Companies use group interviews as a way to reduce costs and time to identify the best candidate for the position they are hiring for. Group interviews can mirror a work environment which gives interviewers the opportunity to see candidates interact and work together before cutting down their candidates into a shortlist to partake in one to one interviews. Planning ahead is worth doing because you never know when you might end up in a group interview.
The moment you enter the room for that interview you are being observed straight away. By being earlier gives you the opportunity to get familiar and comfortable in your surroundings. It also gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to the other candidates. This will showcase your ability to network but will also be useful if you are given a group task to do. Being able to call people by there names highlights your social skills.
Have an introduction ready
The group interview will more than likely start off with the interviewer asking you to tell a little bit about yourself. Make sure to have this prepared. Be confident, draw attention to your skills and experience. Keep it short and concise.
Have research done on the company
This is a given for any type of interview, but it is important not to neglect it for a group interview. You can really stand out from the other interviewees by having your questions personalised for the company and the sector they are involved in.
Rehearse speaking with confidence
Rehearse in front of your friends or family in a mock group interview to build your confidence. Doing this should help alleviate any nerves you might have. You don’t want to be mumbling or going off sentence and begin saying “you know” or “like”.
Be able to listen
Group interviews consist of role play or problem-solving. This is where you will need to be able to build on the conversation. This can only happen if you are listening to the responses of other candidates and not daydreaming off into what you will say next. Work on your listening skills by really concentrating on what the people you are talking to are really saying. For example, if someone introduces themselves to make sure to listen out for their name and their key attributes.
Have questions ready
Like that of a one to one interview, you will more than likely be given the opportunity at the end to ask some of your own questions. Asking informative and intelligent questions will leave a lasting impression in the interviewer’s minds.
Possible group interview questions
As with all forms of interview, you can expect to have questions thrown at you by the interviewers. There’s no exception just because you’re in a group-based setting. Questions may be aimed at you as an individual or asked of the whole group.
Going into the interview, it might be useful to have a think about the following questions. Although your group task will largely dictate your response, having an idea about what you might be asked will certainly give you a head start.
Group Interview Questions: General Questions
- How would your colleagues describe you?
- Why do you want this job?
- How would you describe yourself?
- What interested you in our company?
- What do you have to offer the company?
- How do you work in a team?
Questions Asked After Work-Simulation Exercises
- What made this team work successfully?
- What was your personal contribution to the team’s performance?
- Who would you hire from your group? Why?
- Why did this team struggle to accomplish the objective?
- How did you deal with the stress created by meeting the challenges?
So, there you have it. How to go about the dreaded group interview with grace and poise. Just remember to keep calm and keep your ears open. A group interview can be nerve-wracking at first, but if you go in with the right attitude, it can turn out to be a positive learning experience. You could potentially be interviewing with future managers, peers, or fellow co-workers, so it’s a good idea to build solid, positive relationships from the outset.