How to Survive and Stand Out in a Group Interview
A number of companies are forgoing the traditional one-on-one interviewing process and opting for group interview scenarios instead. According toReed, "Not only are (group interviews) a good way to compare and contrast candidates, they also demonstrate how each individual works as part of a team, and how they perform under pressure." Additionally, as per U.S. News & World Report, "For the hiring company, a group interview can be a big time saver and the company may be hiring more than one person for the role."
This process may be a benefit for the hiring manager, but for those being interviewed, the experience can be intimidating. If you are about to head off to a group interview for the first time or want to handle the situation better the next time you're in such a position, here are some tips to make it through successfully and prove that you're the best person for the job. The group dynamic can be your ticket to landing a solo interview as a follow-up and get hired for the role you've been coveting!
While you may be inclined to size up the competition or compare yourself based on first impressions, that won't help you be your best self. You have no idea what the others bring to the table, so focus on your strengths and what your experience and talent can do for the company.
As per U.S. News & World Report, "Always be respectful, courteous and professional. Don't talk down to other candidates or try to make their answers wrong." A sure sign of confidence is being secure in yourself despite what the others may gave to offer. The Muse adds, "Remember, you don't have to talk constantly to be noticed—but to be memorable, make sure what you're saying is unique and contributing to the conversation."
Reed suggests to prepare an introduction before you get there as a smooth icebreaker and "body language can make all the difference. Do it right, and you'll appear attentive and alert, showing your interviewers that you're genuinely interested in what they have to say. Do it wrong, however, and you'll only look listless and lethargic."
Don't forget to make eye contact with not only the interviewer, but all people in the room. Smile and be friendly. Being yourself is confidence from within.
Engage and Address the Others
In this group setting, it's important to be aware of your surroundings. This type of interview is more like a conversation, so you'll need to be engaged with the group and give them the respect you'd expect in return.
As per The Muse, "You have to listen to the interviewers and interviewees and stay engaged in where the conversation is headed. Really pay attention and use body language to show you're engaged with the group, even when you're not talking."
Reed notes, "One of the most important facets of leadership is the ability to ensure everyone's opinions are heard, not just voicing your own."
The interviewer is holding a group interview for a reason. They want to see how you can handle the pressure. They need to know how you'll fare in company meetings and conferences. Think of the other candidates as assets. You can bounce ideas off one another or come up with answers you may have never thought of thanks to something another person discussed. You never know, you may just wind up working alongside one or more of these candidates in the future!