What is a group interview?

There are two sorts of group interviews: panel and group. A group interview consists of a solo interviewer interviewing many candidates at the same time. Group interviews are particularly prevalent in areas such as food service, retail, and hospitals.

Panel interviews, on the other hand, include a panel of numerous hiring team members interviewing a single job candidate. Hiring managers, relevant team members, and an HR representative are generally present for the interview.

Are group interviews effective?

Compared to other interview styles, group interviews have numerous distinct benefits. As a result, if your company does group interviews with these benefits in mind, you are more likely to find them beneficial.

  • Group interviews allow you to determine which applicants collaborate with others. Sure, every candidate will claim that they get along well with others. Group interviewers give you the opportunity to observe such abilities in action.
  • Group interviews are efficient because they allow businesses to interview several candidates at the same time, saving many hours of work.
  • Group interviews reveal who performs well under pressure. Is the job you’re applying for a high-stress, fast-paced one? If this case occurs, try doing a group interview to replicate the intensity and pace of the work.
  • Group interview settings offer unique information regarding who fits well with the corporate culture. Your organization’s culture is likely to be most visible in how workers interact with one another. The group interview creates an atmosphere that aids in the identification of applicants that are culturally compatible with your organization.

How to conduct a group interview

Here are some excellent practices for doing group interviews:

  • Prior to the interview, meet with other interviewers: The interview team members must be on the same page about how the interview will be done. Before the group interview, determine which questions will be asked, who will ask them, how applicants will be assessed, and so on.
  • Inform the candidates: Candidates should never be surprised by group interviews. As a result, when you seek an interview with a candidate, you should also notify them that the interview will be conducted in a group setting. This eliminates surprises and allows candidates to prepare particularly for the group format.
  • Introduce yourselves: Given that applicants will be interviewed by many workers in a panel style, every member of the interview panel must introduce themselves, describe their job in the business, and explain why they are on the interview panel. Furthermore, this should happen as soon as the applicants come for their interview.
  • Recap with the remainder of the panel: Following the conclusion of the interview, the panel should take the opportunity to discuss their overall opinions of the candidates. Furthermore, this should take place as quickly as possible to ensure that the panel’s ideas and impressions are still fresh in their minds.
  • Take turns asking questions: In addition to taking turns asking questions, the order in which questions will be asked and who will ask them should be decided in advance. If the candidates are not overrun by the audience, they will be able to concentrate on the topic at hand.

Logistical considerations

Confidentiality

The importance of confidentiality cannot be overstated. Assure participants that while discussing findings, you will not use their names or any other identifying or personal information. Tell participants not to tell anybody outside the group anything they hear in the focus group. Reiterate that the discussions in the focus group are private and confidential. These guarantees make people feel more at ease and receptive to giving their thoughts.

Space

It’s essential that participants understand that the talk is private and that anything they disclose remains in the room. Choose a place for the interview/focus group where no one will be listening in or disrupting the talk. Set arrange the chairs around a table or in a circle for focus groups so that everyone could see each other, as well as the facilitator and note-taker can see everyone in the group.

Start with introductions

Introduce yourself and your position in the program, as well as the expectations of the participants for the interview/focus group. The following must be incorporated in your introduction:

  1. Inform the participants about the goal of the interview/focus group and why they were invited to participate.
  2. Tell your name and what you do for the organization.
  3. Explain what will be done with the information gathered and how young people in your program(s) will benefit.
  4. Request that the recording of the discussion is permitted.
  5. Tell them how long the conversation will last.

Establish agreements

Inform participants that there are no “correct” or “wrong” responses and that they should express their thoughts and feelings openly.

Participants in focus groups are not required to agree with what others say. Request that folks express their agreement or disagreement vocally so that your note-taker includes all that in the notes.

Participants should be reminded that only one person can speak at a time so that you can hear all they say.

Not everyone has to answer every question, but make it clear to the participants that you want to hear from everyone throughout the focus group.

Managing a successful conversation

Be comfortable with silence

Allow for brief pauses and silences before and after each new inquiry. This allows participants to reflect on their responses or contribute further comments.

Ensure that all inquiries are answered completely

To ensure that people comprehend a question, you may need to ask it more than once. You want to ensure that at the end of the discussion, you have obtained all of the information you wanted to obtain. Before moving on, take a quick pause and examine the question that has just been discussed to ensure that all participants have answered it. Don’t be hesitant to repeat the question again, or in a new way, to refocus people on the issue.

Go with the flow

If participants start talking about anything that may be an answer to a question other than the one you posed, go with the flow and let the conversation run in that way. However, keep in mind to return to the questions that have still to be posted or answered.

