How to Shine in a Group Interview
So, you have finally received the call back from the job you applied for (and desperately want!) and they have asked you to come in. You have been mentally quizzing yourself on the correct responses to typical interview questions and you feel confident as you walk into the meeting room, but that confidence quickly fades when you see four other individuals waiting as well. It’s a group interview.
The group interview is quickly gaining momentum within the workplace as an efficient way to interview multiple candidates at one time. The goal in the group interview is to stand out in such a way that the employer requests a solo interview, thus putting you one step closer to a position within the company. The group interview can seem daunting at first, but with a few helpful tips, you can shine through in the midst of your group and tackle the interview with ease.
Keep It Confident
Even though you may feel a momentary sense of shock and panic at realizing this is a group interview, it is important for you to not show this emotion. Employers are looking to see that you are able to handle unexpected situations with confidence. Try not to be intimidated or analyze the other candidates, but instead make an effort to initiate conversation. By introducing yourself to everyone and initiating conversation, it portrays to the interviewers that you are comfortable networking and facilitating conversation which are important qualities in any business. Also, knowing and referring to the other applicants by name will help you stand out to the employer as a possible leader.
Be A Team Player
One of the advantages of a group interview is the ability to incorporate, respond and elaborate off of the other candidates’ answers. By hearing the other applicants’ answers, this allows you the opportunity to acknowledge their answer, but also add on your own thoughts as well. This makes for a more natural flow of conversation and shows that you value the input of other individuals, while also having something of substance to offer yourself. Purpose when you do speak, that you are making eye contact and have a smile or positive demeanor. By including everyone in the room, you show the employer that you could be a potential team leader and networker.
That being said, you want to be cautious not to come across as overly aggressive or too assertive. Make sure that you are never cutting off one of the other candidates while they are talking and also be aware that you are not jumping to answer every question first. You want to come across as confident but not domineering. An important trait of a good leader is their ability to listen to the thoughts and ideas of others, so be aware of this while the other applicants are answering.
Let Your Personality Shine
Group interviews can be especially intimidating for introverts. It may be more difficult for them to take the initiative to speak up. One tip that will help them in the process is for them to simply speak purposefully when they do get the chance to answer. Don’t answer the question apologetically or mumble, but project and don’t let your sentences just run off. It is important that you allow yourself to shine through in the interview. Adding a personal antidote or fun fact about yourself (within context) helps you to be unique and memorable. Often times in group interviews, answers can begin to sound the same amongst the different candidates, so giving a personal example will help set you apart from the group.
Follow Up After
It is always important in any interview to follow up with the employer, but this is especially important with a group interview. You want to make sure that they recall you after the interview is over, so be sure to write them thanking them for their time and consideration. Perhaps, reference part of the conversation from the interview that will help them recall your face and then let them know you hope to hear from them.
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