Edited by Nicole Willson, Karen Lancaster, Jack Herrick, Ben Rubenstein and 25 others
Group interviews take place with a whole bunch of people in a room. The key is making yourself stand out even though you won’t know what to expect. Here are some tips.
Performing Well in an Interview
- Research the company on the Internet. Don’t just go to their website, but go to other sites that you can find on google that discuss the company. Look for the financial information and company history.
- Read the position details and read them well. Make sure you come into the interview able to describe what you think the job is. Think about how your skills and background fit into the job, as you may have to answer that question on the spot.
- Arrive early. This will give you an advantage over some of the other interviewees, allowing you extra time to meet the interviewers.
- Introduce yourself to the people from the company before the group interview begins.
- Be alert and ready for anything. These interviews are interactive so pay attention as you will be expected to participate.
- Prepare a 2 minute introduction summarizing your education, your experience, your career goals and how this position will fit into your future plan. Practice this introduction with a friend.
- Usually group interviews are designed to see how you interact with other people so be courteous to your fellow interviewers.
- Listen. The interviewers will usually give an overview as well as detailed instructions. Some group interviews involve training and exercises involving several steps. For example, you may have to perform a mock sales pitch using the companies steps to a successful sale.
- Interviewers may be looking for leadership skills, but this does not mean talking over others or trying to be the loudest. Instead, act as a ‘facilitator’: say “Shall we take a vote?” and then count the votes. This shows that you are confident, but willing to listen to others.
- Again, if trying to show leadership, delegate tasks to others. Don’t try to do it all yourself: no good leader would do that, but if you can co-ordinate others, this works well.Take detailed notes if you are allowed to do so.
- Make eye contact with everyone at some point. Direct your pitch at everyone, and don’t focus all your attention on one person.
- Include quieter people: if someone hasn’t said much, ask their opinion. This is great as it shows you are considerate and a real team player. (But don’t defer to someone else when it’s your chance to speak.)
- Praise others for their good ideas – it is a good way to seem friendly and a little authoritative at the same time.
- Don’t be shy. Speak out, but don’t cut other people off or go over your allotted time for the question or exercise. If you are broken up into small groups, realise that people will still come over from time to time to hear what you are saying.
- Smile. It might be nerve-wracking but if you appear morose you shan’t fare well.
- Be sure to say goodbye to the interviewers before you leave and send a follow-up letter.
- Don’t expect the group interview to be your only interview. Sometimes there are follow-up interviews involved.
- Do not get angry or abusive towards someone if they appear to be taking over, or for any other reason!
- Don’t expect to get the job, since some group interviews involve up to 20 applicants at a time