Group interview is becoming common these days with so many applicants applying for the same job. More and more employers are arranging group interviews, in order to scrutinize 20+ candidates at the same time. This is a great use of time and in few minutes they are able to discern exceptional candidates from those who are average. Than later on they may arrange for one-on-one job interview with those who get selected. In group job interviews, managers or interviewers are normally looking for some specific qualities like:
- Candidate Communication Skills: The panel will be closely observing your communication and influential skills. Along with this they will also observe your listening powers and see how well you can convince others to think on the same lines as per your thought.
- Decision Making Power: In a group interview it is commonly observed that candidates start arguing on a certain topic. It is when your decision making and initiative taking skills will be closely observed. It would be noticed if you can help people reach a common conclusion or sort out the concern while coming up with a concrete conclusion.
- Team Player Attributes: Here the interviewers will look out for how well you gel with other candidates in the group and how you are keeping pace with them as a good team player.
- Leadership Qualities: This is a very significant point and the spectators will notice your leadership qualities with supreme care. They will be closely observing if you take initiative or are happily taking a back seat. They will also notice if you are a natural leader in the group or only speak up when required.
- Stress Management: During the course of group interview it is certain that some one might get little harsh while putting up their point or he may totally retaliate to your point. This is the time when it will be observed that how well you can handle the situation without being panicked.
To help you crack group interview with extreme professionalism, we have listed down some useful group interview tips. Read on to learn the right skills and be an exceptional candidate over and above the average ones:
Tips for Preparing Group Interview:
1- Prior Preparation & Research:
To successfully face group job interview it is absolutely important to take some time for prior preparation. Which means you should thoroughly understand the job profile and study about the company. Don’t just check the company’s website, but also research on the net about their latest news and update (PR releases, facebook fan page…etc). In a group interview it would be highly impressive if you can bring up their latest endeavors and vision casually into the conversation. This would give a notion to the interviewers that you have done your homework and you are quiet keen about the job, which in turn would help you stand out from other candidates.
2- Prepare Your Personal Interview:
In most of the group job interviews, the managers tend to break the ice by asking each of the candidates to give their small introduction, so you all may get acquainted with each other. Do not waste this opportunity, prepare a small yet impressive introduction which tells about your most important skill sets and work experience directly related to the profile you are applying for. An arresting introduction will certainly help you stick out from others in the group. Remember to keep your introduction short not more than 3 to 5 lines.
3- Connect with the Interviewers:
One way to leave a positive impression on the interviewers is to talk about their interest areas. Prior to the interview, find out who will be in the panel and than do some research about them (LinkedIn would be the best place to do your research). Know about their interest areas and achievements. In case one of the panel members raises a question, you can answer the question, while quickly mentioning a line or 2 about his achievements or experience if any, related to the question he asked. While replying to one person, do not forget to maintain eye contacts with others in the panel and in the group.
4- Dress Appropriately:
As for all other job interviews, it is essential that you dress professionally for a group interview. Try picking up something which enhances your personality and make you appear more confident and self-aware. Yes! A candidate’s skill set and experience is more important for an interview, but apt dressing definitely adds up to the whole process and makes you look different and confident when compared to other entrants.
5- Carry Your Documents:
In a group interview it is quiet possible that the interviewer may not ask you for documents. He will be probably looking at these documents during the 1-on-1 round. But it is always a good idea to go prepared. You never know they might want to see the documents. Carry your portfolio file, with all the relevant documents and few copies of your resume, so that you can produce them when required.
6- Arrive Early For Interview:
Always arrive for any job interview 10 to 15 min in advance. It is more important to do so for a group interview. Reason being arriving early will give you an opportunity to interact with the interviewers and other candidates. This small activity will get you noticed and you will be in the interviewers mind all through out the group interview discussions.
7- Stay Attentive and Mind your Body Language:
Be aware of your body language and gestures throughout the group interview. Remember that the moment you enter the interview venue you are being observed. So, mind every singe move of yours. Make sure that you carefully listen to the questions and couple of times take initiative and be the first one to present a rational answer or discussion. While making sure that you take initiative also be careful that you do not interrupt anybody in haste to say what you want. Take few moments let the person complete his thought and than speak up. Also while interviewers and other candidates are discussing upon a point, nod your head and keep your eyes and ear open to grasp in all well and try to get the correct meaning of it. So that you can put forward a balanced and intellectual discussion.
8- Follow-up Post Interview:
As always once the group interview is over make sure to collect the panel’s business card or contact information and than send out a quick thank you note. In this note make sure to thank them for their time and also quickly remind them of your interest in the job.