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Are You Doing Group Employment Interviews?

In today’s fast-paced business environment, your hiring process may need updating.

Group Interviews

I once worked with an HR Manager whose favorite task was the Job Interview. It was rumored she actually looked forward to terminations just so she could interview new people. Anyone who has ever interviewed a person for a job can attest to the fact that this HR Manager was beyond the norm. If one of your human resource duties is employment interviews, you might want to consider Group Interviewing. As many of you are likely aware, open job postings today can solicit hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications and resumes. Just the process of sorting the forms involved is daunting. Not to mention, scheduling all the promising ones for an in-person interview.

In the old days

Before Indeed, Linked In or Monster, the newspaper ad was the go-to method for finding new job applicants. Expensive, time-consuming and of questionable reach, printed want ads have given way to the Internet Job Search.  Some may question whether we have saved time or money with this transition. It certainly increases the reach and exposure of your help wanted ad. According to the two biggest online job boards, Monster and CareerBuilder, took in more job posting revenue than all the newspapers in the United States.

This data was compiled in 2016, so one can imagine the disparity only continues to grow. Another often overlooked point is the information limitation inherent in print ads. Your candidate selection process begins with our first help wanted posting. Limiting yourself to a 20 word, text-only advertisement is almost archaic today. Internet ads allow you to plug in search terms, keywords, and other specific information allowing the applicant to better determine if they are a potential candidate. [tweet_box design=”box_11″ float=”right” width=”40%”]Why do so many Human Resource professionals still use the old, “one-on-one” initial interview?[/tweet_box]

A group effort

With so many options available, why do so many Human Resource professionals still use the old, “one-on-one” initial interview? Perhaps, as we covered in our previous article The Bane of Business: Meetings, it is simply too similar to group meetings that we all can agree are time wasters in many cases. Maybe it is just habit,  we become comfortable with the process and are hesitant to change what works. The true question is in that statement.

Does It Work? Of course, interviewing one candidate at a time does work. Most of you reading this article got your current position just this way. It gives you that face time which allows you to gauge a person’s personality, demeanor, and even appearance. However, the individual interview could also be considered a contrived act of theatre for the Interviewer and certainly the applicant. We are all taught early in our careers how to dress, act and speak in job interviews. This invariably causes the applicant to “put on a show”. Knowing this short interaction with another person can mean the difference between a fulfilling, lucrative career and a job tending bar.

Preparation is everything

According to a Fortune Magazine article, ”despite job-seekers’ initial anxiety, many companies that use group interviews believe they’re the most efficient way to honestly compare qualified candidates for a job opening because they give hiring managers unique insights into how potential employees would work on a team and function under stress.”  The most obvious benefit to a group setting is that it enables you to see who’s taking a leadership position, who’s taking over, who are not contributing, who’s coming with solutions, the kind of insights that you could never glean from a traditional interview.

The time-saving benefit is also obvious, it is much easier for a hiring manager or HR staff to schedule 12 people for a one hour interview than to 12 people for one-hour interviews each. The Fortune article goes on to point out that the group process can be daunting for applicants, but an organized and welcoming setting can alleviate most of that angst. If you are organized, do your research on Group Interviews, create a fun and positive environment you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Whether you sit down face-to-face or in a group, The Beacon Center can help you create a positive and welcoming environment. Whether you are interviewing 2 or 100, we can help!

Schedule a tour to see our professional, business-oriented space and let us help you find that one-in-a-million employee.


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Becky Stonebarger

The Beacon Center is the collaborative effort of Husband and Wife team, Gil & Becky Stonebarger. Becky is the mastermind and driving force behind the Center, with Gil supporting her every step of the way. With over 50 yrs of combined experience in Hospitality, Becky & Gil finally realized their dream of an affordable, inspiring space for Businesses and Individuals alike to meet, train or just party. Becky has owned several businesses through the years and is very proud of her degree in Casino Management and is currently working on her Event Planning degree as well. Gil is a US Navy Veteran who has managed hospitality operations across the country for over 30 yrs. They have been happily married for over 30 yrs, have two daughters and two grandchildren.