Employers who hold group interviews do it for multiple reasons. Some are short on time. They could be hiring a large number of people for a busy time of the year. They could be in a highly competitive industry and want to see who rises to the top quickly under pressure.
Or they could be on the other end of the spectrum, placing a high value on teamwork, and want to see how candidates interact with each other. Whatever the reason, trying to stand out from the crowd is daunting. We’ve listed five tips to help you do so.
1. ARRIVE EARLY
Punctuality is always important but a group interview ups the ante. Even if every candidate is on time, it’s better to be the first person to arrive than the last.
The early candidate is more likely to be remembered positively, or even remembered at all. And don’t forget that you may be monitored even when you’re waiting to go into the interview, so always be friendly and courteous to other candidates and, of course, the receptionist.
2. BE YOURSELF
You don’t have to talk constantly to be noticed, in fact that would be a bad strategy. To be memorable, make sure what you’re saying shows how you would contribute to the conversation using your particular skills.
If you’re a natural leader show it. Calmly make suggestions and lead the conversation when appropriate. If you’re more of a thinker, show that. Speak with purpose and show your thought process. Whatever your personality, show that you can work well in a group but can stand your own, when needed.
3. BE POLITE
Sometimes this will mean waiting for your turn to speak. Other times you might not get a word in if you do that. Whatever your strategy, do not talk over people. Show that you can work within a group. Help others, when needed. Above all, show grace under pressure.
It’s important to demonstrate that you have listened to others’ points of view. In a fast-paced group interview it’s tempting to spend your time waiting to get a word in, thinking about what you’re going to say next but it’s more important to listen to what everyone is saying and stay engaged in the conversation. Instead of interrupting, when you think of something, jot it down until it’s appropriate to speak.
5. FOLLOW UP
After your interview continue to remind the recruiters who you are by sending a short thank you message. Remember that other candidates will most likely be sending thank you notes, too. So reference something from the interview that highlights your unique skills.