Group Interviews – Good or Bad for Customer Experience Environments?


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Group interviews are still so relatively rare that many people are not even aware of this interviewing option. Those who are familiar either love it or hate it. You’ll find both lovers and haters all over the internet. I think this interviewing tactic can play a great role in hiring call center / customer service employees but only under the right circumstances. Done incorrectly it can hurt rather than help.

Group interviews should not be mistaken for panel interviews. A panel interview involves one candidate with many interviewers. A group interview involves many candidates interacting with each other to solve problems or create some type of project that they will present as a group. As some of the most important competencies for customer service representatives relate to interpersonal skills, empathy, communication skills, confidence, and likeability this is a great environment in which to determine potential fit for the job.

However, be cautious of doing this correctly with the following tips:

  • Create a positive and fun environment by having candidates work together on a project. Avoid singling out individuals to ask questions. Save the individual questions for a second or initial one-on-one interview session.
  • Avoid using this technique if you have only a small number of open positions. If you have 10 call center positions available and you have 10 people in each of your group interview sessions the environment will be very different than if you have one open position and 10 candidates in the session.
  • Use a facilitator who can put candidates at ease and can project a positive image of your company. This is a great opportunity to provide a presentation of your company, its products, and the benefits or working there. Candidates will be assessing you as much as you are assessing them.
  • Create a list of competencies that an employee would require in order to be successful in the role. Give some thought to what behaviours you feel will exemplify these competencies during the group interview so that you know what you’re looking for.
  • Enjoy getting to know your potential candidates in a relaxed, friendly, respectful, and collaborative environment.

Done right, group interviews may save you time in the interview process and may also provide added insights that traditional interviewing methods can’t give.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Judith Walton
Judith Walton has been in the customer experience and process improvement business for over 20 years. Judith has set up and managed call centers, customer service departments, supply chain functions, and continuous improvement teams. She now runs Luminosity Consulting ( which provides Smart Solutions for the Softer Side of Business. Judith has a passion for helping businesses work intelligently and impress their customers.


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