Being able to see several candidates at one single time, rather than conducting individual interviews, is a much more efficient way for the employer to streamline the hiring process, taking less time to whittle down the candidates to the final few. Group interviews allow employers to see what their prospective candidates are like when put under pressure to perform, and it enables them to analyse how they interact with people, all within a short space of time. Therefore, it is important that you make a lasting impression.
What is a group interview and what happens?
There isn’t one set format for a group interview. Some employers will have you take part in work simulation exercises to see how you might perform in a certain environment, whilst others may put you into different group scenarios in order to perform certain tasks to put your problem-solving and communication skills to the test. Group interviews will change dependent on the company and the type of role you’re applying for.
With that in mind, you’re probably wondering how you can best prepare for an interview, especially if they’re all different and you’re not quite sure what to expect. Don’t be afraid to ask questions ahead of the group interview stage to gain a better understanding of what you’ll be doing on the day, as that will help you to prepare accordingly.
But one thing is guaranteed – you’re going to be pegged up against your competitors, so you need to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
How to shine during a group interview
From arriving promptly to making sure you say thank you at the end of a group interview, here’s our six top tips to help you shine…
- Arrive early: This will give you some time to adapt to your surroundings. You can observe the office or building, get a feel for the company’s culture, and also take some time to relax before the group interview begins. It’s incredibly important that you feel comfortable and confident, so giving yourself some time to let the nerves settle will work in your favour.
- Prepare to introduce yourself: You’ll more than likely be asked to introduce yourself to the group, and it can be quite an awkward question, and it can certainly put you on the spot if you’re not expecting it. So, it’s always best to have something prepared to break the ice, so you’re not left feeling on the spot and not making the most of this opportunity to stand out. Make sure you include that one thing that makes you different from everybody else to ensure your introduction is memorable.
- Get involved: Don’t be afraid to have an input. Be bold, and be confident, and have belief in yourself and don’t be afraid to give your opinion. But at the same time, be mindful not to speak over anybody else, as it’s incredibly important that you can demonstrate your ability to listen to others and make sure you take their opinions into consideration. After all, your employer will be making sure you’re a team player as well as someone who can work off their own initiative, so show them that you can do both!
- Smile: Be approachable. One of the main qualities an employer will be looking out for is the way you interact with others, and how you are perceived by others. So, make sure that you’re not dismissive of anybody else during the group interview. After all, your smile is your logo so make sure you’re giving off the best impression at all times.
- Ask brilliant questions: Although you may not know exactly what to expect when you turn up for the group interview, you’ll know certain key information, such as the company you’re applying to work for and what the role is. So, do your research and prepare some brilliant questions. This will go a long way in showing that you’re genuinely interested in the role and will give you some direct attention for a short while.
- Remember to say thank you: At the end of the group interview, make sure you thank your interviewer and your fellow interviewees. This shows you are well-mannered and respectful and will be greatly appreciated by the employer. Doing so might also spark a conversation between you and the employer, allowing you to gain some one on one time at the end of the interview, which other candidates may not get.
Even though group interviews can be scary, there are some things you can do beforehand to help ease the process. So make sure you do your research, prepare and have some brilliant questions to boot, and remember to keep calm – you’ve only got one chance to shine, so make it count!
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