Group Interviews: The Dos and Don’tsPosted on September 29, 2014
Many different companies are starting to use group interviews as a method of choosing their new employees. Group interviews are done because they are a quick way of interviewing multiple applicants in one go, they also allow interviewers to see how you perform in team exercise and your most visible qualities. It is therefore important that you know what to do to make yourself stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of getting hired or moving through to the next stage of interviews.
A lot of things that you should actively try to do during a group interview are the same if not similar to what you should do during a regular interview, such as dressing appropriately and arriving early. Here are some examples of particular things that you should try to do during an interview alongside other applicants:
- Think about the ‘introduce yourself’ task: Group interviews nearly always begin with some kind of exercise where you talk to the group and introduce yourself. Unless the task asks for something in particular, try and think of what you are going to say beforehand – it doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to be somewhat interesting and get the heart of who you are.
- Prepare questions: Much like a standard interview, having questions prepared to ask always helps. In group interviews it is even more important as it shows you have a keen interest in the company that others don’t. Don’t ask questions for the sake of it though – a stupid or pointless question will only hurt your chances.
- Include everyone: While it is important that you do everything you can to stand out, if you ignore those around you and only focus on yourself you aren’t showing the interviewer good leadership qualities. Trying to encourage other interviewees and get them motivated is actually a plus.
There is such a huge list of things that you can be told NOT to do in an interview that to explain what they all are would be a nightmare. Instead, here are some of the things that we think are the most important not to do during a group interview:
- Don’t be informal: Group interviews tend to be quite relaxed compared to normal interviews but this doesn’t mean you should take it too far. While you can appear comfortable and less rigid than other interviews, your interviewees are still not ‘mates’ and you can’t swear.
- Don’t over or under-do it: Talking over people is a bad move. While you should try and stand out, interrupting people or being loud is just plain rude. At the same time, not speaking up at all in a discussion will just mean you get lost in the group – get involved and offer your own thoughts and opinions.
- Don’t lose concentration: A simple matter of concentration goes a long way in an interview. Making sure that you pay attention to what the interviewer is saying, looking them in the eye and looking engaged throughout the whole interview is important.
Remember, the interview is the one chance you have to show an interviewer why you are the one they should hire. In a group interview there will be others there trying to do the same – you NEED to do everything you can to be the best.