How to Ace a Group Interview

Tips for a Successful Group Interview

Tips for a Successful Group Interview

With the rising popularity of the dreaded group interview, it is becoming more relevant to be at the top of our “interview game." The basic principles of the traditional job interview still hold true for the group interview. For example, you need to dress professionally, research the company, come prepared to answer questions, and be ready to discuss why you want to work for the company.

The group interview takes the job interview and raises the pressure a notch. With a group interview, you are compared on the spot to other candidates and tested on how you do under pressure. One of the biggest things an employer conducting a group interview is looking for is good interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work with a team. Here are some tips for accomplishing this... and here are some things to avoid.

Tricks for Standing Out:

Make Polite Conversation

By being polite and making casual conversation with other candidates while you wait for the interview to begin, you start creating interpersonal relationships early. This will not only help relax you before the interview begins, but it will make it less awkward if you’re asked to work together on a test project in the meeting. The ability to make small talk and be polite is vital for some companies' cultures; it’s best to show early on that you’re capable of socializing politely and pleasantly. Bonus tip: learn everyone’s name so you can address them directly in the meeting. This attention to detail is attractive to employers.

Listen to Develop Responses

A lot of employers use the group interview to speed up the hiring process, so it’s important to make sure the conversation is always moving forward. Don’t waste time saying the same thing as someone else. Expanding upon others will help make you stand out as an important member of the group.

Mistakes to avoid:

Making Other Candidates Look Bad

A common reason for group interviews is to compare candidates side-by-side. It can be tempting to make other candidates look bad to make yourself look more qualified. This, however, is a huge mistake, as it generally has the opposite effect on employers. This tells future bosses that you’re willing to metaphorically throw someone under the bus for your benefit, and most people are unwilling to work with such an individual.

Talking Over Someone

While it is important to make sure you’re heard in an interview, it should never be at the risk of talking over someone else. This might make you feel like a leader and in charge of the situation, but this is always rude and will be viewed as an inability to effectively communicate.

Getting Emotional

You’re going to get nervous. It’s the plight of any job interview, but do your best to not show it. A future employer wants to know you can handle yourself under pressure. Try to hide your nervousness the best you can. Don’t show disgust, annoyance, or surprise. The only emotions displayed should be polite optimism and enthusiasm.

Final bonus tip: Don’t forget to follow up after the interview. This is generally recommended for any interview, but it is especially important after a group interview to make yourself stand out in the crowd. Even just a simple thank you email with your information is a good way to make a lasting impression.

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