I recently had a group interview with about 10 interviewees and one interviewer. We all sat around a long table and answered the same 3 questions one at a time. So assuming each person spent 3 minutes per question, this is 9 minutes per person talking out of 81 minutes of other people talking. This does not include the time the interviewer spent talking about the company. We didn't really get a chance to ask questions.

What is the point of doing the interview this way? It seems to take a lot more time from the candidates and does not save the interviewer any time.

I had been to a less formal group interview before. People would mingle with each other and one of two interviewers would take 5 minutes to speak to each candidate individually. I guess in these situations they could observe how well the candidates could form connections with other people in the room, but this certainly didn't happen in this one where we all sat and listened to a lecture.

  • What industry? ..
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 8:05
  • @Kilisi marketing
    – user115298
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 8:07
  • Are there multiple positions available? Otherwise it just seems like a lame marketing idiots idea, which is quite possible.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 8:08
  • You already put part of the answer in your question: The interview spent time talking about the company. They did that once, not 10x. As for why do a group interview, I suggest you re-read the answers and comments for your other posted questions...
    – Mars
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 5:01
  • You should add the other details into the question. You didn't just have 3 minutes of speaking each, correct? There was another exercise performed. Also, you mentioned that the interviewer spoke about the company, how long was that?
    – Mars
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 5:04

3 Answers 3


What is the point of doing the interview this way?

The normal point of group interviews is to set a team exercise and then use the time to assess how everyone behaves in a team setting - if they're bossy, try to take control, push their opinion on others, stay too quiet, don't really contribute, etc. - it can (theoretically) give you a glimpse about how they'd normally work in a team setting.

However, that's not what seems to have happened. As you described, it's weird (I've never heard of that before) and IMHO utterly pointless, other than to maybe try to save some time on the company's front.

  • The next point in the interview was a team exercise in which you had to a) partner up, b) listen to the partner's story and c) present the partner's story in front of the group. So it's very similar to what your first paragraph said. (OP mentioned this detail in their other questions complaining about the same thing)
    – Mars
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 5:03

What you are describing/have described in your other questions is very similar to what Japanese companies call a 説明会 (Information Seminar). It's sort of a round-0 interview.

The idea is that you can explain the company and positions to everyone at once and weed out people who applied without much knowledge and aren't actually interested in the company. It also gives the company a chance to make their appeal.

Regarding the questions, even simple questions can say a lot about you. Consider this another round of filtering, and an ice-breaking exercise.

What you didn't mention in this question, but did in your other questions, was that there were other/was another communication and presentation exercise. This was again a good chance for the company to weed out applicants.

In short, the purpose is:

  • A sales pitch for the company (why you should enter)
  • An easy way for the company to weed out those who are uninterested
  • An easy way for the company to weed out those perceived to have poor communication/social skills
  • It's also not something specific to marketing, it's used by just about any company that receives a significant number of applicants.
    – Mars
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 5:13

I don’t know what the questions were, but this seems like something marketing or sales would do. You have (are) a product that you are offering and so are a ton of other competitors. This is your time to sell yourself and respond to offers of others. I would think they are looking for you to take strategies you’ve learned and apply them to sell yourself. First and last ones to go are the toughest, but I assume because of that they can also impress the most. In any case, if you are just agreeing a lot with what others have said, you probably aren’t progressing an idea and that’s a red flag.

Never been in that position, so this is just a guess.

Also, in just about any industry, being able to build on the progress of others is important and for some it may be extremely important.

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