The group interview format is becoming increasingly popular with employers. There are two primary forms of group interviews; panel and candidate groups. Panel interviews incorporate multiple interviewers, where candidate groups involve a single interviewer and multiple candidates. With preparation, you will succeed in either group interview format.
The group interview is often part of a wider assessment centre process. In this form of interview, you will typically be seated in a room with multiple candidates interested in the same position. The purpose of this style of interview is twofold; first to assess your suitability for the role and second to educate you about the position and the organization.
Candidates may be asked to participate in team exercises or to answer questions. When interaction is involved, employers are looking at whether the candidate has leadership skills, can work within a team environment and often, how they handle challenging tasks.
In this interview format, you will likely be interviewed by a number of individuals from the organization. It is most commonly structured as a question and answer session. In some cases, you may be asked to participate in an exercise or give a presentation, depending on the role requirements.
What are Group Interviewers Looking For?
Regardless of the group interview format, interviewers are looking to see if candidates possess one or more of their identified success characteristics. Some of those characteristics include:
– Appearance: The interviewers are reviewing attire and overall presentation.
– Presentation Skills: Can you present ideas and concepts to your team mates during an exercise and/or to the interviewers?
– Communication Skills: Do you demonstrate the ability to listen, follow instructions and present ideas and concepts in a clear and compelling manner?
– Interest Level: Interviewers are also reviewing your general interest or enthusiasm for the opportunity.
Group Interview Tips
To succeed in a group interview setting, follow these tips:
– Arrive early: 10 to 15 minutes prior to your interview appointment slot.
– Dress Professionally: Choose dark or neutral colors, wear perfume or cologne sparingly, wear minimal jewllery and before heading into your interview, be sure to check a mirror to ensure that your initial impression is a strong one. See what to wear for interview success for more tips.
– Greetings: Greet each interviewer individually. Shake hands with a firm grip. Make eye contact with each individual you encounter.
– If you are in a panel interview, don’t focus your attention solely on one individual. Rather, focus brief amounts of attention and eye contact on each interviewer.
– Review the typical group interview questions on this site, and have a go at developing your own answers in advance of the day.
Tips for the Group Exercise:
– Make sure you build rapport straight away with your other team members by smiling and exchanging pleasantries.
– While the skill sets the interviewer will be observing will vary depending on the job, most group exercises will be looking at: Problem solving ability, communication skills, interpersonal skills, persuasiveness, ability to work as part of or lead a team and how you handle feedback or criticism.
– During the group exercise, don’t interrupt other candidates, be assertive not aggressive.
– Make sure your voice is heard and the ideas and opinions you put forward are helpful and add value to the discussion, don’t talk for talking sake.
– Be seen to acknowledge contributions from other candidates that help in achieving the team task.
– Interviewers will also be taking note of your body language, are you sitting back in your chair removed from the discussion or is your arms folded in a defensive manner, these are all cues to the interviewer that you may not be fully engaged with the team, so be aware of the non – verbal signals you are putting out.
– You may be asked if you have any questions to ask, so ensure you have prepared a list of questions in advance, this will demonstrate that you are proactive and plan ahead, these are qualities every employer is after. See interview questions to ask for a list of intelligent interview questions to ask.
– Follow up the interview with a thank you letter, all employers appreciate a courteous candidate.
Remember, the group interview is about demonstrating your ability to work well as part of a team, problem solve and articulate ideas and solutions in a clear and concise manner. Follow the tips above and you will be well prepared for either a panel or candidate group interview.
Originally posted 2016-09-06 18:11:42.