7 Tips to Help You Ace Your Group Interview

Group interviews don’t have to be as scary as they sound

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Interviews can be terrifying. It’s not very pleasant to have a stranger who can (potentially) change your future sitting across from you, judging your every move.

But there’s something that can make the experience a thousand times worse- having the rest of the candidates who are competing with you be in the same room.

A group interview is an interview technique in which several candidates are interviewed simultaneously for similar positions.

Group interviews can sound daunting, especially if you’ve never participated in one before. The idea of being face to face with your competition while answering complex questions is a lot to take in. However, most of this fear can be eliminated by -

  1. Understanding why group interviews exist
  2. Learning some helpful tips and tricks

Why Do Companies Conduct Group Interviews?

The simple answer to this is: it’s convenient! Companies get to save time, money and effort by interviewing a bunch of applicants together. Furthermore, group interviews boast other added advantages which make them an effective hiring mechanism. By conducting these interviews, employers get to evaluate the candidates’ ability to-

Handle Pressure

In some job roles, it is imperative for employees to be able to maintain composure and communicate effectively during stressful situations. These skills are especially sought-after in industries such as retail, hospitality and customer service .

Take Initiative

Most companies want to hire someone who is proactive, especially for positions in management. It is easy for candidates to say that they possess leadership abilities, but these claims are put to the test during group interviews.

Solve Problems

Problem solvers add value to any establishment. This is because they use logic and creativity in order to analyze information, fix issues and improve performance.

Be a Team Player

Usually, once a candidate is hired, she/he becomes a part of a team. Therefore, for an organization to do well, its employees must be team players who are able to collaborate with and encourage each other.

7 Tips to Crack Group Interviews

Now that we’ve gained an understanding of why group interviews are conducted and what recruiters look for in candidates, let’s dive right into the tips and tricks that will help you land the job-

1. Make Eye Contact With the Rest of the Group

Although your main aim is to impress the interviewer, do not lock eyes with them for too long! Occasionally making eye contact with the rest of the group while answering questions will make you seem like a friendly and confident person.

In addition to this, being attentive while the others are answering (as opposed to looking bored and unbothered) and smiling/nodding at them while they speak will put you in the interviewer’s good books.

2. Listen Carefully to the Others

Listen carefully to the others- trust me, it will pay off. Remembering people’s names and picking up little details of what they said can really help you stand out from the crowd. For example, you can add these points to your answers by saying “as xyz mentioned…” or “adding onto what xyz said…”.

3. Try to Ask Good Questions

As with a regular one-on-one interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions during some part of the group interview.

As you may already know, the answer to “do you have any questions for me?” should always be yes, so be prepared. Research about the company and have a couple of questions handy.

4. Make an Effort to Maintain Pleasant Facial Expressions

This one might sound silly but oftentimes, we’re not aware of the expressions and body language we display in group settings. It’s easy to be observant of these things during one-on-one conversations, but a frown can easily sneak its way in when we’re intently focusing on what other people are saying.

5. Do Not Cut off Other Candidates While They Are Speaking

Probably the biggest no-no of all…do not cut people off when they are speaking. While it’s natural to want to make your presence felt, talking over other people can leave a really bad impression.

6. Do Not Turn Group Activities/Discussions Into Debates

Unless the interview segment has been explicitly mentioned as a debate, it is important to always maintain a diplomatic standpoint. While there is nothing wrong with politely disagreeing with people, try not to come off as aggressive while expressing your views. Make sure to be respectful of other people’s opinions.

7. Take the Initiative to Start or Conclude the Discussion

Initiating the group discussion will definitely earn you brownie points, but it might not be a great idea when you’re not well-informed about the topic being discussed. In such a case, paying attention to the conversation and concluding the discussion would be a better option.

Final Thoughts

Equipped with the knowledge of what the interviewer is looking for along with some helpful tips, you are now ready to tackle your interview. Remember to maintain a positive mindset as it can make the world of a difference. Believe in your abilities and stride in with confidence. All the best!

Sofware developer with a passion for lending ink to her thoughts and sharing the world inside her head.