Rethinking the Group Job Interview – Consensus? Abdication? Or Focus Group?

Focus Groups

I’ve tortured people in the group interview process. I thought I was offering consensus. Buy-in. Group drive.

I was wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Oh, so wrong.

To everyone I’ve ever put through that, on either side of the table, I apologize. I’ll never do it again. Promise.

There are four decisions: autocratic (I say), consultative (I say with your input), democratic (we vote, losers weep), consensus (we vote and everyone backs the decision).

As practiced, the group interview might have evolved into a method for managers to abdicate responsibility in the name of consensus. While consensus is ideal, the group-think process can too often be dominated by a crank in the corner with issues, motives, and insecurities.  And, possibly, an unknown agenda.

Group-think promises consensus but can preclude innovation.

And why would you ever choose to preclude innovation?

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