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Using Group Interviews to Boost the Recruitment Process

Alongside its traditional "Internships and Jobs" forum, Grenoble Ecole de Management also holds an unusual forum called "Recruit Outside the Box." The goal of this forum is to put students in real-life situations and help companies identify potential candidates through group interaction. Alisa Logofatu, in charge of school relations and employer branding at Schneider Electric, shares with us her company's experience.

The forum brought together 154 students and 17 partner companies. The goal was to go beyond the traditional résumé and cover letter so that companies could see candidates role play in various situations. The "interviews" were carried out in groups of two or three.

An opportunity to discover a candidate's personality

During each scenario, students played an imaginary or real-life role. Two scenarios helped Schneider Electric "quickly see and evaluate the personality of each candidate" explains Alisa Logofatu. The first scenario was set on a deserted island where three candidates had to go explore the territory to find food all the while guarding their camp. The second scenario took place in a seaside town hit by desertification. The mayor appointed a committee to breathe life back into the city by using a hundred containers. "We discovered autocratic, democratic and leader personalities. We saw who was willing to take initiatives." The game was an opportunity for students to show an authentic and spontaneous side of themselves. "These scenarios made it easier to see what was hidden behind each candidate's traditional job skills. This is a facet that is harder to discover in a traditional interview."

Reinforcing employer branding

This experience was also a challenge for companies. Each recruiter had to quickly present his or her company without saying the company's name. "This was a real challenge and a good way to test our employer branding." highlights Alisa Logofatu. Recruiters were also able to give feedback to students in order to share their expectations. "The ability to negotiate, convince and work with teammates are all skills that are needed in company life. No matter an employee's position, they will always have to defend a project or budget. So we really encouraged students to go beyond their job-specific skills and highlight the facets of their personality that demonstrate their professional potential."

As a result of this positive experience, Schneider Electric is already planning to participate in the next forum to be held on February 3 and 4, 2016. The experience could also lead to the company integrating this practice as part of its recruitment strategy. 

Updated on 22 September 2015 at 2h12 pm