Team Interviews: How to Make Them and How to Ace Them

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When being considered for a job opportunity you may be asked to participate in a team interview. Organizations that are more collaborative are starting to make these types of interviews standard in their hiring process. Here’s a brief overview of what they are, how to ace your next team interview, or how to conduct one at your organization. 

  • What Is A Team Interview?

A team interview usually involves a candidate meeting multiple members of the team at once, giving both the current employees and the candidate the opportunity to ask questions and determine how a candidate will work with a team. Traditional interviews tend to focus only on skills and experience, but team interviews being more informal allow candidates to display soft skills like creativity and interpersonal skills.  Team interviews also reduce confirmation bias and have been found to be better than one-on-one interviews.

  • How To Prepare

When preparing for your team interview you should prepare questions to ask and a notepad to record answers; about 5 to 6 questions or one question per team member is acceptable. You should do research on the company and on anyone who might be on the team you are interviewing with to get some background information. It could also be helpful to run a mock interview with family or friends to get you ready. In the age of Zoom interviews, all of this could also be done on zoom.

  • In the Interview 

Make sure to bring a copy of your resume for every person on the team, or send it ahead of time via email if you are doing your interview via Zoom. Use eye contact, project confidence, and as stated above try to build a rapport with the team and display soft skills such as empathy, flexibility, and communication. Thank everyone on the team after the interview is over and make sure to send an email following up to demonstrate interest.

  • How to Conduct a Team Interview

Conducting team interviews improves the chances of organizations finding the “right fit” if you do it right. Make sure you meet with your interview team beforehand to determine how the interview will be handled; how many questions and what kind of questions should be asked. There should be one team member to guide the interview – whether it’s a series of questions or group activity.

Usually, team interviews start with introductions, then move to a group discussion, then to an activity or role-playing exercise, and then close out with candidate questions and a wrap-up. The advantages of running a team interview are not only that your organization saves time and money, but it also helps to reduce biases.  If you have multiple candidates in the process, each team interview should use a similar format and questions.

  • Feedback is Key

After the interview is over make sure you discuss it with the team; compare notes, discuss comments and concerns, and evaluate both hard and soft skills. Make sure that you are all using the same scoring or rating system to make it easier to discuss a candidate after the interview.

The hiring manager should refrain from giving their evaluation until everyone on the team has spoken to get the most honest opinion.

  • Be Careful

When conducting a team interview make sure to be prepared. Many stumbling blocks to conducting a successful interview stem from not only a lack of preparation but not being on the same page with your whole team. In addition, interviewers should be aware of time management so that no one monopolizes time and everyone gets a chance to speak.

  • Final Thoughts

This blog can be helpful for both employers and candidates. For a team interview to be successful make sure you follow interview guidelines on both ends. For more information on hiring strategies in the digital age, or diversity in the workplace check out our other blogs.