August 23, 2016
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Group interviews can be overwhelming, to say the least. It often feels like an on-the-spot competition where the stakes are a lot higher than just winning a trophy. Most people are extremely nervous and insecure when it comes to group interviews. Unfortunately for those people, group interviews are becoming increasingly popular, as they are a fast and effective way to eliminate several applicants at once without wasting time with individual interviews. If you’re one of these people who feels a bit intimidated by group interviews, consider these helpful tips to turn this opportunity into more of a showcase of your skill set, and really stand out during your group interview!
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- Start conversation
First and foremost, be open to starting conversation to break the silence. Most group interviews start with everyone sitting in silence, glancing at each other with a fake grin or checking their phones until the group leader comes in and asks everyone to introduce themselves. Believe it or not, this tends to be a warning sign for interviewers, as they actually have their eye out for people who are outgoing, friendly, and full of personality. If you’re someone that can strike a conversation with strangers, the odds are already in your favor. Plus, it shows signs of leadership - that you can take control of an awkward situation and turn it into one where people are enjoying themselves.
- Get to the point
When we talk about ourselves, especially when we’re trying to build ourselves up, it tends to be long-winded. That’s not always a good thing when it comes to group interviews. If the interviewer asks a specific question, he or she is generally looking for a specific answer. Even if he or she asks an open-ended question, you should still speak with purpose and answer it directly. You want your potential employer to remember your answer, but not for how long it was or how well you rambled. Use situational examples, but get to your point and stay on target; be original and engaging, as to not duplicate other people’s answers; and be bold and assertive, but don’t come off as overly aggressive or self-centered.
Although the whole situation is a bit nerve-wracking, try not to focus too much on your own answers. Be sure that you are also listening carefully to the questions, as well as other people’s answers to the questions. This is the best way to make sure yours stands out the most. Often times, in group interviews, people become so focused on trying to come up with “a better” answer than the person before them, that they actually forget what the original question was. Instead of doing this, simply listen to everybody else’s answers, and develop your own from these in a natural way. If you’re going to reference somebody else’s answer, be sure to use their name (i.e. “As with Mike’s example…”), rather than saying things like, “Like he said…” This will demonstrate that you are a good listener, which is an important quality to have as a potential employee.
- Be yourself
While it’s important to act in a professional manner, try not to make yourself come across as all business and no play. Even the hardest workers still need to have people skills. Be open and friendly, and let your brightest colors shine through the entire interview process. You already dressed the part, they already have your resume, so there’s really no reason to keep trying to sell them on your resume, right? Now it’s time to sell them on you, as a human being. Be the person that they can relate to and that want on their team. Be yourself!
- Follow up
This should be a no-brainer for any type of interview, but just in case it’s not… remember to follow-up! Rest assured, not everyone will do this, so there’s another point in your favor. When you make contact to follow up, it’s always a good idea to remind your interviewer of a specific time during the interview, in which you felt you stood out among the rest. Companies often conduct several of these group interviews each day, so any reminder of who you are can only benefit you in the hiring process! Don't know where to start? Take a look at these 10 follow up email templates from Hubspot!