The reduced pool of jobs (particularly as concentrated in particular cities) and large relative pool of viable candidates for those jobs are allowing companies to be very picky about what they finally select and that is making it extremely difficult to land a role purely on the merits of talent *even for the superstars* particularly in areas that are dense with the type of roles that are coveted for what ever reason.
NYC is a perfect example of that right now, one of the hottest markets in the world for pretty much any job you can name...the best congregate here like pigeons after bread tossed on a NYC street. Since there are so many *great* people here looking for those roles it makes competition brutal...and since all candidates tend to have very similar technical qualifications companies start looking at more *irrelevant* attributes to the role simply as a basis of distinguishing who they select.
Think about it, if you've got two identical candidates and one of them attended your University, why should he be the one to get the offer? If they are both technically proficient it should be a coin toss but we know that mostly irrelevant attributes like college attendance, previous employer, mentor network, champion of various social causes or concerns all of a sudden dominate when all the technical skills are at parity ....which is rather ironic...as the hunt for "best" skews away from the technical best which is all the business cares about and toward a technical +plus+ personal "best "as subjectively determined by the interviewer. This could make it difficult for qualified applicants to ever get roles if they are being vetted on these elements that are outside of their technical expertise under highly competitive evaluations.
Of course the answer now to this problem is for the candidates to play the numbers, increasing their sample rate of possible roles until an interview process ends up with them as the offer recipient and not some other gal...this means more work for the candidate despite being qualified.
Regarding group interviews:
I always always when given the rare chance to interview with a group, chose the group. More companies should be employing that process for several reasons:
1) Eliminates the rejections that are due to a single SPOF making a rash or bad judgement because of a personal opinion.
2) Allows candidate to parry multiple questions and be judged simultaneously by all interviewers and thus allowing the perception of good performance on one to rub off on others.
3) Is faster generally than one at a time interviews as there is no redundancy of question asking per interviewer, this allows faster consensus on weather or not the candidate is the right, faster restoration of time schedules of the interviewers to get back to possibly high workloads , and faster time to next interview or offer presentation.
4) Tests to a degree presentation capability as multiple person interviews test the same skills one would apply when giving a presentation in many ways...regarding public speaking...if this is important to the role it can be vetted straight away.
As for Tejune Kang's method for seeing who really wants the gig...it's a bad filter. Ultimately if you are coming in for a role and are not independently wealthy you are doing it for the money...everything else is theater and flashing lights. The candidate who won't do the Alpha thing and defend isn't any less worthy for the role than the others that don't.
It's just different people (some of them sociopaths and with that "advantage" during the interview that can lead to incredible obstruction and discord when they get a fiefdom in the company) doing the monkey work they think they need to get the offer...does that mean that zeal expressed will transfer to on the job zeal??
Absolutely not...maybe for the guy who is doing it for little or no pay...but for every one else the "green agenda" (money!) is the puppet master behind the whole marionette routine they/we do to land a new gig. The need for more efficient methods of vetting candidates on technical merits independently of cultural merits and subtracting subjective elements from those cultural (company culture not interviewer culture) is still present...the recruiting industry is a multi billion dollar jagernaut that is mostly playing shell game than match game and that needs to stop especially as more and more candidates vie for less job roles.