Daily Archives: September 7, 2012

How to Rock a Group Interview

Interviewing can be scary but group interviews can be a nightmare. Answering rapid-fire questions, navigating group dynamics, and carrying a clear conversation can be intimidating. Here’s some advice on how to impress during a group interview.

Meet and Greet
It’s great if you know in advance you’ll be in a group interview – even better if you get the names of those involved. However, if you don’t, make sure to take this part of the conversation slowly. Shake hands and greet each person, jot down their name, and ask what their role is and how it interacts with the position you are applying for. This is a good time to get your footing and observe group dynamics, so don’t rush introductions.

Facilitate Questions
In a group interview it’s easy to fall victim to poor planning on the part of the interviewers. If they don’t jump right in with questions after introductions, offer a brief overview of your work history and point out a few key skills or experiences that you believe make you a good candidate. Make sure to actively listen to the questions being asked. Chances are, you’ll be nervous, and if two people are talking over each other a question could get lost. You may need to take notes to capture all the questions so that you can do a better job answering. As in any interview, restating the question for your own clarity is acceptable and will allow you some time to formulate an answer. Allow for questions from everyone involved, and if someone in the group hasn’t had a chance to ask a question, address them by name and ask if there’s anything they would like to know from you.

Seek Information
Often a group interview can allow you to experience group dynamics and workplace culture. Use your time to ask a few questions about the environment and team projects. Not only is this a good time to learn, but keep your eyes open because there may be body language or internal communication here that gives you a deeper glimpse into the workplace. If something deeper does seem to be brewing about a particular topic or question, remain neutral, this isn’t the time to align with a possible future co-worker or pick sides on an issue. This style of interview gives you a glimpse into company culture and dynamics, adding some food for thought to your decision about accepting a job if it’s offered.

Group interviews can be intimidating, but they can also be fun. It’s a chance to understand the team you are considering joining and show off your communication skills. What are some ways you’ve excelled during a group interview? Let us know in the comment section below.