I have failed two group interviews. One of them was during the final stage of the selection process for an International Baccalaureate Program, and the other was here at UBCO as part of competition. My experience over the years with group interviews has left me wondering if the process of these interviews is fair.

Feeling upset after another rejection, I tried to comfort myself with the following logic: group interviews can not provide an objective understanding of how well a person will perform at a job position because they do not entirely imitate the challenging situations you can face. How can a task such as one where candidates are asked to design a basket that could protect an egg from cracking if thrown from 2 meters demonstrate fitness for a future position as a student or employee at a certain institution?

Trying to avoid the responsibility for my failures, I also found an article that spoke about the possibility of a bias in the selection process based on cultural differences. For example, while a culture in which employers belong might prescribe more trust to a passionate behavior, another could prefer an employee’s calm demeanor. That bias can be accentuated when the employer and candidate come from different cultures. The preference for a more active candidate might not necessarily mean that a calmer candidate is worse.

As time passed, my opinion radically changed, however. Group interviews are not only a more efficient method of choosing candidates in a way that saves time and money, but they also allow the employer to immediately identify candidates who excel at cooperation and coping with stress. There are also a large number of guides available on the internet which can help an applicant in preparing for group interviews. Now, I can understand that it was entirely my fault to have no utilized these available resources.

If anything, my own journey to acknowledging the fairness of group interviews and my responsibility in my failures included a better understanding of my personality.