19 December 2013

Most of us interview staff in a one-on-one format, asking questions for about 45 minutes. While one-on-one interviews are the traditional method for finding staff, they are not the most efficient.

  Bring in multiple applicants at the same time for interviews. Block off a two hour window and invite veteran camp staff whose opinion you respect. Have applicants perform a series of different activities:

  • Share personal stories
  • Interact about camp issues 
  • Participate in a one-on-one interview (focusing on information you can't get during group interactions)

Over the course of two hours, you will have seen more applicants than you could ever see in the traditional format and will have a deeper, more varied picture of your candidates. You'll also get valuable feedback from supervisors that helped work the interviews.

In addition to moving to a larger format, it is also beneficial to add a professional development componant to a group interview. If a group interview is also a workshop on managing classroom behavior, for example, there is a benefit for potential staff beyond simply being hired. Not only is is possible to gain employment from the opportunity, but it is also a chance to gain or improve upon existing skills. Additionally, opening the workshop to current and former staff allows for the possibility to see how applicants interact with people you have hired before, and gives a professional development opportunity to your employees.

 When we moved to group interviews at mainstages, the quality of our candidates and our understanding of their skills increased significantly. We also noticed that our candidates felt more a part of our community and had more commitment in the program. Call us and we will be happy to provide you with our group interview activities and format! Happy staffing!