The Folly of a Group Interview

The new trend in hiring is group interviews. Companies claim that they can judge customer service skills, observe the candidates ability to interact with others, and get a sense of the candidates own powers of observation through these mass interviewing escapades. Really?

These companies set the interviews up like a classroom. Interviewees are put into submissive roles below the interviewer. These people make it very clear that candidates should not speak unless spoken to, then chastise the candidates for not speaking among themselves. In fact, in the group interview I just had, the interviewer made the comment that the group was too quiet. She said we needed to talk among ourselves, yet when the girl next to me and I spoke to each other, the interviewer shot us dirty looks.

It’s a power game, and a ridiculous one at that. The companies claim to want to see how you get along with others, yet when you show that you get along really well with others, they want nothing to do with you. They say that they wish to judge your customer service skills, yet when you prove that you have unrivaled customer service skills, they are no longer interested. They insist that your ability to notice detail is crucial in getting the job, yet when you show that you have a very keen eye for detail, they lose complete interest in you. I think that the reason for group interviews is very simple. Companies bring large groups of candidates together so they can pick out the youngest, and most naive in the bunch. That way, the company will be able to negotiate the lowest possible wage, and move on. Anyone else would be more expensive. That’s the bottom line…their bottom line.

So, any company that resorts to such underhanded tactics in their hiring, probably utilizes other shady practices within their business. They are obviously very keen on keeping control over potential employees; imagine how keen they are on keeping control over their actual employees…

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