Thanks to the dramatic rise in awareness of company culture and its role in the workplace, more and more businesses are choosing to perform group interviews. This is usually done with a group of potential candidates and the members of the team they will be expected to work with. Group interviews not only test how well you interview, but it gives the employer a chance to assess your personal skills, competencies and how you work within a team setting. Given that a toxic hire can have a very negative effect throughout the organisation, it’s important for the employer to be sure that their chosen candidate will be a good fit in terms of company culture and personality. But group interviews can be a difficult experience for the candidate, especially if you’ve never done one before. So we have a few tips to help you make a good impression in your group interviews.
Don’t Give Up Too Quickly
Your first instinct is going to be to try and make yourself stand out from the crowd in the interview and really make an impression. Unfortunately, that’s what everyone else in the room will be doing as well. Standing out from the crowd can be difficult, but you should by no means give up. A good interviewer knows that the loudest person in the room isn’t necessarily the best for the job, and will be keeping a close eye on all of you throughout the process to assess your individual skills. If you struggle to cut through the noise in a group setting and make your voiced heard, don’t throw in the towel right away. Stand firm and showcase your skills at every opportunity instead of just letting yourself be swept along in the current of the interview.
A lot of people think that they don’t need to prepare as thoroughly for a group interview as they would for an individual interview. This is not the case at all. While a group interview won’t have as many direct questions or as much opportunity for one on one discussion, being able to offer valuable contributions to group activities and conversations is an integral part of doing well in a group interview setting. You still need to research the company and the role, brush up on any relevant skills and treat the group interview as an opportunity to showcase your suitability for the role. When it comes to interviewing, every moment counts so make sure you are fully prepared.
Don’t Hog The Limelight
In group interviews there is always one person who tries to stand out in the worst possible ways – by hogging all the time for questions, talking over people, dominating group activities and trying to show off their ‘expertise’ at appropriate times. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with trying to take on an organisational role or asking questions, but make sure you aren’t dominating the interview and not letting anyone else speak. Your fellow candidates will not appreciate this sort of behaviour and despite your best intentions it will not reflect well on you as a candidate. If you do decide to try and take on a managerial role within the group interview, make sure you listen to everyone’s point of view and showcase your ability to lead, not dominate.
Don’t Play It Safe
Some candidates, afraid of coming across like the example above will instead shy away and try to blend into the background. This isn’t the best option either. Group interviews are not the time to be shy and timid – it’s a time to make yourself stand out as a great team player. If the interviewer asks a question, don’t be the one to shy away and let others answer instead. If the interviewer is asking for solutions, don’t be the one to play it safe and give the obvious answer. Employers don’t want people who will rehash the same ideas – they are looking for visionary, out of the box problem solving that can add value to their business.
Group interviews can be a difficult environment for everyone, especially if it is the first stage of the interview. The most important thing to remember is that the employer is looking at your ability to interact and work as a team member as well as your individual abilities. If you treat your ground interview as the ‘teamwork’ stage, your individual interview will be the perfect place to talk more about yourself as an individual. For more interview tips follow our blogs or get in touch with us today.