Group interviews are a popular option for many companies, and for good reason. Interviewing many candidates at once offers a host of benefits for the hiring company. Interviewing potential candidates in a group saves a significant amount of time in the resource search.
Instead of the time required for each individual interview, all of the candidates can be evaluated in a fraction of the time. It also allows employers to assess each candidate’s performance on a team and under stress. If you’ve never been part of a group interview before, here are some tips to help you outshine your competition.
While doing research on the company and the position is a good recommendation for any job interview, it is particularly important when you are attending what could be a group interview. When you have done your research, you can use that knowledge in the interview to help yourself stand out among the crowd.
Investigate the company and the department you’ll be working in. Make sure that you understand the role that you will play if you are hired, and come up with some ideas for things that the company hasn’t done yet. You can use those ideas in your responses during the interview to show the company representatives that you are proactive and a go-getter, which makes you an ideal employee.
It’s also a good idea to research the people you will be meeting with to understand their background and position within the company. You can easily search for your interviewers by looking them up on LinkedIn or the company website. Doing this bit of research will give you additional talking points to bring up during your interview and will help you stand out among other potential candidates.
Some companies host group interviews without giving the candidate forewarning. If you arrive for your interview and find the others already there, don’t let it shake you. Remember that even your arrival for the interview is a test, and one by which you will be measured. Companies are looking for candidates who can remain cool under pressure, which you can show by being unshakable in the face of the surprise. Remain confident and simply introduce yourself to your fellow candidates.
In addition, taking the time to hold conversation with these candidates can show the company that you are a leader and can work well with a group. This is also an important factor. Each candidate will be evaluated based on how well he or she will fit into the company’s atmosphere, so present a strong, friendly, leadership-oriented personality even while you’re waiting to be called in.
Rehearsing the interview with a recruiter will help you to develop the confidence that you need to do this successfully. Your recruiter will go through a variety of potential questions and will help you rehearse those questions and build a plan of action for your interview.
One of the biggest mistakes that many candidates make in group interviews is not paying proper attention to everything that is going on. A group interview can be difficult to follow because of multiple people talking. It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts about what you plan to say next, or to spontaneous about your responses to things. Resist both urges. Pay close attention to both the interviewers and your fellow interviewees.
Measure your responses carefully to show that you are clearly paying attention. Do this by not only answering questions clearly and concisely, but also by providing feedback to, and expanding on, the other candidates responses. Doing this shows the interviewers that you pay attention to details and can work well in a team.
While it may seem to be a bit archaic, follow up your interview with handwritten thank you notes to each of your interviewers. Job seekers have slowly lost their focus on etiquette when it comes to interviews, so most neglect the thank you note follow-up now. Some opt for email thank you notes, which are acceptable, but not nearly as memorable as handwritten options. Sending a thank you note to each of the interviewers will help you to stand out among the rest of the competition.