When hiring for a role, the typical route is shortlisting candidates, inviting them for a face-to-face interview then finally making the decision on who you wish to hire. However, over the years group interviews have increased in popularity and it's no surprise why - it saves time, you can compare candidates and it gives you the opportunity to see candidates' skills in action.
However, there are a couple of downsides to group interviews too, so how can you decide whether it's appropriate for the hiring process for your company? Here are some pros and cons of group interviews.
1) Reduces both time and cost on hiring
Group interviews can help save time on the interviewing process, simply because you can appraise numerous candidates at the same time, rather than spending too much time trying to schedule and conduct specific times and dates for each candidate.
It also has an advantage cost-wise, as it is much more affordable than one-on-one interviews. This is because interviewing several candidates during a shorter time period with reduce certain expenses such as revenue costs.
2) Opportunity to see candidate teamwork in action
A candidate may claim to have good teamwork skills on paper, but setting a task that would require this in a group interview would allow you to see those skills in action. Group interviews offer the opportunity to really test a candidate's teamwork, communication and management skills rather than purely relying on what they tell you.
It'll also give you an idea on those who may lack collaborative skills, which would be helpful if you're role revolves around teamwork. On the flipside, it also allows you to uncover potential team leaders too.
3) Gains a good understanding of candidates
Personality of a candidate plays an important role just as much as skills, qualifications and experience. If you're looking for a certain type of personality for your role, group interviews can be a great way to assess the personalities of each candidate, especially when communicating with each other. Group interviews allow you to assess candidates in how they treat others, their awareness of their impact on others and their confidence in speaking up in unfamiliar situations.
1) Conflict between candidates
While group interviews are helpful in testing communication and teamwork between candidates, conflict can happen. During the interview, it is possible candidates may not agree with the opinion of another offering their point of view. As a result, this could lead into some conflict between candidates and even damage to a candidate's chances of getting a job in future.
2) Not every personality type will thrive
Another disadvantage of group interviews is that before, they've often preferred extroverted personalities, despite the fact that they may not be the best fit for the job. It's important not to overlook other candidates with good teamwork or problem-solving skills just because they may not have the same level of confidence. While confidence is an important factor in ideal candidate personality, it shouldn't override everything else.
3) Only suitable for certain jobs
If your role involves a lot of teamwork or client-facing, then a group interview would be a great way to see those skills in action, as stated before. However, group interviews shouldn't be relied on for every position going. For example, if a role doesn't require much contact with others (e.g. data entry), then a group interview probably isn't the best direction to take for the hiring process.
Of course, there's no stopping you from doing so with these kind of roles, but it probably won't get you the best results.
Like one-on-one interviews, group interviews also have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the hiring process, so it's important to really think about these before you decide on how you'd like to interview future candidates.