Congratulations! So you’ve applied to numerous jobs and you were invited to one (or more) interviews! Be proud of yourself because the employer saw something on your resume that they liked enough to want to meet you in person. That’s a personal achievement in itself! Now you’ve either gotten a call from them or an email inviting you, but when you suddenly heard or read the words “group interview” your heart skipped a beat. And it’s normal to feel intimidated by a group interview, but a lot of employers thrive on them as group dynamics help to narrow down which potential employees are best suited for their business.
So how do you make a good first and lasting impression while you’re being compared to other people up for the same job? Luckily for you we’ve compiled our best 10 tips to help you stand out in a group interview (you can thank us later when you land that job!).
Making sure you arrive at your interview venue at least 20-30 minutes earlier than the scheduled time, will give you enough of a breather to get yourself into a calm mindset and it lets the employers know that you’re not one to be tardy!
Ensure that you are dressing according to the specific dress code as provided by the employer prior to the interview. Most group interviews range from semi-formal to formal, so make sure that you are wearing appropriate and conservative clothes to maintain a level of formality and professionalism. If you haven’t been told of dress code, contact the employer to clarify.
Engage in small talk with other group interviewees, especially in the waiting room before the interview. Because here’s the thing – they’re just as nervous and anxious as you are! So be one of the first ones to break the ice and show a friendly smile because it is guaranteed to alleviate any nervous tension you might have. Employers also start to assess you as soon as you enter the room, so this shows them that you’re personable and friendly.
Be cautiously assertive:
If you know an answer to an open asked question to the group, put your hand up and give them your best well thought out answer. It’s important to not hold the floor all the time because sometimes seeking all the attention of others can in fact be a turn off. Remember that you’re being assessed on your leadership and interpersonal skills with group work, so ensure that everyone has time to give their own opinion. If there’s an introvert in the group make sure to encourage them to share their opinion, or if you’re an introvert yourself, make sure that your voice is being heard and give a purposeful and genuine answer. This shows employers that you’re able to work fairly in a team among other personalities.
Body language is just as important in a group interview as are the words you communicate. Make sure your posture is straight; you look attentive and alert to both interviewers and interviewees as they talk; you portray a friendly and comfortable manner; and smile smile at all the appropriate times. Employers assess your non verbal communication just as much as your communication with the group.
Introduce to impress:
It is common for everyone in the group interview to be asked to introduce a little bit about themselves. So why not reveal something unique about yourself to stand out? Maybe confess a personal anecdote or a special talent you have; anything that is sure to make employers and group interviewees smile, laugh or be intrigued by you is sure to make a good first impression that they’ll be sure to keep an eye on you throughout the whole interview.
If you need clarification on something, put your hand up when the employer asks for any questions at the end of the interview. It helps to think of some questions during the interview so you are prepared to ask them when you’re invited to share your thoughts. If you can’t think of any questions, don’t feel the need to force it!
Be confident and positive.
You will be constantly assessed on your social interaction with other interviewees and how you deal with group dynamics during activities. It’s important to maintain a confident and positive manner as it will show employers that you’re personable and have strong interpersonal skills which is vital to have when working with other employees within the company.
Of course it helps to follow these steps if you want to make a lasting impression, but make sure that you don’t pretend to act like someone that you’re not just to get them to like you. As long as you act like your true self, they are sure to like you for who you are. Remember that you are unique from every other interviewee, so showcase who you are to the best that you can.
If it’s been a while and you haven’t heard back from the job, try following up by calling or emailing the hiring manager. This shows them that you’re committed and determined which are two traits employers look for in potential employees, and you never know it just might sway them even more to hire you!
Hopefully some of these tips come in handy for your next group interview. Best of luck and remember to be yourself! For any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below.