When there is limited time, conducting a group interview may be the best option. Group interviews can be an effective way of assessing candidates, whether you’re looking to hire quickly or identify leadership qualities.

What is a group interview?

A group interview, as the name suggests, is an interview conducted with multiple people in the room. It can be held with other candidates for the job or even your colleagues who will have to work with whoever gets hired. The idea behind these interviews is that it brings out more of the candidate’s personality and improves interviewers’ ability to gauge their suitability for the position.

Who conducts group interviews?

There are various ways of conducting group interviews. They can be held in-person or over the phone with all interviewers present at once, or they can take place via video conferencing so that candidates are not physically present but still able to interact with interviewers. Whichever way you choose to conduct your group interviews, it is important to note that they should be conducted by multiple people who will be working with the candidate if hired. This adds more weight and relevance to what is said during the session.

Group Interview Questions

What is the goal of a group interview?

When you want to evaluate several candidates at once to make it easier to compare them or when you want to see how candidates perform in a competitive environment, group interviews are ideal.
The type of interview you choose will depend on the situation. Alternative methods could be employed to:

Find candidates who exhibit the best cultural fit.

Utilize competency-based interview questions to evaluate the hiring candidate’s skills.

Nevertheless, you should always make sure you have a fantastic interview structure in place regardless of the type of interview you conduct.

Why are group interviews beneficial and disadvantageous?

Let’s broaden the conversation a little bit and examine some benefits and drawbacks of holding group interviews.

interviewing several candidates at once to save time.fewer opportunities to get to know candidates personally.
They enable a wide range of interviewers’ points of view.Be ready for delays as scheduling the interview may take longer than expected.
a successful method of introducing job seekers to anyone they might work with.More preparation is needed to gather everyone, get them organized, and prepare them to ask questions (and finally, debrief)
It is simpler to compare candidates right away thanks to them.To sit on the panel, you need individuals with proven interviewing abilities.
They aid in determining whether applicants will fit your corporate culture.Group interviews frequently favor strong personalities who stand out in this type of environment.
You can get a sense of the candidates’ group dynamics from them.Group interviews may put more pressure on candidates, which could change how they behave.
When searching for qualities like assertiveness and leadership, it might be useful.The order in which you pose your questions could limit the candidates’ capacity to respond.

Example group interview questions and answers

Being prepared is the best way to reduce any stress that may result from the group interview format. You can use the following samples of responses to help you practice for your group interview questions:

  1. Give an example of when you went above and beyond to satisfy a customer.
  2. What strategies would you use to persuade a customer to buy one of our products?
  3. How can your strengths help our business?
  4. Name a weakness you’d like to work on improving.
  5. What part did you play in the project plan that your team came up with?
  6. How do you believe the culture of our business aligns with your core values?

1. Give an example of when you went above and beyond to satisfy a customer.

You are in a position to make an informed decision and think quickly in response to this question. Because of this, having a group discussion about a crisis management scenario enables the employer to assess your ability to act decisively and sensibly.

Sample Answers – “A client phoned to voice their worries regarding a contractor that our business had sent to their house. I contacted the contractor to inquire about the hold-up after learning that there were worries that the work had been abandoned. After our conversation, we made the decision to schedule a second appointment with the client so that the contractor could finish the job.”

2. What strategies would you use to persuade a customer to buy one of our products?

Although this question would typically be asked in a sales interview, it gives you a chance to demonstrate your inventive problem-solving abilities. Your potential employer wants to know if you have the ability to persuade clients.

Sample Answers – “I would converse with them about their interests and intended uses for the product, trying to establish a rapport. Such a relationship-building strategy increases both current and future sales opportunities.”
“It’s not just about making the sale; it’s also about how you speak to the customer.
For instance, if a customer is using one of our products in-store while listening to music, I might enquire about their preferred genre. So I can learn which of our models best satisfies their needs, I can start a conversation. In my previous position, answering customer calls and advising them about the various cellphone models we offered, I frequently encountered situations like this.”

3. How can your skills help our business?

Here, you can highlight your best abilities and demonstrate how you’ve used them in a work environment. Your objective here is to pique the employer’s curiosity while establishing a link to the experience listed on your resume.

Sample Answers – “My team-oriented mindset can help your customer service department. Since I have spent the last five years working in customer-focused roles, I am aware of how crucial it is to quickly adapt to the needs of both my team and the customer.”
“My dependability will be a huge asset. I received praise in both of my previous positions for my exceptional attendance and my capacity to complete tasks within predetermined deadlines.”

4. Name a weakness you’d like to work on improving.

You have the opportunity to show areas you have identified as needing improvement in this question. Employers want to know how your development can influence that of their business.

Sample Answers – “I sometimes tend to be too harsh with my own work. However, being overly meticulous can cause delays. However, the past year of working directly with clients has taught me a lot about self-regulation, especially in high-stress situations. Although it isn’t always simple, persistent self-awareness has enabled me to develop a deadline-oriented mindset that has ultimately made me more effective.”

5. What part did you play in the project plan that your team came up with?

This is your chance to show the group that you work well as a team. Starting with a previous workplace example is a good idea, but keep in mind that if you appear confident in your delivery, it will show in how you interact with the other interviewees. When receiving answers during an interview, candidates’ nonverbal cues and soft skills are observed.

Sample Answers – “I offered to record our conversation and my team’s comments on how to proceed with an all-encompassing sales strategy. I like doing this because I’m a well-organized person who can sum up information succinctly and who can think creatively about how we can achieve our objectives in a way that makes sense. I made sure that everyone’s suggestions were incorporated into the draft plan through my notes so that we wouldn’t waste time going over topics we had already covered.”

