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Invited for a group interview? 8 Tips to stand out and make it a success

Invited for a group interview? 8 Tips to stand out and make it a success

Artwork by: Sasha Knokova

  • What is a group interview?
  • Why do employers set up group interviews?
  • 8 Tips to help you stand out in a group interview
  • 1. Make friends and stay positive
  • 2. Be on time and do some prep
  • 3. Speak up
  • 4. Remain respectful
  • 5. Listen actively
  • 6. Do your homework
  • 7. Be original
  • 8. Follow up
  • Key takeaways

Group interviews are a unique challenge that you could encounter during your job search. In this blog, we’ll explore 8 group interview tips to help you shine.

As you go forward in your job search, you may encounter a variety of interview formats. While most interviews are one-on-one, some employers prefer to interview a group of potential employees simultaneously. These group interviews may seem intimidating at first, but they may give you the opportunity to shine if you play your cards right.

Before you jump headlong into a group interview, take some time to browse this blog. We’ll offer some top group interview tips to help you stand out from the competition. In the following paragraphs, we’ll cover:

  • What is a group interview?

  • Why do employers set up group interviews?

  • 8 Tips to help you stand out in a group interview 

What is a group interview?

As you might suspect, a group interview is simply an interview in which a company screens multiple candidates simultaneously. The number of candidates can vary from two to ten or more, and there may be more than one interviewer. Companies usually host group interviews in conference rooms or other large rooms within their offices.

Group interviews are more common in certain industries, often those that need to hire many employees quickly. If you’re looking for a job in food service or hospitality, you’ll probably encounter group interviews more than accountants or marketers will.

Why do employers set up group interviews?

Group interviews can offer a wide range of benefits for employers. First, group interviews allow businesses to screen multiple candidates at the same time. This is helpful in industries that require a large number of part-time employees, or that have a high turnover rate. In these scenarios, interviewers may choose multiple candidates for employment once the interview ends. 

Even if a company is only looking for a single employee, group interviews can still be useful. For example, if a company has to fill a role quickly and doesn’t have time for multiple interviews, they may screen all the candidates simultaneously and pick the best one from the crowd. Finally, group interviews allow managers to gauge the skills of their candidates in a social setting. Collaboration, communication, confidence, and conflict resolution are all important competencies that group interviews can put on display.

8 Tips to help you stand out in a group interview

Now that you know more about what a group interview is, it’s time to get ready for yours. In the following sections, we’ll offer eight helpful tips to help you stand out from the crowd in your next interview.

1. Make friends and stay positive

As we mentioned above, employers often use the group interview format to test the social skills of their candidates. With this in mind, you’ll want to be your most outgoing and friendly self on the day of the interview. Group interviews can be competitive and it might be tempting to treat your fellow applicants like a threat. Avoid this mindset and try to make friends with everyone you meet.

Make an effort to meet the other candidates before the interview begins and if possible, try to greet the interviewer. Introduce yourself with a smile, make eye contact, and maintain a good posture to project confidence and positivity. Finally, avoid speaking negatively of anyone, including other applicants, previous supervisors, or interviewers. Taking these simple steps can show that you’re the kind of employee everyone wants in their company.

2. Be on time and do some prep

It’s always good to be on time, but it’s especially important if you’re being compared to others. Arriving last isn’t the best way to make a good first impression, so make every effort to arrive as early as possible. As an added bonus, this gives you more time to prepare and make friends.

If you want to make your arrival even easier, do some prep work in the days before your interview. Verify the time of the interview and try to make parking arrangements the night before. You can also plan your route ahead of time to avoid traffic delays.

3. Speak up

The key to success in a group interview is making an impression. Even if you’re feeling shy, it’s vital to make your voice heard as often as possible. Make sure to answer as many questions as possible while remaining polite and giving space to others. When you answer, make eye contact with the questioner and speak with confidence. This will help you display your knowledge and catch the eye of the recruiter.

4. Remain respectful

If you’ve read the previous tips, you know that it’s important to speak up and stand out. While this is vital, it’s also essential to avoid stepping on any toes. You may end up working with some of the people in the room (candidates and interviewers), so try to display respect in your interactions. Use professional modes of address and give other people in the room the time they need to make their points and ask their questions.

5. Listen actively

Group interviews can be hectic. When you arrive, there will be many people speaking, and it may be challenging to keep track of the conversation. In these situations, active listening is absolutely essential. Make sure you listen carefully to everything the interviewers say so that you can give good answers and follow instructions. It’s also important to listen to your fellow candidates. This can help you contribute effectively to the conversation and avoid repeating their answers.

6. Do your homework

If you want to stand out in your interviews, it’s essential to come prepared. Before your interviews, review the job listings and make sure that you have a fantastic grasp of the duties and qualifications required. If you want to seem knowledgeable, it’s also a good idea to research the company. This will help you understand its values and formulate an effective approach in your responses.

At the end of your interview, you’ll likely have some time to ask questions. You can use this time to find out more about the company’s culture and expectations. As part of your preparations, formulate some questions so that you’re ready when the time comes. This can demonstrate engagement and help you get the attention of interviewers.

7. Be original

In group interviews, it’s essential to show recruiters what makes you unique. Your main goal should be to demonstrate that you offer greater value than the other candidates in the room. This doesn’t require hostility, it simply means that you should show off your skills when the time comes. Be ready to cite real-world examples of your skills and accomplishments and avoid giving answers that are too similar to ones already given. You can also ask probing and relevant questions to show that you put some effort in.

8. Follow up

Once you make an impression, it’s important to capitalize on your gains. Try to keep in contact with your interviewers so that they don’t forget you. Send them your contact information and encourage them to get in touch regarding your application process. Make sure that you do this judiciously to avoid badgering your recruiter.

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Key takeaways

  1. A group interview occurs when a company screens multiple candidates at the same time.

  2. Group interviews are a good way for companies to hire multiple candidates in a short time span and can also help them gauge the social skills of the applicants.

  3. During your interview, remain respectful, demonstrate confidence, and try to make friends.

  4. To help yourself stand out, do some research, ask intelligent questions, and follow up with recruiters.

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