Candidate Group Interview
Whenever you are interviewed together with other applicants for the same position, it is essential to not get lost in the crowd. Showcasing your competence during a one-to-one interview can be challenging enough, but a group interview is even more stressful. You will have to prove that you are not only a good but the best applicant. To learn how to perform well in a group interview read our tips:
Remember the golden rules
All the golden rules of a one-to-one interview applies to group interviews as well. You have to research the company, dress for success, watch your body language, arrive early, be polite, impress the interviewer with your answers and prepare some relevant questions.
You might not be informed in advance that you are going to take part in a group interview but you shouldn’t show your surprise or, what is worse, your annoyance. Never let your guards down saying: ‘What the … ’. Appear calm and confident. Keep your voice even (but show your enthusiasm whenever the situation requires), make eye contact and smile to signal that you are open and approachable.
Because you are just one of the interviewed applicants you won't have too much time to shine. Make the most of it. To avoid being interrupted, make a very short summary of your experiences, skills, education and why you'd be ideal for this job.
Be a team player
During a group interview you can count on being asked to participate in some kind of play-role or group activity. Assigning you these tasks, the employer wants to see how can you interact with each other and who has good problem-solving skills. Being a good team player is becoming more and more important especially within a larger company. So make sure you are open to the suggestions of your co-applicants. Don't interrupt the others, but get involved and state your opinion clearly, especially if you do not agree with them. Don’t say: ‘That’s rubbish.’ Try to prove your point with well founded reasons. Yet, don't be a pain in the neck. If you are outnumbered in a vote, accept their decision and do your best to finish successfully the task: ‘It’s seems the majority voted for it, so let’s get started.’
Better to lead than to follow
Though it is important to show you can co-operate when it is required, never blend in the background. Be ready to jump in whenever there is an opportunity to make yourself memorable by showing your individuality. Try to take the role of the leader. But of course I don’t mean to order people around and be louder than everyone else. Don’t say: ‘You in the blue hat do this and that.’ You should rather be the co-ordinator who gives suggestions. ‘How about ...’ can be a good start. Remember, this will be a group task, so don’t try to do everything yourself. You should rather divide the job into smaller tasks. It will imply that you have understood the big picture (what you have to achieve) and you could work out a step-by-step solution as well. It is also a good idea to involve the quieter people in the task. ‘What do you think?’ is always a nice start. It will indicate that nothing escapes your attention. An important feature of a leader, if you ask me.
At the end, remember to praise those who come up with good ideas. Being able to say good things about your competitor will reflect your friendly attitude, your self-confidence and your ability to give positive feedback. Trashing your co-applicants is not a good idea, but if you are asked to evaluate someone who didn’t perform too well, tell your opinion politely. Being able to give and take criticism is also a significant part of a leader's job.