Use Group Interviews to Streamline Hiring

Sandy Pardue

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Interviewing prospective employees can be draining and time consuming. Group interviews are the most efficient way to hire for your practice. You can compare the applicants side by side. You can see their personalities, communication skills, and leadership qualities as well as their undesirable traits. It’s not necessary to take an hour to interview each applicant when you can have everyone qualified for the position right in front of you at the same time. 

Making the Call

Begin with the resumes. Determine who you are interested in. Review their resumes against your criteria and each other. Then, appoint a team member to call and invite them for a group interview. When your team member calls, use the following script:

Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m calling you in response to the resume you emailed to us.

I represent [say the name of your practice slowly], a dental office.

You requested to be considered for a position with us, and we’re inviting you to participate in a group interview on this Friday at 2:30 pm, and you would be through no later than 4:00 pm.

Would you like to come?

If the candidate says yes, use the following script:

Good! We appreciate you working with us in this way. We’ve had many applicants, and we feel this approach will be beneficial to all concerned.

Now, we are located at _______________. If you need a map, we suggest you look online at mapquest.com. Our phone number is _______________.

We request that you bring a copy of your resume. We’ll ask you to also fill out one of our applications when you arrive. Then we’ll tell you about our company and the positions that are available.

Do you have any questions?

Answer any questions the candidates may have. But if any of them try to engage you in a conversation, let them know that you will answer all of their questions when they arrive.

If candidates cannot come to the group interview, find out:

  • Do they object to such an interview?
  • When can they come?
  • Get the answers and write it on the front sheet of their resume. Then, pass it off to the person in charge of hiring.

If you are unable to reach them by phone, try emailing them. Make note of your attempts.

Group Interview Process

You can see all of the available prospective applicants at the same time and should be able to get through the entire process within a couple hours. Having an exact system can help keep the meeting flowing and provide the desired results.

Determine a day, time, and location for the group interview. It is best done after hours due to the number of participants and parking issues. Then, use the following procedure:

  • Begin contacting applicants and invite them to the interview, providing all necessary information about when and where.
  • Invite up to 20 applicants, and expect approximately 14 to show up.
  • As the candidates arrive, greet them and ask them to sign in and include their time of arrival. Then, direct them to the conference area of the office.
  • Hand out the employment applications so they can begin filling them out.
  • A practice representative should be appointed in advance to provide a description of the practice, the doctor, the staff, and the positions available to the group. The presentation should last no longer than 10 minutes.
  • After the presentation, ask the applicants to turn over their application and write down everything they remember about the presentation that was given. This will give you an idea about their ability to listen, duplicate what was said, spell, compile paragraphs, and more.
  • Consider planting a current employee in the group to take notice of the way the applicants interact with others, listening for negativity and complaining.
  • As the applicants finish their writeups, they will hand them in.
  • Review the applications and writeups. Dismiss the applicants who do not fit the criteria or who failed to remember specifics from the presentation.
  • Begin individual interviews on the spot. If you do any pre-employment testing, do it at this time.

One of the most vital functions of a practice owner is the selection of employees. Putting the wrong person in a position can be a real problem. It can cause a decrease in production, additional stress, poor customer service, upset employees, and low patient retention. The quality of your hiring processes will determine your success rate.

Ms. Pardue, director of consulting and lecturer with Classic Practice Resources, has consulted with offices throughout the United States and Canada and with leading dental companies for product evaluation and design. In addition, she has given hundreds of lectures and workshops on every aspect of dental practice management. Her articles have been published in the top dental publications, and she has spoken at major dental conferences throughout the United States. Dentistry Today has recognized her as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 13 consecutive years. She can be reached at sandy@classicpractice.com.

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