Group Interview Techniques

Most companies have now realized the importance and efficiency of screening interviews, before conducting the face to face session with the recruiters. Group interview is a type of screening interview wherein candidates are made to go through a set of tests, exercises and interview rounds in groups. This process helps in retaining suitable candidates for the position. Moreover, group interviews are cost-efficient and effective techniques.

Presentation :

Generally, group interviews commence with a short presentation regarding the company and the job itself. Candidates are thus given an idea about the job profile and the company background. This presentation can be followed by a short question answer session, where the applicants can clarify their queries.

Psychometric tests :

Psychometric tests are conducted to rate the candidates' aptitude, personality traits and behavioral patterns. Often, the questions asked in psychometric exercises test candidates' virtual thinking, logical and analytical reasoning, abstract reasoning, numerical reasoning etc. These tests are full of objective questions, and the candidates' aptitude levels are tested according to the answers they provide.

Psychometric tests go beyond resume reviews and experience count of the candidates. These tests help the interviewers to evaluate the basic abilities and the level of understanding of the applicants.

Group Interviews :

For group interviews, candidates are called upon in small groups and are interviewed at the same time. Group interviews serve a lot of purposes. For example; interviewers can clearly categorize the candidates whether they are team leaders or followers. On one hand, there will be candidates willing to speak up at every given opportunity, and on the other hand, there will be those who will hardly participate in the on-going discussion.

Similarly, the recruiters can filter out those who seem to be aggressive and attacking. Interviewers sometime deliberately start a conflicting discussion to check the candidates' reactions. Candidates who turn defensive at slight provocation and who fail to address issues objectively are certainly side-lined.
Even if it is a group interview, the focus always rests on individual candidate. Questions can be asked to an individual candidate, to seek his/ her opinion.

Group Discussions :

Group Discussion is another technique involved in group interviews. Small teams of candidates are formed and each group is given an individual topic to discuss about. The underlying advantage of group discussion is that interviewers get to evaluate each individual closely. The communication skills, presentation skills, ability to acquire and utilize knowledge, acceptance of new ideas, ability to defend one's point of view etc. can be clearly seen and rated.

Generally, an interviewer presides over a group to keep a check on the ongoing discussions. He may sometimes install a new thought process or an idea for the group to pursue. However, the interviewer must ensure that it does not lead to serious conflicts in the group.

Group Activities :

Group activities are the most exciting, fun yet intriguing technique involved in group interviews. Again, the candidates are segregated in small teams and are given a task to complete. Now, this task may be a work related task, or an unreal situation to which the team has to devise solutions, or designing a plan for a project.

Group exercises require the candidates to work collectively as a team. Thus, candidates can be graded according to the skills they display while performing group activities. Leadership qualities, ability to think on their feet, make quick but useful decisions, brainstorming, eliminating obstacles, result oriented thinking are the skills that are highlighted during such activities.

Even though these interviews are conducted in a group, the spotlight always remains on individual candidates.

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