6. How do you believe the culture of our business aligns with your core values?

Whether or not the job you’re interviewing for is a good fit depends on your core values. When responding to this question, be prepared to know both the company’s core values and your own.

Sample Answers – “My community and responsibility are two of my most important core values. I firmly believe that it is our collective duty to give back to our neighborhoods and the world we live in. I appreciate how dedicated your business is to helping neighborhood families find childcare options, and I would like to contribute to that effort. I feel content when I know that what I’m doing directly benefits customers, and I believe that the work I would be doing here would give me the opportunity to do that and more.

“I also appreciate the business’s commitment to its employees. I like working in a setting where coworkers interact with one another both personally and professionally. I’m curious to know more about the yearly staff retreat that your business provides and the on-site sporting amenities.”

Self-Perception of a Candidate Assessment

What would your coworkers say about you?

This query reveals a candidate’s level of self-awareness and interpersonal skills. Answers from candidates should complement or add to their resumes or job applications. When they respond to this question, pay attention to their body language because you might be able to tell if they’re telling the truth or embellishing it. The way they feel as they respond to this question may also reveal how well or poorly they typically get along with others.

What would you say about yourself?

Candidates can demonstrate how their personality complements their skill set in this somewhat self-promotional question, as well as how their passions and interests relate to the job they want.
Here, you want to strike a good balance between ego and introspection. A strong applicant will frame their personal statement to fit the requirements of the position you are hiring for. Along with these qualities, you should be on the lookout for leadership potential, proof of commitment and dedication, and any red flags that they might not be the best fit for the position.

What training have you received for this position?

This inquiry is a fairly typical one during interviews. Candidates must be able to show that their resume, application materials, and relevant experience—both from prior employment and from their personal lives—all correspond. Interesting responses might reveal life experience that improves a person’s capacity for the job.
Tell us about your prior experience and professional aspirations in 30 seconds. Candidates must be able to respond quickly to this question, be succinct, demonstrate a logical progression between the past, present, and future, and show how their experience relates to the job requirements.

Evaluation of Preparation

How do your core values align with the culture of our business?

This question allows you to determine whether a candidate has done their research on your company and culture in addition to determining whether they would fit in with it.

Why do you desire this position?

The response to this query might give away their aspirations for a career. You want to see proof that they will enjoy working for you because that increases the likelihood that they will stay longer. Additionally, you’re looking for evidence that they’ve thought about how their personality fits with your brand and how their skill set matches the requirements of the position.

Tell us about a fascinating fact you learned about our business.

This is an excellent chance to gauge their level of readiness. The ability to apply this knowledge and connect it to personal experiences will come more naturally to advanced candidates. The best candidates might be able to relate their knowledge (from their homework) to the demands of the position and their own experiences.

What qualifications are necessary for this position?

The answer to this query should be fairly obvious. Anyone who has read the job description ought to be able to respond. Intriguing candidates will be able to go above and beyond the requirements. You want to find a candidate whose curiosity, drive to learn more, and attitude are a good fit for the position.
For instance, you might not anticipate an entry-level employee to do more than list their skills in the job description. On the other hand, you might anticipate a motivated knowledge worker to go into greater detail about the skills you’ve listed, justify why they believe they are important or not, and discuss how their skill set matches your requirements.

Skills for Collaboration of Candidate

How do you function in a group?

Due to the possibility that their response may or may not match their behavior, this question is particularly intriguing when asked in a group setting. When they respond to this question if in doubt, rely on their deeds rather than their words.

How do you handle demanding or stressful circumstances?

Once more, check to see if their behavior in the group interview matches or contradicts what they say about how they handle these circumstances. In this case, deeds speak louder than words.

How can your skills help our business?

Given that it asks candidates to think about and contrast two things, this question may be challenging for some candidates to answer.

1.) Their advantages

2.) What the business requires of them.

Candidates may take a little longer to respond to this question, but effective interviewees will be able to picture themselves in the position and respond accordingly. This query is of the “bigger picture” variety.

The Best Practices for Group Interviews

As in life, preparation is the key to success in group interviews. Here are three things you can do to make group interviews run more smoothly so you can choose the best applicant:

Before the interview: Informing the candidates in advance will allow them to get ready for the group format. To ensure that everyone understands what you’re looking for and how the sessions will proceed, prepare the interviewers and meet with them. Make sure everyone is aware of who is going to ask what questions and when.

During the interview: interviewers should introduce themselves, the job they do, and their role during the interview. They should also take turns asking questions. They can potentially ask each interviewee the same question or choose a different question for each candidate.

After the interview: Arrange a meeting right away to go over the candidates and make decisions while everyone’s memories of the interviews are still fresh. Sometimes, group interviews are also a good place to start to get a broad perspective, but the group may then split up into brief individual interviews, giving each interviewee a chance to present themselves in the best possible light in a one-on-one setting.

Do group interviews actually work?

Group interviews can be useful if you need to evaluate a candidate with the help of several interviewers; however, they must be well-prepared and the responses must be gathered right away.
They can also be a great way to see which candidates thrive in stressful or competitive interview settings if you’re trying to create one.
Group interviews might not be the best option, though, if you want to learn about a candidate’s personality in a way that fosters trust and produces a positive candidate experience.
It is unquestionably true that recruiting new employees can take time.

Related – Check out our article about “Problem-Solving Interview Questions.”

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Uditha Sanjaya
Uditha Sanjaya, owner of "Founder Activity" has been passionate about business since he was 14 and started his own Online marketing group in his home garage. Now His unique talent is helping B2B and B2C companies with unique lead-generation campaigns.

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