3 Ways to Conduct a Top-Tier Group Interview


When you need to hire multiple employees quickly due to seasonal rush, high turnover, or rapid expansion, group interviews can be a cost effective way to speed up the hiring process.  While the actual interview will require you to block off more time on your calendar than an individual interview, it avoids having to find multiple times when both the interview panel and candidates are available.  You can also gain the benefit of being able to see how candidates interact and work with others.  In order for a group interview to be successful, you will need to prepare a well thought out plan and agenda to keep the meeting flowing.  Use a combination of the following three scenarios in order to conduct a top-tier group interview.

Initiate a Group Discussion.

Ask open-ended questions to the group and allow each candidate to finish the sentence. Encourage a group discussion based on everyone’s answers. This exercise allows you to see which candidates speak up, which candidates are good listeners, which candidates are accepting of other’s opinions, and which are quick to argue.  How candidates participate in this exercise is a very good predictor of how they will act in the workplace.

Break Candidates into Teams.

A great advantage of group interviews is the ability to see how candidates collaborate on a team.  Split candidates into groups of two or three and give them an exercise to complete. Have the teams solve a common workplace problem, create a brief presentation, or role play an employee/customer conversation.  Then, have each group present their findings to the rest of the room.  Ask questions about their thought process and how they came up with their solutions.

Ask Individual Questions.

Since some candidates are extroverts and some are introverts. It is important to vary your interview techniques so that you’re not favoring one personality type.  Asking individual questions to each candidate ensures that everyone gets a chance to speak.  This exercise is also great for seeing how candidates perform under pressure when put on the spot.  Examples of good one-on-one questions include asking the candidate to sell you the pen you’re taking notes with or asking how they would approach a particular customer challenge.

When conducted properly, group interviews can be a highly effective way to tell whether applicants will be a good fit for your open positions.  They allow you to assess multiple candidates at once, saving time and allowing you the opportunity to see how the candidates interact with one another. The group setting also eliminates situation bias, since you are able to evaluate each of the individuals in the same exact setting at the same time.

Need help pulling together a pool of highly qualified candidates for your next group interview? Let the experienced team at RealStreet Staffing help.  Having the right people – at just the right time – can spell the difference between the success and failure of your construction initiative.  Whether you need a single scheduler for a week, or an entire construction management team for a year, contact RealStreet Staffing and we will tailor options to fit your needs.

I have worked with RealStreet for the past five years to provide supplemental staffing for two federal government contracts. It has been a great partnership. I find RealStreet to be attentive and responsive to our needs, reliable, and they consistently find great people that fit what we need for multiple roles on two different programs.

Kevin T. Fitzpatrick, PMP, Peer Review Program Manager

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