Are group interviews effective?
September 2018, by Julie Brodeur, CRHA

Are group interviews effective?

It’s a good idea to opt for a group interview when you have a large number of applicants for the same position. It generally takes place at the beginning of the process to perform an initial screening. If several candidates attract your attention, you invite them to an individual interview so you can assess their skills in more depth.

This approach is appropriate for positions that are in high demand, such as in customer service. It would not be suitable for management positions, given the need to assess more specific competencies. Furthermore, recruitment confidentiality would preclude the use of this more daring type of interview.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of opting for this strategy for employers?

Advantages for employers

Group interviews enable recruiters to save time by meeting a large number of candidates at a time. You can also observe their interactions to assess their teamwork skills, get a sense of their personalities and see if they are a good fit for your company. This strategy is also a way to boost your employer branding only once instead of ten times.

It enables you to meet more candidates who might not have been selected based on their CVs, so more people are given a chance to shine.

And the fact that you do group interviews indicates that you value team spirit and interactions.

Disadvantages for employers

If you only notice the strong personalities, you risk overlooking a shyer person with higher potential who didn’t have the chance to stand out, individually, from the outset.

Companies do better with a multifaceted and diverse workforce.

Candidates often have negative perceptions of group interviews, especially in more competitive environments, such as legal. In these cases it’s best to evaluate their ability to use coopetition, or in other words, cooperate with each other while trying to stand out from the crowd.

Conducting the interview

The purpose of the interview is to assess interpersonal skills and teamwork behaviours. It is a good opportunity to showcase the company, its mission and its values. It may be worthwhile for an employee to speak about their experience.

Candidates answer questions by going around the table. Then they are asked to work in teams to solve a problem while recruiters observe their interactions.

Few instructions are provided so you can observe how they get organized to achieve a shared project and what role each team member plays (leader, co-pilot, creative, analyst, etc.).

At the end of the exercise, candidates discuss the experience as a group. What was your contribution? Why did your team have an easy or difficult time meeting its objective?

In addition, candidates are evaluated according to several predetermined criteria: energy level, participation, ability to assume a role and integrate with others, creativity, problem solving, stress management, etc.

Would you like to discuss this strategy with us or use our services to help with your professional recruitment process? Contact us at!