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Use these two tips to ensure your interviewers don't succumb to the 'groupthink' phenomenon

by , 29 October 2014
If you use panel interviews to find the right candidate for the job, you must guard against the 'groupthink' phenomenon.

According to mindtools.com, 'groupthink' is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people's common sense desire to present alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem solving.

And if you don't guard against it, you could end up with an unsuitable candidate that will cost you a lot of money.

To ensure this doesn't happen, use these two tips to ensure your interviewers don't succumb to the 'groupthink' phenomenon.


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Before we get to the tips, let's look more closely at the 'groupthink' phenomenon

 
According to mindtools.com, social psychologist Irving Janis coined the term in his 1972 book, 'Groupthink'.
 
He found that a lack of conflict or opposing viewpoints led to poor decisions, because alternatives weren't fully analysed and because groups didn't gather enough information to make an informed decision.
 
Janis suggested that 'groupthink' happens when there's:
 
  • A strong, persuasive group leader;
  • A high level of group cohesion; and
  • Intense pressure from the outside to make a good decision.
 
So how can you ensure your interviewers don't succumb to the 'groupthink' phenomenon…
 

Guard against the 'groupthink' phenomenon with these two tips

 
Tip 1: Review your recruitment decisions and the rationale that led to those decisions. In addition, guide your interview panel, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
 
Tip 2: Make sure your interviewers base all recruitment decisions on sound business rationale whilst promoting the ideals of the Employment Equity Act – eliminating unfair discrimination and supporting people from previously disadvantaged groups.
 
Don't let the 'groupthink' phenomenon derail your recruitment process. Use these tips to ensure your interviews don't succumb to it.
 
PS: If you want to ensure every step of your recruitment is legal and effective, check out Recruitment: The Complete Guide.

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