How to prepare for a group interview

six people sitting attentively as a man conducts a group interview.

You may have heard the saying, “Stand out from the crowd”, you might even make an effort to do just that, but when you’re put in a group of people who want the same thing as you, how do you ensure your voice and skills are noticed? How do you stand out in a group interview?

What is a group interview?

Group interviews involve one interviewer conducting a series of interviews at the same time. The reason a business might opt for group interviews over a one-on-one interview is that they often save time and money.

Group interviews also allow the interviewer to see how you perform in a natural group setting.

How to prepare for a group interview.

1. Research the company

The more you know about the company, the more confident you will be in answering their questions. You should look into things like the history of the company (when they were established and what they do), how their company values align with you (and why you want to work there), and what the position you’re applying for requires of you.

To better understand what the interviewer may ask you, you are always welcome to email the company to ask how to best prepare for the group interview. Doing so shows initiative.

2. Prepare your introduction

First impressions are important so be sure to stand out the moment you make your introduction. Prior to the beginning of the interview, introduce yourself to the interviewer and anyone else from the company that is present. Be friendly to build rapport and be brief.

To prepare for your group introduction, organise a 2-minute dialogue breaking down your education, experience, career goals and how the position you’re applying for fits into your future plan. Read this aloud to yourself, to family, and to friends to gain confidence.

What to expect in a group interview

With any interview, be it one-on-one, group or panel, you’ll be asked a series of questions. Your answers determine whether you will be a good fit for the company.

Here are some examples of typical group interview questions.

  • How would others describe you (they want to see if your answers line up with your references’ answers)?
  • How would you describe yourself (relate your hobbies/interests with the position you’re applying for)?
  • Why do you want this job (if you’ve researched the company thoroughly, you will know why you think you’re a good fit for the company)?
  • Why does this company interest you (research the company to find out how your values align)?
  • What can you offer the company (why they need you)? Can you work in a team (your words and actions must align in a group interview)

You may also be required to participate in a group activity. If so, the interviewer will ask questions afterwards such as:

  • Who would you hire out of this group and why?
  • What was your contribution to the team?
  • Why do you believe the team struggled/successfully completed the objective?

How to succeed in group interviews

Be a good listener, speaker and teammate throughout the interview for maximum success.

Most importantly, follow up.

Once the interview is complete, personally thank the interviewer. The interviewer has given time to ensure the best candidate for the job will be picked, thanking them shows gratitude for their time and creates a closing bond. They will remember you for being courteous and respectful.

Bonus tip: Arrive early on the day of the interview so you can freshen up and observe the company organically conducting business.

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