No one enjoys a job interview, at least no one we know! They can be so nerve-wracking and even more so if you have ever been in a dreaded group interview. Everyone knows that when you interview for a job, you have competition, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to compete with them in the same room.
Don’t let the awkwardness of a group interview trip you up. If you can learn to overcome your nerves and be ready to fight for that job, you will have a huge edge over your competition who are probably feeling very uncomfortable. By taking some time to prep and mentally prepare for a group interview, you will be ready to kick the competition to the curb.
As with any job interview, you need to do plenty of research on the company you are interviewing for, your interviewer and the types of skills needed to perform well in the position. But in a group interview, you are going to need to step this up a notch. You need to be well-versed on the company’s history, culture, work and goals and you need to feel comfortable talking about it. You will want to look more informed than any of the other candidates.
Dress to Impress
Take your normal interview outfit to the next level. You don’t want to risk being underdressed than anyone else in the interview. By showing up looking uber polished and professional, you could possibly outshine some of your competition without having to say a word.
You don’t have to show up too early, but try to be there 10-15 minutes before your scheduled interview. Arriving early shows you have good time management skills and are responsible. And it might even given you a few minutes to talk to the interviewer before everyone else arrives.
Write a Mini Speech
Trying to sum up your educational and professional experiences and qualifications in a quick summary is never easy. Having to do this in front of people you are competing against will be even trickier. Take the time to write a mini speech about yourself a few days before your interview and take the time to rehearse it before your interview. It may feel weird, but it will help you remember to say everything you want to say about yourself. You don’t want to be kicking yourself afterwards because you forgot what you wanted to say.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out
If you are naturally shy or don’t care for attention you will struggle with this. You won’t want to, but you are going to have to be a little pushy in the interview if you want to stand out. Don’t be afraid to answer questions directed to the group first or to try and sell yourself as the best candidate. The other candidates will be doing the same thing, so do your best to stand out. Just be careful not to appear cocky, no one likes a know-it-all. And don’t ever be self-deprecating, because you are awesome and that’s all your interviewer needs to know.
Be a Team Player
It may seem wrong to support your competition, but this is your interviewer’s first chance to see you work in a team. Don’t ever laugh, snicker or grimace when another interviewee makes a statement. And if you can in an appropriate way, make supportive statements occasionally when someone speaks. Be friendly and chatty while in the waiting room too. At the end of the day, no matter what your qualifications are, your interviewer has to want to work with you every day, and everyone likes friendly people.
Pay attention when other candidates are speaking. This will stop you from making nearly identical statements on accident and know where you need to show your strengths. Also do your best to make it clear you are listening with verbal cues like smiling and nodding. This will make you look engaged and like a good listener, both of which are signs of respect.
Ask Great Questions
At the end of the interview, the group will likely be asked if you have any questions. Have a few good ones ready to go. You don’t want to be the person asking average questions about benefits and the day-to-day operations, let the rest of the group ask those. Based off your research, come up with questions about the company’s growth, goals and culture to show that you are invested in the company’s future as well as your own. And if possible, sprinkle a few questions in throughout the interview to create more of a conversation between you and the interviewer.
That’s right, thank everyone, not just the interviewer. Shake hands and tell everyone in the group it was nice to meet them. You will look friendly, mature and cooperative. Plus you never know when when you will see these candidates again, it might even be at your next job!
Have you ever tackled a group interview? Share your story in the comments!