Manage time

While it is critical to ensure that participants address the topic, it is also critical to keep the conversation going ahead so that you cover all or most of the questions in your protocol. If you begin running out of time, you might need to prioritize the remaining questions. It may be useful to place a watch on the table so that you can view it during the talk. You may want to inform participants before the start of the chat that you will be keeping an eye on the time to ensure that the conversation does not go too long so that if they see you checking the time, they will know it is not because you are bored or irritated. You might also request that your note-taker track time for you.

Ask clarifying questions

Some ways to probe:

  • “Can you elaborate on what you really meant when you said…?”
  • “Would you mind elaborating?”
  • “Could you elaborate on…?”
  • “What we believe we hear you saying is… Is it a reasonable/correct interpretation?”
  • “Can you double-check that we are doing this correctly? That’s what we heard…”

Thank participants

Let individuals know how essential and helpful their involvement was and how much you value their time and courage in expressing their ideas. Explain how their suggestions will be used.

What is a ‘Meet the Team’ interview?

Meet-the-team interviews generally follow a group interview and perhaps one-on-one interviews with the candidates. Sometimes, the final interview before hiring a candidate in an interview to “meet the team.” In other words, if you’re invited to “meet our team,” it is probable that the firm is already planning to hire you and wants to make sure that you will fit in well. Most of the time, these interviews are casual, and they often include a meal with members of the team.

Another component of group interview: From the perspective of a job seeking

As a job applicant, how do you excel in a group interview?

There are several methods for acing a group interview. Here are some of the resources we believe will be most useful:

  • Individually greet both the interview panel and your other applicants: This displays great interpersonal skills while also providing you with everyone’s name, which you may use later in the interview.
  • Prepare by conducting preliminary research: Before you attend, you should be familiar with the organization, the job you are interviewing for, and members of the recruiting team. Prospective workers should be well-prepared and well-informed.
  • Make your introduction: Typically, group interviews will begin with applicants being asked to identify themselves. While this may appear to be a little question, it is actually the first chance to set yourself apart from the other candidates. As a result, you should prepare and remember a brief introduction that summarises your history, experience, and why you are the best candidate for the position.
  • Don’t be scared to respond first: While it is vital to listen, it is also to your best advantage to take the initiative and be the first to answer a question or two. As a result, you should seek questions for which you have previously prepared a good response. When the panel asks you a question, take the initiative and answer first.
  • Listen: Listen not just to the panel’s questions but also to the responses of the other applicants. Understanding how other people respond to a question is essential for providing a better answer.
  • Ask good questions: It is just as vital to ask meaningful questions as it is to provide thoughtful answers. Before you enter the interview room, you should have a list of questions ready.
  • Support some of your co-interviewers’ points of view and include the entire room: Of course, you’re attempting to differentiate yourself as the best applicant for the job. This does not imply that you must answer each question differently from your co-interviewees. Instead, when answering questions that you and the other candidates have similar responses to, don’t be afraid to agree, but expand on or add depth and detail to what’s already been said. Say something like, “we believe (name) is accurate, and (their response) is significant.” What we would add is x, y, and z.”

Sample group interview questions (in addition to what the interview panel is searching for)

Can you describe yourself?

  • What the panel wants: Panelists want to know more than just about your relevant experience; they want to know who you are as a person, so consider finishing this response with a personal tale, hobby, or detail.

What would your coworkers say about you?

  • What the panel wants: The panelists want to evaluate your self-perception, compare and confirm how your references answer this question and assess how well you will fit into their corporate culture.

Why do you desire this position?

  • What the panel wants: Panelists want to know whether you’ve done your homework on the position and the organization and if you can communicate why you’re the appropriate match for the job and the organization.

What are the most important talents for this position?

  • What the panel wants: The panelists want to assess how well you comprehend the role and how well you are equipped to execute its responsibilities.

Who would you employ in this room based on our talk today?

  • What the panel wants: Well, this question is a litmus test to see if you’ve been listening and participating in the discourse. The “trap” answer is simply “Me since I’m the best!” Instead, focus on the merits of a second or two candidates. Perhaps even identify someone as a good match for a similar role before shifting your focus to why you are a superior fit for the job.

Bottom Line

Panel interviews may frequently be a helpful tool for determining whether or not a candidate would be a good hiring by eliminating prejudice, offering different viewpoints, and utilizing experience. Selecting who will serve on the panel, organizing logistics for scheduling, establishing expectations for questioning, and collectively evaluating a candidate will all require careful planning. Building a great team is time well spent since it will serve as a foundation for scalable success. If you’re looking for a job, wait no more and visit Jobgrin once. It’s the fastest job portal in India and makes the right recruiters and job seekers faster than any other Indian job portal.