For certain roles or industries, group interviews are more common than a traditional interview. Knowing how to stand out in a group interview is important, as they differ in a few ways from one-on-one interviews. Keep reading to find out about our best tips for group interviews.
How do group interviews work and how can I do well?
Understand the format of group interviews
Group interviews can take several forms. Being prepared for each scenario will give you the best chance of success. The most common types of group interviews are:
Small group interviews – The most frequent kind of group interview. These are normally led by one person / hiring manager and may be in groups of 5 to 7 candidates. The focus of these interviews tends to be on interpersonal skills, leadership ability, and team problem-solving.
While it’s important to have some practice with common interview questions, these types of interviews may be more task-based so be prepared to think on the fly.
Mass interviews – These kinds of group interviews can start with a presentation before breaking apart to have a face-to-face interview. Typically, there are a few hiring managers on hand to interview but there is little privacy during your face-to-face and it may be over more quickly than solo interviews you have had in the past.
As the person will likely interview many candidates over the course of the day, just nailing the key job requirements isn’t always enough. Weaving an interesting anecdote or sharing fact that shows some of your personality can be a great way to stand out, just make sure to keep it professional.
Panel interviews – These types of group interviews will generally have 3 interviewers, however it could be more. Commonly, the people interviewing you will be from different parts of the business to provide a different perspective. If you have one of these lined up it can be a great sign that you are a strong candidate
Be prepared for some curveball questions as managers in different teams may have some unique insights that may not feel directly related to the role you are going for. Just remember to go with the flow. If you get a question you haven’t prepared for just give it your best shot, a lot of the time they are testing your ability to adapt.
A combination – Any of the above. While businesses do their best to explain the hiring process things may change. It’s always best to be prepared to go with whatever task or question is asked. Being flexible and adaptable are key skills in the workforce today and a format change might also be a test!
One downside to a group interview is that it tends to favour the more outspoken members of a group. If you are a shy or quiet person, it might be a bit more difficult to be seen and heard. The key here is practice. Pester your family for role plays, practice in front of a mirror, whatever makes you more comfortable. You don’t want to miss a chance for a job because you didn’t take a shot.
Teamwork is important
A lot of times these interviews are about showcasing how you can deal with other people and how well you work together.You have to find the right balance of politeness and assertiveness. You don’t want to sit on the sidelines while everyone else impresses. At the same time, you don’t want to come across as a bully that’s trying too hard. Feel the room, be polite, but be confident with the skills you have and make sure you showcase them.
A group interview is still an interview
Despite the different format and more people being in the room, it’s still an interview. Being prepared is the best way to stand out in group interviews so make sure you dress for success and sell yourself. If you need more tips for group interviews or have questions about a recruitment or interview process, reach out to your friendly placement consultant.