Employers: 5 Better Alternatives to Boring 1-on-1 Interviews!

There’s nothing wrong with the tried and true method of interviewing job seekers one-on-one with a series of questions and answers — if it works for you, great! That said, there are some pretty big downsides to doing things the “old-fashioned” way:

  • Interview no-shows are a waste of your valuable time
  • It becomes harder to compare applicants.
  • It is harder to remember small details after a full day of interviews.

Here are 5 great ways that other employers have reduced no-shows, and made their hiring process more fun and engaging:

Group Interviews

Group interviews are a great way to meet in a short amount of time, and quickly identify who is comfortable in a group and functions well in a team. Plus, if someone decides not to show up, your time isn’t lost!

Tip: Generate a bank of questions to draw from so that each interviewee still has a chance to provide a unique answer. If you like to ask situational questions, you can also add modifiers to create different variations of the same scenario and ask how candidates might work through it differently.

Creative Components

Interviews can be fun, too! Companies like Indigo, Disney, and AMC Theaters often incorporate role playing or open auditions to allow applicants to show off more of their personalities and interact with each other. Find an activity that relates to the job, your brand, or the traits that you’re looking for in candidates.

The Insider

It might not fit your organization, but many employers – especially law enforcement agencies – have been known to place a second interviewer or current employee into the interviewing group. As they wait for the interviewer to arrive or call them in, the Insider will engage others in small talk and try to learn a bit more about the candidate(s). Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for some – this helps interviewers identify candidates who might still be a good fit even if they didn’t ace the interview.

The Test

Will your new hire have to memorize a menu, recipe book, or product list? You can incorporate some of it into your pre-screening process by sending them the list in advance, and quizzing them at the interview. It helps you see who is willing to put in the effort to land the job and prepares them for their first day of work!

The Tryout

Let’s face it, a great interview does not necessarily mean someone is going to be great on the job. The best interviewers are often good because they’ve done many interviews. Instead of just relying on the interview, it’s becoming more common to give job candidates a “tryout” or on-the-job audition. If it’s a high-paced environment, let the candidate shadow someone for part of a shift so they can see exactly what the job is like. Hiring for a customer service role? Have job candidates act as greeters or answer the phones to see how well they communicate and talk to people.

Do you have anything fun or different that you’ve incorporated into your interview process? Let us know!

Harvard Business Review
Glass Door Q&A

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