What is a Group Interview?


What is a group interview?

There are two types of group interviews:

  1. Group interviews are a selection process where multiple candidates interview at the same. Group interviews are likely to be taken in the field like hospitality, food, retail, etc. 
  2. A panel interview is taken by multiple members of the team, with only one candidate. This interview usually contains bank jobs, civil services, human resources, and many more.

Why are group interviews necessary?

Every job requires teamwork, communication, and a sense of understanding with the working members. It shows how a person collaborates with a team and solves the problem or answers the question with patience. It gives us a clear image of a candidate’s personality if it is suitable or not. It is more necessary when the hiring team requires to hire a large number of candidates. It helps them to do their work short and in a precise way more.

How does the group interview conduct?

  1. Inform the candidates about the interview: The candidates of you are taking the interview should be informed on past 5-6 days through e-mails, letters sent to their home more prior. In some cases, the candidate knows that their group interview is tomorrow or at the last moment, and they are out of town which, creates mental pressure that may affect their interview. The gap of 5-6 days will give them much time to prepare themself. Inform the candidates about the place and time precisely where the interviews will be going to place. It should also mention below the e-mail/letter a contact number/e-mail for help just in case the candidate is suffering from some issues.
  2. How to start the interviews: The time interview will try process give a brief introduction to candidates about the process and levels it will be going process. While taking entry to the room, introduce yourself to the candidates. 

Before the interview process, do a discussion with another interviewer make a plan who will ask the question, who will take the lead, how the marks will be distributed, how much time it will take for one group. Everything should clear between the interviewers before entering the room so there will be no clashes and the process will run smoothly.

Group Interview Structure

  1. Interviewers introduce themself, the job position and elaborate the process then, start the discussion.
  2. The discussion should take place in the whole group.
  3. Candidates work in a small group trying to solve the situation or try to give a mutual output. The interviewers should analyze the candidate’s involvement and how the candidate can prove his opinions and perspective in the discussion.
  4. Then all the groups will come together with the output and present them.
  5. The last candidate will ask about any queries they have.
  6. Interviewers will thank them for the time and tell them they will get the update soon on the selection process for the position. 

Are the group interviews worthwhile?

Group interviews offer many advantages that we will discuss in the next section.

Now in many sections of the selection of candidates, the group interviews are way too worthwhile:

  1. It reduces labor. It has more efficiency which, allows taking interviews of multiple candidates at the same time.
  2. Mostly in many companies, they organize group interviews then they select the candidate for the personal interview. So, the interviewers already know about the skills, teamwork, communication they possess in their character. It eases their path for the final selection of the candidate.
  3. The whole environment in which the group interview happens portray who can adapt to the company culture or how the employees will interact with each other. In the group interview where the situation is randomly given to a candidate, which sometimes creates an atmosphere of high stress and competition of who’s opinion is more effective which, shows how patiently someone can handle the tense situation.

How to clear the group interview round?

  1. Research well about the organization you are preparing for, the heads of the company, and the member who will take the interview. 
  2. Reach the destination before time, because it will be an important day for you, arriving greet every candidate of your time slot, and especially to the interviewers when they arrived.
  3. Prepare a catchy introduction of yourself. In the starting, the first thing they, will ask you is to introduce yourself. Be confident about it and add some unique skills/experience or any uncommon thing which will keep you different from others in the group.
  4. Don’t keep rush while answering the question, be patient till the person is speaking completes the statement. Always try to listen when the interviewers or panel members explain something and give them a positive response. When they finish and ask you to answer, always try that you’ll lead first.
  5. When another candidate is telling something, you agree to their statement, show a small gesture when you will get a chance of speaking. It will be more impactful and picture your image who believes in the friendly competition which will become a positive point.

What is the advantage of group interviews?

  • Less time and more hiring: The group interview takes less time and hires more candidates in the same time slot. In retail, hospitality, food, where the candidate’s requirement is more that likewise, increases the hiring number of a candidate. So, the concept of group interviews made their job much easier for selecting an appropriate candidate for the position.
  • Reduce the expense: Group interviews take a shorter time for interviewing the candidate, in contrast to one-to-one interviews. It reduces the expense cost of the interview process, revenue cost, HR fees. It lowers the expense of equipment, electricity, arrangements, every necessity for the interview will cost less than one-to-one interviews.
  • It allows to see candidate communicating skills: For working in a team, communication is the base, how a person is communicating with each other, how he is trying to solve the issues listening to others’ opinions and ideas about it. It will show a clear image of how a candidate will deal with the situation in the problems.
  • Easier comparison of candidates: Group interviews allow observing different candidates under the same conditions. It portrays a clear image of candidates because every candidate is at the same level the preference gives according to the performance in the discussion. 

What is the advantage of panel interviews?

When hiring for the post likes civil services, government officers, bank officers, and some more, which comes under government jobs. It becomes a responsibility for the person who is interviewing to interview the most deserving and responsible candidates. So, there are a set of 4-5 dignitaries in the panel to take the interview. Panel interview reduces the possibility of bias and inaccurate results. By interviewing signal candidates by many interviewers, it becomes tough for the candidate but gives a most accurate evaluation of candidates.

What is the disadvantage of group interviews?

  1. The first and more known disadvantage it created more competition between the candidate, some who are more skilled and less communicative than group interviews will become a disadvantage in their careers.
  2.  In some cases, when a group of candidates testing to solve a problem while finding the answers. It turns into an argument, which somehow creates an uncontrollable atmosphere.
  3. It requires more skill to pass the group interview with qualification knowledge. Sometimes it happens with a candidate who is well qualified in education but somehow shy and hesitate becomes very tough for them to clear the round. 

What is the disadvantage of group interviews?

It creates pressure on the candidate at the starting by looking at the number of dignitaries. Sometimes while having the discussion there, rise the situation which turns into clashes between panel interview members. In the panel, the dignitaries are sitting occupies different designation, which sometimes creates a situation of trouble with the domination of one person or lacking one person during the discussion. It is much costlier than the group. The answer is given, to dignitaries that may be right, for one and maybe wrong for another, that becomes tough to come to at a point.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. Are the panel interviews hard? Yes, the panel interviews are hard. It mostly happens for higher positions like civil/ government jobs. So, the organization always tries to choose the candidate, it always tries to select the most deserving.
  2. Is the result of the group interview biased? No, it is not biased because in the group interview, 3-5 members sitting and observing them, which reduces the possibility of biased. Not everyone will agree to the conditions and this comes under one of the most faithful selection procedures. In the panel interview as well the chances of biased and inaccuracy are very minimum or nil.
  3. Does the group interview have language barriers? No, the group interviews have language barriers. It always happens in Hindi or English, and if some interview is happening for state jobs, it may also allow you to speak the state language. The interviewers are always lenient about the language, they always allowed you to speak according to the candidate’s comfort.
What is a Group Interview?

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