Here are some of the typical questions I’ve used in group interviews. Keep in mind that I’m only looking for cultural fit and leadership at this stage.
- What are your favorite books/magazines?
- What is your favorite movie/why?
- What car is most similar to you & why?
- What was the most stressful time of your life and why?
- What was the most complex project you ever led and why?
- What stresses you out?
- Why do you want to work here?
- Who is the best candidate in the room? Why?
- If we hired two people, who in this room would you want us to hire to work with you?
- When could you start and how much do you need to make year one? Year three?
I love this last question because candidates will actually give you the real dollar amount they’d work for versus an inflated number they’d give if no one else were around.
If you follow this process properly, you won’t overlook star candidates whose resumes you’ve already reviewed prior to inviting them to the group interview. The purpose of the group interview is to screen for cultural fit and leadership—that’s what gets candidates into a second interview.
I like to compare this process to a similar practice Steve Jobs initiated at Apple. He’d show a prototype of the Mac computer to prospective employees and if he couldn’t see the sparkle in their eyes when they first saw it, he didn’t bother interviewing them any further.