A group interview at a job interview is not such a rare experience. Employers sometimes use them to speed up the selection process. But the real use of a group job interview should be to assess how job candidates function under pressure and how they work with others.
Many people think that group interviews are more difficult than individual interviews because they are at the same time in direct comparison with other candidates. However, sometimes group interviews can help candidates highlight their flexibility, teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.
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Group interview: respect for others
An important skill in any job interview is showing confidence. However, in a group interview, candidates often worry too much about how to show that they are better than others and in the process make themselves look like people who do not know how to work in a team.
During a group conversation, it is important to respect others. In body language, this means looking others in the eye when talking to them or referring to something they said. One should not pretend that other candidates are not present in the room. And finally, everyone’s point of view should be respected in the conversation.
In a group interview, team and communication skills will be at least as important as the candidate’s professional qualifications.
Group interview: expressing your position
Probably the biggest problem with a group interview is that the candidate has to make an impression and show their views. It is not good for the candidate to remain the quietest person in the room in order not to impose themselves on others.
By doing so, they will show that they do not know how to handle a discussion and show their opinion, and these are certainly the things for the assessment of which the group interview was convened.
In particular, it is necessary to raise your hand or make a gesture to let it be known that you want to say something or comment. At all costs, you should avoid interrupting others if you cannot get a word in, as this is considered a sign of very poor group work skills.
Group interview: listening to others
It is very possible that the candidate, due to nervousness, only focuses on what the interviewers are telling him and does not listen to what the other candidates are saying. This is not good for several reasons.
First of all, the candidate must stand out, and this will not be achieved by repeating what others have already said. One will get the impression that they stole other people’s answers or that there is nothing special about them to differentiate themselves from other candidates.
In addition, interviewers can ask other candidates what they think about something other candidates have said. That is why you should not only listen to what others say but also actively think about how their experiences differ.
How to demonstrate leadership skills in a group interview?
It is possible that during the group interview, the candidates will be given the task of completing a short joint task, such as preparing an answer to a question. The goal is to see how candidates work with others.
Most candidates will be tempted to try to take the lead of the group and thereby demonstrate their leadership skills. However, others may judge that the candidate does not listen to others and imposes his will, which is inappropriate for teamwork, which usually involves the synthesis of multiple solutions. Additionally, there may be a conflict with another candidate attempting the same.
Therefore, it is better to demonstrate leadership skills by highlighting examples from previous work experiences, rather than during the group interview itself. It is necessary to mention occasions when the candidate took the initiative, motivated others, or resolved conflicts.
In a group interview, it is more important and easier to demonstrate teamwork skills, rather than leadership. Besides, it is always said that a good leader must know how to listen to others.
What else to prepare for a group interview?
Candidates may be asked an unusual question, such as what they would make of the other candidates in the room. Unfortunately, it is not possible to prepare for such questions in advance, but it is possible to recommend some guidelines.
The answer should certainly recognize that the other person is probably just as qualified as the candidate. After all, both were invited to a group interview.
It is also possible for a candidate to be called upon to speak first. As with an ordinary interview, you need to know how to briefly introduce yourself and highlight what makes you unique.
A group interview will probably be similar in terms of questions to a classic individual interview. However, candidates will certainly have to demonstrate their communication skills and appreciation of other people’s views.
It is important not to be too competitive with the other candidates in the room and not to ignore them. In a group interview, interpersonal skills will be just as important as ability.