What is a group interview? There are two types of group interviews. The first is when multiple people are conducting the interview for one candidate. The second is when one or more employers are interviewing a group of candidates. We will provide tips for both types of group interviews and how to best prepare.
Tips on group interviews for one position
If you will be interviewing with multiple people all going for the same role, you will want to find ways to stand out from everyone else. Here are some simple tips to be seen in a crowd of candidates.
- Prepare for group interview questions. Practice common interview questions and answers.
- Be polite and let the other candidates give their answers.
- Watch your body language, even if you aren’t the one speaking, someone in the room could be watching you.
- Demonstrate your listening skills when others are speaking.
- Make eye contact with the interviewer.
- Smile when answering and waiting for your turn.
- Do not cause distractions when other candidates are answering questions.
Companies that are hiring multiple people will also conduct group interviews. During this type of group interview, you may be asked to do a group activity. Make sure you are a team player.
Group activities can be difficult for someone who hasn’t worked on a team. You may have team members that are bossy or unwilling to help. One way to combat that is to show the hiring team you can work with all types of people.
Use the activity to show your leadership experience and the ability to work with others. Always be kind to your team members during a group activity. If the company is hiring more than one person, you could end up being their colleague.
Customer service jobs use group interviews if hiring for a call center. A group interview may be to narrow down the number of applicants in the first round since it takes less time. Candidates who find a way to shine during this can expect to have a one on one interview in the second round.
Candidates should dress in professional attire even for a group interview. Depending on the industry, you may want to wear a suit. Job candidates should try to make a good first impression. Wear clean and neat clothing that isn’t distracting. You want your personal style to come through without looking under-dressed.
Group interview tips with multiple interviewers
Now let’s talk about tips for group interviews when you are the only candidate. An interview panel can be a scary environment to walk into. If you have a panel interview, be prepared for the setting to be more intimidating. You will most likely be in a conference room with multiple hiring managers. Most of the preparation is the same when interviewing with one person. Group interview questions are similar to ones asked in an individual interview.
Before entering the interview room, take some time to remember the following advice.
- Let your people skills shine through. Show the interview team you can handle a room full of people.
- Make eye contact with the interviewer who is asking the question.
- Always let the employees finish talking before answering.
- Be polite when giving your opinion.
- Keep in mind some of the panel could become your co-workers or colleagues.
- Sit up straight in your chair and be mindful of your body language.
- Try to hide your stress and keep a calm face.
- Write down people’s names on a note pad to make your answers more personal.
Every job interview is stressful so preparation is key. If the hiring manager mentions that you may need to do a group interview, start preparing. For any job interview, you want to show up on time. Give yourself time to get settled in the lobby so you can mentally prepare before your start time.
Someone applying for a sales job may be asked to give a presentation. This is one of the most common group interview environments. Companies use these to see a job candidate’s presentation skills by mimicking a sales meeting.
Leave yourself plenty of time to prepare for your presentation. You will only get one chance to impress the company and hiring managers. There could be multiple candidates giving presentations so you want to take advantage of the opportunity.
Use your performance to demonstrate your strengths. Your interaction with the interviewers will show them you have what it takes to get the job done.
Companies use the group interview process to put candidates in a stressful situation. It’s a great way to see if the applicant would fit in. If you master presenting during an interview, the team will know you can handle clients. Here are some tips for your group interview presentation.
- Always speak with confidence.
- Don’t let a question catch you by surprise.
- Take time with your responses.
- Practice with friends.
- Answer any interview questions with honest responses.
- Make it a conversation. Having a discussion is a great way to get to know future teammates.
- Research the hiring manager and other interviewers on websites like LinkedIn and the company site.
- Bring notes so you don’t stumble during your presentation.
- Show your knowledge of the company and products throughout your presentation.
Make sure you are prepared for both your presentation and interview questions. Candidates will want to prepare sample answers ahead of time. Group interview questions will still consist of the most commonly asked questions.
Job seekers should be prepared for a group interview. Make sure you show the employer you are the candidate they want to hire.
The hiring process is long so be patient. The more prepared you are for any type of group interview, the fewer surprises you will encounter.