What are the benefits and disadvantages of holding an interview day?

Interview days (not to be confused with mass or group interviews) are an excellent tool in the recruiter’s toolbox. Interview days are similar to speed-dating: A group of candidates applying for the same type of position come in at the same time. Initially, each interviewer is paired with a candidate, whom they talk to for […]

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Interview days (not to be confused with mass or group interviews) are an excellent tool in the recruiter’s toolbox. Interview days are similar to speed-dating:

  • A group of candidates applying for the same type of position come in at the same time.
  • Initially, each interviewer is paired with a candidate, whom they talk to for a set length of time.
  • When the time is up, each interviewer rotates to the next candidate.
  • The process continues until all interviewers have spoken to all candidates.

Advantages of an Interview Day

  • They’re ideal for rapid hiring in volume: If you’re hiring for a multiple positions of the same type (e.g., call center associates), by interviewing a whole class of new candidates at once, you can rapidly evaluate and make hiring decisions to fill numerous positions at once and meet your staffing needs sooner.
  • They’re more efficient at scheduling and screening: If you rely on skill or writing tests in your evaluations, you can have multiple candidates complete the tests and then do the face-to-face interviews on the same day. Instead of spreading 5 interviews over a week, you can schedule them all at once!
  • Interviewers are better equipped to compare candidates. When your interviewers see multiple candidates in the same day, the interactions and impressions are still fresh in the their minds. Choices between similar candidates can be made with more certainty. Since interviewers meet the same candidates at the same time, your team can compare notes and collectively make hiring decisions.

Challenges of an Interview Day

  • They can be exhausting for interviewer and candidate alike. Most people can’t talk for 4 hours straight, especially without breaks. As the day goes on, tired candidates might find it difficult to present their best qualities, and interviewers might feel too drained to make effective hiring decisions at the end of the day.
  • They’re less personalized. Interviewers may find that the limited time they have to spend with each candidate isn’t enough to get a good sense of the candidate’s fit. Candidates might become discouraged, and wonder if the company is just hiring warm bodies.
  • Not all candidates have availability for the day. Unlike individual interviews, which can be scheduled at the convenience of both interviewer and candidate, interview days can restrict your ability to meet and evaluate the best candidates. A stellar candidate might be unable to make time that day, and slip through your fingers.

  • Training for a large, incoming class of new hires can be difficult. Unless you have an existing training program that can accommodate a large number of new hires and get them up to speed quickly, onboarding a number of new hires at the same time can be a challenge for the organization.

When an Interview Day Is an Optimal Option

  • If you’re hiring for a lot of junior positions, or for roles with high turnover.
  • If you have a large number of open positions, and an urgent need to fill them.
  • If you’re hiring for unskilled positions.

When an Interview Day May Not Be a Good Idea

The following types of hires are best evaluated in the individual approach because they require a more rigorous evaluation process.

  • Management positions
  • Mid to Senior-level positions that require experience
  • Roles that require specific skill sets or experience
  • Technical roles.

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