You walk into the office prepared for your interview, but you realize that it isn’t just you that’s going to be interviewed. Instead, it’s you and a handful of other candidates. This may have thrown a wrench in your interview plan, but group interviews are a great way to showcase your leadership and teamwork skills. Let’s take a look at what group interviews are and how you can make yourself stand out in one.
Group interviews are different from the standard individual interview. You’re put in with a group of people you don’t know all competing for the same job. Hiring managers conduct group interviews as a way to find the candidate that stands out from the crowd. In a group interview it’s easy to spot which candidate’s blend in with the others and fail to speak up. Managers see how you work as a team player and as a leader. In a group interview, your social skills are put to the test. You want to make sure you leave a favorable impression on the employer. Overall, your goal in a group interview is to stand out from the crowd and make the managers remember who you are.
Before the interview starts you want to show right away that you’re a good team player. Introduce yourself and make small chat with the other candidates to lessen the tension and create a friendlier interview environment. Managers may look on and take note of this good teamwork behavior.
You want to stand out in the group interview, but you don’t want to hog the entire spotlight. That would show you aren’t a good team player. You want to give precise answers to the questions you’re asked. If you aren’t asked a question first, and find that another candidate said the answer you wanted to say, then say that you agree with the person and add your own take on it. Make your answers concise and let your own personal experience and skills shine through. Back up each answer with a personal experience, but don’t turn it into a ten minute story.
Remember to be respectful of others. Show that you’re listening to what others have to say by nodding and taking notes. Don’t be rude and disrupt others. Wait for them to finish their answer and then put in your opinion. Managers will notice your good listening skills as well as your speaking skills.
One way to show that you’re a more qualified applicant is by doing your research. Like any other interview, the more you know about the organization, such as its mission and values, the more you stand out. When the interviewer asks if anyone has questions it’s your time to shine. Show off your preparedness by asking insightful questions. Take a look at some of the best interview questions job seekers will ask.
Don’t forget that as with any other interview it is proper etiquette to follow up the interview with a sincere thank you letter to those that interviewed you. If you don’t think you stood out as much as you had hoped in the group interview, your thank you letter can be your saving grace.