Group interviews can be tricky. It can be hard to stand out in the crowd in all the right ways. The tone, the energy; There is so much unpredictability. You don’t have to answer to only one other person, you have to answer for yourself in front of the interviewer and in front of your peers and/or competitors. It takes competition to a whole new level.
So what can you do in a group interview to increase your odds of success and makes sure you stand out among the crowd?
First, break down the group interview and step back- give yourself a pep talk. You’ve got this. And, “this” is no different from any other interview. You still need to take steps to be prepared, and you still need to go into it with a positive attitude and outlook. If anything, a group interview has its advantages. Here’s what you need to do.
Remember the Basics
Like any other job interview you’ll want to make sure you do your research beforehand. Know the company. Know the details so you can apply your experience and what you know appropriately. Talk to others that have interviewed with the company or that may work there instead of relying solely on Google. All of this is something you should do whether or not you’re preparing for a group interview or a more traditional one. So don’t panic and don’t forget to remember the basics.
While you should never be late for your interview, in this situation, you should take it a step further and be early—at least half an hour early. This will help you have a chance to calm your nerves and become familiar with the setting. Take this opportunity to absorb your surroundings. Look at pictures and paintings on the wall, people watch. You’ll learn a lot about the people and company culture, all of which will help you in your interview.
Prepare Your Introduction
In a group interview, your introduction is especially important. That’s why you want to take time to compose and memorize your introduction so that it is as concise and fluid as possible. Remember, you never get a second a chance to make a first impression.
Listen, Speak, Support
During a group interview you need to stay on point and alert the whole time. This is not a time to pass the buck and daydream. Listen to the questions and listen to the responses. And don’t be afraid to speak up and answer first- or speak up and add to an answer from one of your peers. You don’t want to dominate the interview but make your presence known. An easy way to inject yourself into the conversation is to offer support, so be alert.
At the end of most interviews you’ll be asked if you have any questions. Prepare these ahead of time to make sure you’ll have something to ask or say. Some may be answered along the way, so you may need to adapt or change them as the interview progresses. Asking questions lets the interviewer know that you’re genuinely interested and have put some thought into the company, job, and present discussions.
Remember, of course to be courteous, polite, and thank your interviewer for the opportunity, but don’t forget to also shake hands and be polite to your fellow interviewees.
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