So you have applied successfully for your dream job. After few weeks, you find an email in your inbox with the subject ‘Interview Invitation’. You open it up immediately with a happy feeling, only to be shocked reading those dreaded words: Group Interview. The solo interview can be quite unnerving in itself, how do you prepare to survive the group rounds?
Different from traditional kinds of interviews (conducted especially when there are many applicants for a job role that requires working in groups and public speaking skills), group interviews require applicants to gather in a single room at the same point in time.
While candidates often find this as an unsettling experience, employers view this kind of job interview setting as an effective method to screen out promising talents. Group interviews are highly efficient when a company is keen on hiring in large numbers, for many vacant positions, in a single time-frame thus reducing costs incurred on recruitment efforts.
The main goal of conducting group interviews is to test candidates’ demonstrative abilities of being able to work well in a team, be self-driven to take responsibilities for incorrect executions of the team, how they respond to each other, and if they are able to perform under pressure. By putting everyone in the same boat, employers are keen on understanding potentials of key talent and interpersonal skills.
In these few allocated hours on a single working day, hiring managers are able to decide if you are a thoughtful leader, a goal-driven worker, or an ambitious employee who is willing to throw someone under the bus.
During group interviews, applicants are posed with particular case scenarios to test their engagement levels with other members in a team to address certain issues and resolve the problem at hand in minimal time effectively. Here are some tips for applicants to stand out in a group interview:
First, dress up distinctively. Wearing something different will help the interviewer notice and remember you. This doesn’t mean you sport casuals for a formal setting or wear something too daring or extremes. Stick to simplicity and elegant dressing, this works well in most cases.
Second, make friends with other candidates. Make sure that you come early such that you can prepare yourself. Before entering the interview room, look around and greet other candidates. Introduce yourself and have a nice chat with them. Not only will this help you relax, but it will also help build positive vibes and perhaps derive more information about the competition and competitors.
Third, be a volunteer. In a large group interview, it could be difficult for interviewers to pick candidates one by one to speak up. So, they would like to see initiatives through volunteering to answer first. Use this as a chance to get noticed by the interviewer. This could be done either by raising your hand and leading the answer.
Fourth, involve everyone. Remember that it is not your own interview. Even if you do know a lot about the issue discussed, draw cautious restraints from talking too much, while allowing others the opportunity to speak.
Do not go overboard and overly aggressive because this can make you look like, you are putting everyone else down. Instead, showcase your good leadership and interpersonal skills, by inviting the most silent participant in the room to share their thoughts and voice their opinions on an issue.
Fifth, stay focused. In a group interview when everyone is keen to express and talk fast, it becomes extremely important for you to listen carefully to what others have to say. While it is important to deliver purposeful statements, do not get too busy with your own thoughts.
Rather, engage in the conversation and pay attention to minute details that others divulge. Write down the ideas you choose to convey for clarity in expression. So when your turn comes to speak up, you have lot more to say in brief using appropriate words.
Sixth, prepare questions. There could be a point when the interviewer invites questions from candidates. Make sure that you have done your research well about the company, before coming for an interview. This could help you bring many meaningful insights and relevant questions to be posed to the interviewer for discussion.
Most important advice to stand out in a group interview is practice. Be prepared for any possible situation that might arise during a group discussion, such as sometimes you might speak out of turn or the discussion might take a whole new direction leading to verbal debate. Do remember to always hold onto your stance on the issue and never let your guard down.