Awkard Interview Approach - Looking for feedback from others on this.

(This came to me anonymously from an HR Director - Steve)

I recently participated in a panel interview for summer intern candidates at my company, since I am one of the hiring managers.  I am accustomed to a panel of interviewers meeting with 1 candidate at a time, but I have never before heard of the reverse... a panel of candidates being interviewed by 2 interviewers (Hiring Mgr paired w/an HR associate) at the same time!  

Have you heard of this approach?  Details of the interview process are below:

We interviewed 5 groups of 5-6 candidates via MS Teams, with 35 minutes per group. (By the way, each candidate group also interviewed with 5 other interviewer pairs.) 35 minutes only allowed time for 3-4 situational interview questions per group. We asked the same question to each candidate, and the candidates observed one another answering the question. Furthermore, the candidates in each group were interviewing for different positions, with the commonality of each position being analytical, so the questions had to be general questions (not specific to the particular job role).  

As you can imagine, this allowed candidates more time to prepare their response and sometimes follow suit with how the first or prior candidate responded to the question. We did rotate the line of questioning each time we asked a different question (for example -  Candidate #1 was asked Question 1 first, then asked question 2 last, then asked Question 3 in-between the other candidates). In-between interviewing each group, my HR mate and I had 5 minutes to discuss and decide the YES candidates, the NO candidates and the MAYBE candidates for that particular candidate group. 

After the completion of interviews, all interviewers' YES votes were tallied and categorized by the position applied for. The candidate with the most YES votes was designated the primary candidate for that position, BUT the hiring manager had the final say of who they wanted to hire and could override the majority vote.

Have you heard of this interview process before? I don't feel this process is moral and wonder if it is legal? 

My POV: It leads to hiring a certain personality type. It also doesn't allow the Hiring Manager to have in-depth interview time with the candidate interviewing for their open position. Needless to say, we ended up hiring all our primary candidate picks, who happened to be all males.

Your thoughts?

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  • I have seen this done and in my opinion it doesn't allow interviewers or managers to review candidates objectively. Everyone starts being subjective and artificially competing against each other and the managers who are interviewing start to find their favorites in the moment without being objective.

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