Many companies select group interviews over individual interviews. Some companies want to gauge how you respond under added stress that can mimic actual job conditions. Other companies use them as a time and cost-saving approach. Whatever the reason behind the group interview, you need a plan to navigate a group interview successfully.
If you’ve never faced a group interview before, read on for some key tips for making the right impression.
Study the Company
Few things impress an interviewer less than candidates who don’t know anything about the company. This is as true for waiters and sales staff as it is for management trainee candidates. Minimally, you should know something about the following:
- Company history
- Company products/services
- Where your potential job fits into the company
If you can answer questions on these topics, you’ll match or outshine your competitors in the room.
Create and Memorize an Introduction
It’s common for the interviewer to ask everyone in the room to introduce themselves. This is a golden opportunity to shine. Highlight your experience, but also mention any soft skills or hard skills that might make you more capable in the role. Angling for a supervisory position down the road? Briefly mention some prior leadership experience.
Unless you’ve done a lot of group interviews, you should set up at least one or two practice interviews with friends. This lets you work out some of your nervousness about the process. It also gives you a chance to refine your answers to difficult questions. Quiz your friends afterward for honest answers about where you did well and what left them cold.
The last thing interviewers want to see is you tuning out whenever someone else speaks. It’s a bad sign that you don’t value the opinions or thoughts of others. The practice interview gives you an excellent chance to practice your listening skills, but it’s not the only opportunity. Leading up to the interview, make it a point to listen whenever you find yourself in a conversation. It will make it easier to remain attentive when the interview rolls around.
Body Language and Tone
Body language and tone can derail you in either an individual or group interview. You should look and sound confident. Looking confident means that you sit calmly, without fidgeting, and don’t slouch. Make sure you make good eye contact with both the interviewer and other candidates. Avoid waffling terms like “maybe” and “could be.” Use good projection so everyone in the room can hear you.
It’s About Awareness
Succeeding in group interviews is mostly about knowledge and awareness. You must know about the company and position. You should know your introduction by heart. You must remain aware of your body language and tone. You must also stay mindful of how well you listen.
Think you’re ready to tackle a group interview for a new job. Let GPS help you get in the room.