April 15, 2014 – Colleen Niese – Insights

The Group Interview: One Session, Many Hires

Four candidates competing for one position.
Four candidates competing for one position.

If you oversee a location that has high turnover at the hourly worker level or are about to open a location with several open positions to fill, you know interviewing, evaluating and hiring at a quick clip is essential to maintaining operational standards and meeting expectations. Sometimes taking the time needed to interview several individuals one by one simply isn’t feasible for the hiring manager due to the sense of urgency inherent in these operational situations. When time is of the essence, hiring managers can use a Group Interview approach to interview several applicants simultaneously to then evaluate and select, for either a second interview or in some cases, straight to hire. When using the Group Interview approach, keep in mind the following best practices to ensure the hiring manager gains the most from the process in hiring the best candidates available for the job.

Job Ads

Write the ad more from a tone of marketing and selling than informing. The first line of the ad should be a solid “hook” to keep the reader interested in learning more about the job opportunity. Be sure that the date, time, location and registration instructions are clearly and completely spelled out within the ad. If you want applicants to call or go to a website link to register, double check that the phone number and web address are correct and working properly.

Session Agenda

A typical Group Interview session lasts ninety minutes and is facilitated by the hiring manager and a representative from HR. Having two people in the room observing the candidates allows one to give direction and lead the group while the other is observing the participants. Be sure the agenda includes an in depth overview of the company, the facility and the specifics to the job. As well design group activities that incorporate the job requirements and core competencies to ensure you’re able to learn the candidates’ experience and approach related to key responsibilities such as customer service, conflict resolution and working in teams.

The Candidate Evaluation

One of the biggest benefits to the Group Interview is the ability to make hiring decisions for many candidates at the same time.   As you review your observations try to capture, as objectively as possible, your evaluation of the candidate when contemplating the hiring decision. Remember, with recruiting, the business decision you make regarding the evaluation of a candidate affects your workload most directly so careful consideration will definitely pay dividends to you in the long run.

Are you interested in more information about Group Interviews? uDrive subscribers have access to tools and templates that can help. These can be found in the Recruitment section of the site.