How to Stand Out in a Group Interview
We have done many articles on how to best your interviews, giving you many tips and helpful advice. Alas, group interviews are becoming more and more popular nowadays. You may be asked to participate in a group interview when you are trying to get the job. It may feel strange to you – being in a room, facing all your competitors. Your first instinct may be to play safe and defend yourself, but this is what employers do not want to see.
Group interviews are used to test a candidate in a social situation, hence the group. You will be under pressure, and employers want to see your leadership qualities and ability to build rapport with strangers, while also testing your interpersonal and teamwork skills.
This method of interviewing is useful to the employer when he is interviewing a larger number of candidates. The employer can recognize who will step up to the plate and have a little preview of how people may gel with the current team in place.
With that said, here are some tips to stand out and do well in group interviews:
Arrive early and make an impression
This stands true for all types of interviews: you should always arrive early, but this is especially true for group interviews. By being early, you will have more time to introduce yourself to your competitors and get more comfortable before the interview starts.
Furthermore, if you are the first to arrive, the interviewer is more likely to remember who you are and you will have more time to show your strengths before the others arrive.
Mind your body language
In the introduction we mentioned that group interviews are designed to test a candidate in a social situation and to look at his social skills. It is important to not forget about your body language – you need to be confident and remain open while not looking or sounding too bossy or overbearing.
Remember that your potential employer will be looking out for leadership qualities so it is super important not to look agitated or sit cross armed, even if that is how you sit comfortably. It is natural for people to fall into their natural sitting habits or retreat into themselves when they are nervous.
When you do that, it gives off the impression that you’re not really interested in the job being offered to you. You need to be positive and confident in yourself, and your body will follow suit.
Just like any normal interview, there will always be time set aside for some questions from the candidates, usually towards the end of the interview. This is your chance to make a great impression, so it is imperative that you have prepared well for this beforehand.
Make sure that you do a lot of research on the company, their business, and ask questions based on what you have uncovered. If the interviewer has said something interesting that you have already read online, tell them. Ask a question that lets you show the amount of work you have done and how much you really want the job.
Do not be embarrassed or shy to speak up, because if you don’t, the other candidates will.
Despite everyone in the room being your competition, it is important that you build good relationships with them during this process. Your potential employer is more likely to remember the person that everybody warmed up to – the one who made an effort to remember names and involve them in conversations.
If you have the chance to take the lead, try to encourage the more shy and introverted candidates to get involved in the tasks you have been given. This will be exactly what the interviewer is looking for.
One of the most important parts of leadership is the ability to make sure that everybody’s opinions are heard, and not only voicing your own.
As with individual interviews, you should always follow up your session with a thank you email. Try to reference a part of the conversation in which you contributed in the email in order to stand out during this stage of the process too. By doing this, your interviewer will recall your face and answer and this will only stand to benefit you.
We hope that all these tips will help you if you get called for a group interview. Are there any other tips that you use to stand out and do well in these kinds of interviews? Share them with me.