The group interview has become a particularly useful tool for companies in competitive industries such as retail, banking, insurance or consulting as well as companies looking to hire an employee for a key position. The challenge is always to find a hidden gem that will turn out to be an agile and aware manager. Group interviews allow recruiters to have a more complete picture of a candidate's profile and skills.
The surprise effect!
While it is rather easy to prepare oneself for technical questions, group interviews require teamwork and therefore underline a candidate's ability to collaborate, handle stress, deal with the unexpected and act as a leader. "It's very difficult for job applicants to prepare for a group interview. When students or candidates are put in groups, they have to demonstrate their agility and ability to adapt." says Susan Nallet, head of careers, alumni and employer relations at Grenoble Ecole de Management. The goal is to shine a spotlight on behavior rather than technical skills. This provides recruiters with information that goes beyond traditional tests and individual interviews.
Two approaches to group interviews
"Group interviews can be used at the beginning of a hiring process for job offers that attract numerous candidates." says Susan Nallet. In which case, you need at least 25 candidates. On the other hand, a group interview can also be used to narrow down a short list of six to eight candidates.
Using games and scenarios in the process
Among the various tools available to carry out a group recruitment session, serious games were used to help companies discover talent at the Grenoble Ecole de Management 'Recruit Outside the Box' event. Jérôme Paclet, Human Resources Director for Point.P Rhône-Alpes, explains his perspective on the advantages of using games in a group recruitment session: "At Point.P, employees can learn technical skills through our training program. However, it's critical that they know how to work in teams and have the ability to debate, convince and unite people behind a project. We need to recruit people who are curious and perceptive."
While students at Grenoble Ecole de Management have various skills and backgrounds, the key is to identify the right profile to meet the B2B job requirements at Point.P. "To successfully do this, it's always best to meet people. Informal discussions were an important part of this job forum and that's a good match for our business."
The evolution towards digital recruiting?
In addition to group interviews, the digital revolution has also provided recruiters with new tools. The digitalization of the learning process and life in general has made it possible for recruiters to identify potential talents by tracking social networks, online challenges, hackathons, online games and even MOOCs. "Online behavior can provide valuable information about a candidate's perseverance, desire to improve, approach to problem solving or capacity to follow-through." adds Susan Nallet.
A 2-in-1 job forum
The Grenoble Ecole de Management job forum was built around two phases: First, the 'Recruit Outside the Box' day allowed students and companies to interact through serious games and group interviews. The next day, the traditional job forum took place with company stands, where students could submit their résumés and cover letters. "The serious games lasted around 30 minutes and helped us discover how students could deal with scenarios that emulate real professional situations. The goal of the game was to make a strategic decision and this highlighted the students' ability to analyze, exchange, decide, strategize and lead. We were looking to recruit talent for three job offers (sales, finance and operations, and communications). We filled all three spots." highlights Jérôme Paclet.