One of the country’s top property management offices has embraced group interviews for property managers, with excellent results.
After using the group interview system to find chef’s apprentices before he worked in real estate, Michael Furlong from Map Real Estate said he’s recently sourced a top cadet through the system.
“I did it about 20 years ago when I was cooking and we were looking for an apprentice to take on. We’d get 40 or 50 people in a room, give them all a chopping board, show them something once, work backwards and those who did it well enough went through to the next stage,” he explained.
While 40 or 50 potential property managers is a little too much to handle, Mr Furlong said he interviewed seven people last month.
“I spent two and a half hours interviewing all seven at once, instead of spending a day and a half interviewing them individually,” he said.
But with more than two hours to play with, Mr Furlong said he could give both interviewee and staff members a chance to mingle.
“I got every staff member to come in and talk about their role, the different aspects of what they do in the company, I asked the staff member a few questions and then I let the seven people ask their own questions," he said.
“After the interviews, I went back to each individual staff member and asked ‘If you were in my position, who would you hire?’ and a lot of them gravitated to one particular person, who we ended up hiring.”
After experimenting with the method as a time-saving approach, Mr Furlong said he would definitely do it again.
“It was a really good process, and surprisingly I identified one person who’s CV didn’t really stand out, but who has worked out really well, and one person who I thought was a sure candidate but who really fell flat in a group environment," he said.
“The person who I thought would make the cut had a great CV, but unfortunately in a group environment became the least vocal and didn’t really offer much in the discussion. I may not have seen this side of them if I’d done a one-on-one interview.”