Human Resources: Running a Successful Group Interview

Does your Human Resource Department hire for a number of positions that involve regularly working with teams or customers? Or do you often hire a number of people at once for the same position? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, your team might want to consider hiring using group interviews.

Group interviews are an excellent option for interviewing a large group of candidates at once. With a well-organized group interview, you can evaluate candidates for leadership and team-building skills, adaptability, and even get to know them one on one.

To run a successful group interview, keep the following pointers in mind:

Keep staff / candidate ratios low. There should be a minimum staff to candidate ratio of 5:1. If you can’t meet this ratio, make groups smaller. Keeping ratios low makes it much easier to effectively evaluate all the candidates and ensure the interview process runs smoothly.

Allow ample time for the interview. It takes longer to interview a group of candidates than one. A typical group interview is at least 2 1/2 hours long, giving time for introductions, activities, informal socializing, and summarizing initial impressions of each candidate.

Evaluate candidates on a variety of skills. Group interviews are a great way to quickly digest significant information about each candidate. Ask candidates to prepare to participate in a ‘getting to know you’ icebreaker, a group activity similar to a task they’d complete in the workplace, and to be ready to give a brief talk to the group. You’ve just scored their ability to work in a group, connect verbally, and present effectively, without even meeting the candidate individually.

Allow time for questions. Just like in individuals interviews, take some time to explain the role you’re hiring for and leave time at the end for candidates to ask questions. With more candidates, there will be more questions.

Give break and hydration time. Long interviews mean it’s important to give your candidates a break to rest and take care of personal needs. Although not a requirement, coffee, tea, soda, and snacks are a great way to keep candidates happy through the process.

Our Human Resource services will help you successfully interview and hire great candidates. Contact us to learn more.