I spent 2 hours of the early morning participating in a group interview with a team in India. There were 3 in India and 6 here and it was great fun for me. My client is considering hiring them, so I was able to ask the questions (rather than be asked) and I loved it. I had a great time listening to their responses and building new questions based on what they said. We were able to get into some nitty-gritty and flush out the fluff from the solid knowledge. At the end of the interview, the client asked me what I thought and I gave a fair response pointing out both positives and negatives. The main decision maker for the client liked my analysis, which added to my warm and fuzzy feeling.
This was my first time participating in an interview where my opinion actually matters to someone and I'm just amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I've done interviews in the past, but they were mostly informative interviews to benefit the other person. For example, after my boss spoke with someone and decided he wanted to hire them, he would have me speak with them to give them the "real story" about the job. He wasn't looking for my input in the hiring decision. My role was purely the rah-rah cheerleader to make the interviewee want to work for us. Today's interview was so much more fun than those old "information" conversations.
Based on my performance today, I've been invited to participate in another one tomorrow and one more next week. I can't wait!