How To Conduct a Group Interview: 7 Tips

What is one tip for conducting a group interview?

To help you conduct efficient group interviews, we asked hiring managers and CEOs this question for their best advice. From observing and engaging to preparing your questions in a shared Google Drive doc, there are several tips that may help you conduct successful group interviews for your company.

Here are seven tips for conducting group interviews:

  • Observe and Engage
  • Maintain a Balanced Reaction Toward Candidates
  • Act as a Moderator
  • Look for Teamwork
  • Ensure Candidates Are Aware of The Group Interview
  • Discuss The Interview Flow With Panel Beforehand
  • Prepare Your Questions in a Shared Google Drive Doc


Observe and Engage

Observe and engage. Group interviews can be a great way to meet a lot of candidates and see how well they interact with each other, but they can also be intimidating. It is essential to not make it seem like you are pitting the candidates against each other because that will lead to them competing with each other rather than engaging with your needs. Give them time to interview them thoughtfully and observe how each of them reacts, even when others are answering. The level of engagement they have with you and the others will be a great indicator to how they will work on your team.

Stephen Skeel, 7 Wonders


Maintain a Balanced Reaction Toward Candidates

Don’t try to play good cop/bad cop. Every interviewer should maintain a balanced temperament and sentiment towards the candidate being interviewed. Group interviews can be high stress situations. Employers want to persuade talented individuals to join their organization in addition to vetting them during the interview process. They do not want to intimidate candidates.

It is not a good idea to make one interviewer the antagonist by delegating the more aggressive questioning to them. The candidate should feel a pleasant and balanced approach from the interviewers who should all be responsible for asking difficult questions. Group interviews should be conducted without a good cop/bad cop mentality.

Liza Kirsh, DYMAPAK


Act as a Moderator

Instead of acting only as the interviewer, act as a moderator. You can do this by cueing candidates to speak in turn to ensure that everyone has a fair and equal chance of contributing. Acting as a moderator also entails that you keep strictly to the subject at hand, and make sure that candidates don’t go off on tangents. Practice active listening for each candidate who speaks. Facilitate the group interview instead of merely conducting it. Overall, this effort ensures that the interview is conducted fairly and with impartiality.

Eric Ang, One Search Pro


Look for Teamwork

Use the group aspect to evaluate teamwork. A great way to see how an individual will join and work with a team is to put them in team-building exercises. So much of a business’s success depends on the team and the team mentality. Use a group interview to stress-test an individual’s teamwork skills and you’ll learn valuable lessons.

Tony Staehelin, Benable


Ensure Candidates Are Aware of The Group Interview

Make sure that candidates know that they’ll be participating in a group interview. Group interviews can be intimidating, so you should give them time to prepare. Being aware of this will help candidates prepare answers that will help them stand out. You can also let candidates know who will be administering the interview in your interview request.

Ray Leon, Pet Insurance Review


Discuss The Interview Flow With Panel Beforehand

When conducting group interviews it is important for the panel to connect beforehand to discuss the flow of the interview. This meeting should review high-level discussion points to include introductions, an overview of the position, interview questions, and the close to including the next steps. Finally, so interviewers are not fumbling over themselves they should determine which individual will be asking and answering specific questions.

Nakeisha Martinez, Zendesk


Prepare Your Questions in a Shared Google Drive Doc

Prior to conducting a group interview, myself and the other interviewers will create a shared doc on Google Drive where we list all our questions and list who will be asking them. During the interview, we’ll keep the doc open and type in our individual notes. This helps us ensure that we are covering all of the important questions we wanted to ask. It also helps us not to fumble back and forth on who will ask the next question, and to be able to summarize our thoughts about the candidates questions in real-time. 

Tip: Under each question, include a bullet point for each interviewer to jot down their notes.

Datis Mohsenipour, Outback Team Building & Training



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