Group interviews definitely feel like something of the past due to this ‘new normal’ that we are living in. However, for organisations looking to fill multiple vacancies, the best way to identify promising candidates is via a group interview. These are now being carried out on Zoom rather than face-to-face, but the principles remain the same.
Not only are group interviews a great way to compare similar candidates, but they also help to highlight which people work best as a team. As there are often quick-fire rounds of questions, candidates have to demonstrate their ability to think quickly and under pressure too.
To help you progress to the next round of the interview stage, here are some of our top ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to group interviews.
Do the following…
Just like you would to a normal interview, make sure you are on Zoom about 5 minutes before the group interview is about to start. Your computer should be set up in advance, and it is important you test that your microphone and webcam are working correctly. You don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons; such as not taking yourself off mute when answering a question!
Prepare your icebreaker
Before the interview actually begins, it is likely that you will be asked to provide a quick background about yourself. Having this prepared in advance will prevent you from getting yourself worked up in the group interview. Try and make this icebreaker engaging, and memorable (for the right reasons). It will help to set you apart from the other candidates.
Sit up straight
Whilst it can be tempting to sit on your sofa on a Zoom call, you will come across as unprofessional in the eyes of the interviewer. If you don’t have an office, make use of the kitchen table for your setup. Body language can make all the difference. So sit up straight, look alert and make sure you are wearing smart interview clothes too.
Prepare some questions
Just like we mentioned in our blog about preparing for a telephone interview, preparation is key for a group interview too. You should know exactly what the company does, and their position within the market. Try to use some of this information to form the basis of the questions you ask. This shows the interviewer that you have done your research.
Remember you are in a group interview. Let other people speak and voice their opinions, whether you agree with them or not. Everyone needs to get involved in the same capacity, and if you see someone struggling, try to make sure they are included too.
Don’t do the following
Talk over people
Yes, you are all applying for roles within the same company; there is bound to be some competition between you. Everyone should still have the opportunity to speak though. If you talk over people you are only going to be remembered for being the bossy person that won’t fit into a team very well. Try not to let your competitive instinct kick in, and let the conversation flow naturally.
The most important thing during a group interview is to be yourself. If the employer doesn’t like you for who you are, then you probably aren’t the right fit. Trying too hard is not going to make you stand out, in fact it will have the opposite effect.
Get lost in the group
With lots of people in one Zoom meeting, it is easy to find yourself fading into the background. The employer will probably put you into smaller groups in breakout rooms to prevent this from happening anyway. One or two people will try to take control of the entire group, and when this happens don’t let yourself be intimidated. You don’t have to agree with everything they say either – it will look better to the employer if you view your opinions too.
Be too informal
Although you are sitting in the comfort of your own home, you are still being interviewed. Remain professional at all times, and address the interviewer just as you would when you are in person. Talk to other group members as if they are your colleagues, not like they are your friends (they are the competition after all!).
Don’t just sit and stare at the computer screen looking dull. Have a glass of water next to you in case your throat dries up, and keep eye contact with the interviewer where possible. Try to look enthusiastic, and take notes throughout the group interview too as this shows you are highly interested in the role.
We hope this has given you some inspiration on how to perform well during group interviews. All the best with your job search, have a browse through our other blogs for more interview tips and tricks.