If you’re a job seeker, you need to know about group interviews. In fact, you need to be prepared so they don’t throw you off guard. While it may seem like a new trend, the group interview has been around for a while. It’s gaining in popularity recently, mostly because it saves the employer or hiring company a lot of time (and money) during the screening process. With a group interview, an employer can get a feel for all of the candidates, and then conduct additional interviews with only those selected from the larger group.
While a group interview has many similarities to a traditional interview, there are a few tips and tricks to help you to be more confident and really stand out from the crowd.
- Observe the usual interview rules
This first bit should be familiar. With a group interview, you still need to do all the things you do for a traditional interview, such as:
- Research the company to learn everything you can
- Know how to get there before the day of the interview
- Arrive 15 minutes early
- Dress for success and be carefully groomed from head to toe
- Have your resume, cover letter, references, pen, paper, and portfolio (if needed) with you
- Smile, don’t fidget, and remain calm (at least on the outside!)
- Greet and thank the interviewer(s)
- Ask about the process when you get the call
It’s OK to ask a couple of quick questions when you are called for the group interview. For example, you can (briefly) ask how many others will be interviewed along with you, how many people are conducting the interview, and if there is a written or hands-on test component. This will help you get a better idea of the process and visualize your interview a little better.
- Have a brief introduction ready
You may be asked to introduce yourself, or they might ask you to say a few words about yourself such as your interests, career goals or strengths, for example. Have something ready that shows you in a personable, professional and positive light. You don’t want to appear unprepared with a jumbled or dreary response.
- Be a great listener
It’s always important to pay attention during a job interview, but don’t forget to listen attentively to what other interviewees are saying. Nod and smile occasionally when your peers are talking; this shows you are eager, engaged and a team player. Also, other people’s answers (or questions) might spark some great ideas for you to bring up later!
- Pay attention to your body language
While you’re looking at the person who is speaking, others may be looking at YOU and sizing you up. Be sure to have great body language, sit tall, and look supportive of your peers. Be careful not to slouch, scowl or frown.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up
Stand out during the interview by speaking confidently (but naturally) and with purpose, even if you don’t feel it deep down at first. Answer questions first from time-to-time and ask a few great questions at the end – but only if they put it out to the group. Be careful not to interrupt others, and most of all, be yourself!
A group interview may seem a little intimidating, but think of it as your opportunity to stand out and be seen. You have a lot of great skills to offer an employer, and this is your chance to show them why they should hire you…you may even make a friend or job-search pal in the process. If you’d like to learn more about how to rock your next job interview or how to amp up your job search, be sure to connect with the expert staff at Focus Employment Services. We offer a range of free supports for job searchers of all ages in the Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham and Angus area! Connect with us today; we’re here for you.