers should examine how the group members interact. See who takes a leading role in the project -- this is where your superstar candidate will shine. This person not only will feel comfortable taking charge of a group situation, but will also do it with ease and confidence.
Assess How They Treat Group Members
Finally, at the conclusion of the interview see who initiates walking up to the interviewers, shaking their hands and thanking them for their time. At the end of a grueling interview, most people in the group will forget this simple step. When the first candidate steps forward to thank you, smile and celebrate the fact you’ve found a superstar.