Image Credits: http://passthejobinterview.com/
Group interviews are relatively easy if you work well in a team and are able to make your ideas heard in a crowd. However, they can be challenging if you have a quieter personality and prefer to keep to yourself.
Regardless of how you feel about group interviews, there’s no reason you should treat them any different, in most respects, than a standard, one-on-one interview. The same basic principles apply: Research the company, arrive on time, dress appropriately, practice answering common interview questions, and remember to follow up after the interview.
What’s the Difference?
The key difference between individual interviews and group interviews is obvious: You’ll be questioned along with a bunch of other hopeful job seekers. Your objective isn’t just to show what a great employee you could be — you need to beat the competition face-to-face, too. The competition is in the room with you. Don’t worry — you can use this to your advantage.
The challenge is to find the right balance between getting your opinion across and dominating the conversation. You don’t want to be so close-mouthed that you’re perceived as being passive or shy either. Be confident and don’t let yourself be bullied by others into staying quiet. At the same time, encourage your fellow interviewees to speak up and let their ideas be heard. You’ve got nothing to worry about, right? Let your knowledge and confidence speak for themselves. Keep yourself focused and calm and you’ll blow away the competition.
Group interviews can be conducted a few ways, depending on the quirks of the company. In a panel interview, a group of job seekers are asked several questions by a panel of people from the company. These people are usually from a variety of backgrounds, and can include someone from human resources, company executives, and/or employees you are most likely to work with should you get the job. The point of panel interviews is to make your voice heard without dominating the conversation. Are your responses memorable? Are you memorable? Be respectful, respond intelligently, and keep your cool to ace this kind of interview.
Take it Easy
Still worried about the group interview? Don’t be — it sounds more daunting than it is! Just treat it with the same sense of precaution and preparedness you would with a one-on-one interview. Employers are still looking for the most qualified candidates who best fit their company. If you do your research, come prepared, look professional, and answer the questions well, you’ve done all you can. If you don’t get the position, ask for feedback. Find out where you could have improved and learn from your mistakes. At the very least, the employer will be impressed with your request, and they may just keep you in mind for the next position that opens up!