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Loved the group interview podcast! We used to call people back for 2nd or 3rd interviews, but now my boss likes group interviews. I often feel really bad for the interviewee -- there are sometimes up to eight people in the room! I hate participating in them.

Your advice, of course, was spot on. I can look back at interviews we've given, and can honestly say that making eye contact to everyone is very important. You just never know who the most influential person in the room is, and if you ignore them, that could be fatal.

The name issue is a touchy one with me. I have a name that lends itself to a common nickname. Eight out of ten times, people that I meet hear me say my name, then immediately use the nickname. When it's an interviewee, I will take points off before they even know what hit them. The message that I hear it, "I really don't care who you are."

wendii's picture

Hey, B,

your post reminded me of two things:

1. Don't call me Wend. The only people who get away with it have known me for 20 years, and even the woman who gave birth to me doesn't do it.

2. Don't think because I'm the HR bird I have no power, even if half your conversation is classified and you can't tell me, or it's engineering and you think I know nothing. Talk to me. If you can't translate your technical knowledge, are mysogenistic (sp) or think I'm ditzy..... you won't get the job.. and yes I have that POWER!

Wendii

huntbk's picture

I'll bet you have a lot of great interviewing stories!

I did have an interviewee call me "hon" once, immediately realize his error, and attempt to swallow his tongue. That was entertaining!

leigh_k's picture

I'm really curious about this. I've been interviewed once by a group and quite enjoyed it. I've always thought group interviews were a great way to see how a potential candidate would fit into my team. I don't think 8 people is a good idea, but 3 interviewers seems to work well. What are the fears other than intimidation?

By the way, I'm not saying it's a great idea to intimidate interviewees. Part of the success of a group interview is to select a group that is non-hostile. Sometimes I think that having my team interview a candidate is good practice for them too.

Anyway, I'd love to hear some debate on this.

Mark's picture

Interviews are inherently stressful, but there is a point at which, for too many, the stress becomes distress and not eustress.

Group interviews put most people into distress, if for no other reason than they are given yet ANOTHER variable to consider, and they don't know what the rules are.

Of course, now everyone here KNOWS the rules. ;-)

Mark

Mark's picture

Interviews are inherently stressful, but there is a point at which, for too many, the stress becomes distress and not eustress.

Group interviews put most people into distress, if for no other reason than they are given yet ANOTHER variable to consider, and they don't know what the rules are.

Of course, now everyone here KNOWS the rules. ;-)

Mark

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="leigh_k"]I'm really curious about this. I've been interviewed once by a group and quite enjoyed it. I've always thought group interviews were a great way to see how a potential candidate would fit into my team. I don't think 8 people is a good idea, but 3 interviewers seems to work well. What are the fears other than intimidation?[/quote]

Every interview where I work should be a group interview by that reckoning, the procedure mandates 3 interviewers (typically the hiring manager, someone from HR and one other), the interview panel also has to reflect the make up of the interview pool (so you don't get all white males interviewing a pool that includes women, blacks, asians and other groups). In my expereince this is very common in the UK public sector.

That said, the business unit I work has changed somewhat. We're all in a resource pool and get assigned to projects. Before being assigned to a project the project director or one of their minions has to interview you. I'm currently 'on the bench' as I've rolled off my previous project but no projects that need my particular skill set has surfaced yet (due to the Christmas lull and the fact that a lot of people rolled off at the same time as me so jobs that aren't 100% match for me but I might have gotten as a compromise choice have been able to find people for which they are a 100% match) so I've been attending interviews, these have varied according to the project director. If the project director is an internal employee it's been a 3 person panel but if they're a contractor then they've typically been one-on-one. Personally I prefer the one-on-one as I prefer to concentrate on one person that have to switch between interviewers (sometimes in the 3 person interviews you'll be answering a question from one person and another person will butt in with an unrelated question, I'm never sure how much to ascribe to ignorance and how much to malice).

I had a really interesting interview on Friday, a one-on-one. I think I did pretty well, the feedback I had today from our resourcing people was that the interviewer was impressed by my flair and creativity, I hope that's a positive. I even got a response to my thank you note that she looks forward to seeing me again! I won't know for a coupel of weeks if I've got it or not (due to procedural issues) but I'm feeling positive.

Stephen

Peter.westley's picture

Wendii,

[quote="you"]mysogenistic (sp)[/quote]

I looked it up, because I can, and I think it's Misogynistic.

There's an interesting dissertation here: http://encyclopedia.tfd.com/Misogynistic

If you are inclined to use Firefox as a browser, there's a built-in spelling checker that comes in very handy.

Also, the only person who can call me 'Pete' is my Mum!

Mark's picture

I've always said that the only thing worse than a misogynist is a misanthrope.

Mark

tcomeau's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]I've always said that the only thing worse than a misogynist is a misanthrope.
[/quote]

Yes, they're twice as bad.

But does that make polygynists twice as good?

:)

tc>

Mark's picture

Wait wait wait!

I typed that wrong. I MEANT that the only thing worse than a misanthrope is a misogynist. It works better that way.

Mark

tcomeau's picture

[quote="mahorstman"] I MEANT that the only thing worse than a misanthrope is a misogynist. It works better that way.
[/quote]

Hey, that can't be right. I mean, misogynists only hate half the people in the world...

(Yes, in case anyone is uncertain - I'm playing with the language. Mark is very good with language, and it makes it fun to score puns on him. 8) :twisted: )

tc>

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="tcomeau"]Hey, that can't be right. I mean, misogynists only hate half the people in the world...[/quote]

But misanthropy is equal ops.

Misogyny (like racism, homophobia, ablism &c) is discriminatory as you are hating someone because of some inherent characteristic of themselves over which they have no control. At least a misanthrope doesn't discriminate.

Well, that's the way I look at it.

Stephen

Mark's picture

Stephen's got it.

To be discriminating in one's hate implies something even more vile than the simplistic blanket approach.

Mark

Peter.westley's picture

Now we have that sorted, what was the question again? :lol: