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Spruce Up Your Interview Protocol

Interviewing can feel as nerve-racking for the organization conducting the interviews as it can for the candidate. Even when you have a good problem, like a lot of applicants, it can be daunting to wade through resumes to determine who to interview.

We took a look at some of the approaches to interviewing organizations in our sector are using. Two practices caught our attention: group interviews and remote interviews. Often, these serve as the first round of a multi-round interview process. Below, we’ve shared these ideas with a few considerations to help you determine if they may be right for you.

Group Interviews

Interviewing candidates in groups has caught on in both the nonprofit and business sectors in recent years. Group interviews can be an efficient model, allowing you to ask questions of multiple people at one time. It also provides you with the opportunity to observe how candidates interact in a group environment as well as a high-pressure situation. For some interviewees, group interviews can also feel lower stakes since they are not the only participant. Depending on the number of applicants, you can hold one large event for many applicants, or a series of interview sessions for smaller candidate groups.

That said, group interviews can give you breadth, but not necessarily depth on the candidates you bring together. Additionally, this interview style does not complement every personality type. Despite good intentions, group interviews can feel competitive to candidates by nature. Given this, it’s important to consider if a group interview will tell you something you need to know. Is the position you are hiring for one for which engaging and working with other people is integral to the role? Are there ways that you can set up the interview to ensure participation is more structured to allow everyone to participate?

Remote Interviews

Phone interviews are an efficient way to survey candidates before making a commitment to meet top contenders in person. They can also be more convenient for you as well as your interviewee, especially if they’re not local.

If a video conferencing platform is convenient, you may opt for a video interview instead. A video call has the same benefits as a phone interview with the added bonus of being able to see the person you’re interviewing. However, the enemy of a good video interview is bad service. Request that your candidate takes the interview in a quiet place with reliable and consistent service in advance.

Even if these suggestions don’t inspire change, get into the habit of revisiting your interview protocol on a regular basis. Take the time to ensure your interview questions still reflect your organizational hiring priorities and solicit the most informative responses. We have other resources on our Idealist for Organizations page about interviewing including a recent piece on what interview questions can help you determine a good culture fit.

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