How to Succeed at Group Interviews
Got a group interview coming up? Before you get too worried, check out our hints and tips for ultimate success.
Once you’re out of uni and into the weird and wonderful world of job searches, you’re likely to come across some recruitment techniques that are new to you. One of these is the group interview.
We aren’t talking about being interviewed by multiple people but multiple candidates all being interviewed for the job at the same time.
It’s slightly more nerve-wracking than your typical interview situation, and of course, it requires some very specialised planning.
9 Top Tips for Succeeding in a Group Interview
Prepare a mini-introduction about yourself
At the start of a group interview, there’s usually an icebreaker in which you’ll be asked to introduce yourself to the rest of the group. It’s worthwhile putting together a few sentences about what you do and what you’re aiming for, to avoid any last minute panics.
Sometimes though, recruiters like to shake things up a little bit. You might be asked to share something a bit out of the ordinary, such as ‘something you’ve done that no one else in the room has’, or ‘an interesting fact that nobody would ever guess’.
The possibilities are almost endless, and you can never plan for every eventuality, so be prepared to think on your feet and be in a creative mood!
Be aware of the other candidates
You want to get your points across, but a group interview is about so much more than this. Often, the main objective is to see how you perform in a group and what your role is in similar situations. Be aware of what’s happening around you, and act accordingly.
If any members seem to be getting missed out, make an effort to draw them into the conversation. If the conversation seems to be lacking structure, try to bring it back to the main point.
You can practice your responses for days on end, but it’s this sort of awareness that will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Consider popular interview questions
When it comes down to it, you’ll be asked questions just like in any other interview. So, be prepared!
Consider popular questions like the ones in our difficult interview questions guide, and come up with some ideal answers. Even if the ones you had in mind don’t come up, it’ll be good food for thought.
Make an effort to get to know the group
If you can forge a bit of a relationship with the other candidates before the group interview, go for it. Even a brief five minute chat before you go into the room can help to ease the tension and get the conversation flowing.
If the opportunity doesn’t arise, introduce yourself to everyone with a smile and a handshake before the ball gets rolling.
You never know, your fellow candidates could even end up being your future colleagues!
You’ll no doubt be stressed, but don’t forget about one of the most important skills in any interview scenario – listening.
Acknowledge what others are saying, and make sure that you follow any directions carefully. This is often something that’s overlooked, but you should never forget that it’s equally as important as what you say.
Be conscious of your body language
As we mentioned, we know that you’ll be stressed out. Whatever you do though, don’t let your body language let you down!
You’ll be meeting lots of new people, so make an effort to smile and face whoever’s talking. It may seem obvious, but it can really make a difference when it comes to convincing an employer that you’re right for the job.
Make eye contact with other candidates
Eye contact is more important than you may think. It’s important to look people in the eye when you are talking to them as wandering eyes gives the impression that you are trying to fool them.
You can also give people eye contact when they are talking and nod your head to show that you are listening.
The interviewer/s will be looking for those that show leadership and how they go about it. It’s important not to be a dictating leader.
If you take the lead then let others put their opinions across and don’t take over. If you can show that you can delegate tasks to the correct people too then that’s a positive.
Prepare questions for the end
Just like in any interview, you should prepare some questions that you want to ask at the end. Avoid anything relating to pay or benefits, and stick to ones relating to the role itself and the business. Be aware that others could get in first with similar questions, so have a few ready so that you don’t miss out.
Even if it’s a new situation for you, these tips should help you to impress and get noticed for all the right reasons.
Have you ever had a group interview? How did you find the experience?