group interview

Companies often conduct group interviews to fill in multiple positions at the same time. If you are appearing for a group interview, you will be called in with a bunch of other candidates. Depending on the type of group interview you will be required to compete and coordinate with the rest of the interviewees while attending such interviews.

Group Interview can be broadly categorised into two types:

1. Group Interviews and Group Activities:

The usual set up of group interviews include one interviewer questioning multiple candidates who each get a chance to answer the questions and prove their merit. In such cases, the number of candidates in an interview is generally 10 or less. The mail challenge in this kind of interview is time management. Since each of the candidates get only a limited amount of time to answer their questions, brevity and focus is extremely important to have the interviewer’s attention.

Group interviews often include various tasks and activities that evaluate candidates on their skills and social behaviour. Whether it is the technical skills that are required for the role you are interviewing for or the social skills that are necessary to be a good team player, a group interview gives you a chance to shine in the crowd as well as bond with the peer group.

2. Panel Interview:

Panel interviews have several interviewers who are representative of the different departments that you will be associating with in the hiring company. For example, the panel may include personals from the core process where there’s an opening, someone from the HR department. They come together to evaluate the candidate on the various skills that are required to be the right fit for the position they are hiring for. Panel interviews also encourage group discussions sometimes to foster an environment of brainstorming.

Now that you have a little context into what to expect in a group interview, here are some dos and donts of group interview. Keep them in mind to ace your interview:

Do’s of Group Interview

  1. Be Early but Never Late: Arriving early for an interview earns you a brownie point even before it starts. First of all, arriving early basically helps you avoid all kinds of rush and stay more ready for the interview. That way you have more time in hand to get done with any possible HR process, document submission etc. You also get more time to figure out the venue and settle in. But most importantly, since group interviews are often monitored, you adhering to the time highlights how serious you are about the process and puts you ahead of your peer.
  1. Don’t forget to Greet: As is with every meeting or interview, it is important to greet your interviewer and fellow candidates when you appear for a group interview. Once you settle down, the panel will ask you to introduce yourself. Prepare for this moment so that your self introduction isnt lengthy but covers all the essential facts about yourself. Avoid providing a summary of your resume and try to bring in an element of humour but practice it ahead of the interview. Your introduction will also act as an ice breaker and give an opportunity to others in the room to get to know you. So, choose what you want to say about yourself. 
  1. Ask Questions: Asking questions to your interviewer and fellow interviewees is very important. It shows that you are engaged in the conversation and have something to contribute towards the discussion. Asking questions to your interviewer also indicates that you have done your research about the company and the role they are hiring for. So prepare questions beforehand that will help you understand your potential employer better. 
  1. Try to be As Inclusive as Possible: It is important to voice your opinion but not at the cost of someone else’s. One of the most important leadership skills is inclusivity. Include others in your discussion as much as possible. Don’t interrupt others while they try to make a point. Get involved and involve others while performing group activities so that everyone has a fair chance to showcase their skills. Besides being a social etiquette, this attribute is of immense importance to your recruiters as well.

Don’ts of Group Interview

  1. Don’t Lie: If you don’t have a particular skillset that is required for the position, don’t lie about it. Remember that not having that skillset might not keep you from getting hired but lying about it definitely will. Don’t try too hard, it will not get you anywhere. Take your time to answer questions, but don’t overdo it. Your answers should be clear and well structured. Most importantly, be yourself. Your interviewers are looking for what unique qualities you bring to the table. Try to showcase what sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. 
  2. Don’t Interrupt others: it’s rude to interrupt others while they are speaking, more so during an interview. Even when you are feeling competitive, dial it down, keep it civil. Remember, sometimes silence speaks louder than words. Wait for your cue before putting your point across and never shut down someone else from speaking.
  3. Lose Focus/Brevity: Don’t lose your focus, even when the discussion in the peer group becomes heated. Try to drive your point home by talking about the exact points that’s worth mentioning. Maintain eye contact and take notes whenever necessary. This will not only help you structure your presentation better but also make it clear that you are well organised – a quality which is of utmost importance to recruiters. Stay away from your phone and don’t get distracted by other people. It’s easy to lose yourself in a group of talented people. The key is to stay focused.
  1. Become Too informal: This is a no brainer but crucial nonetheless. Adhere to the interview etiquettes which means you need to dress accordingly, conduct yourself appropriately and most importantly, choose the words you speak before the panel and your peer group. Don’t try to appear too friendly or use any terms of endearment. Stay away from making any kind of political, religious or ethnic statement. Don’t use any kind of slang, curse words or offensive language. 

Hope these tips and tricks will help you prepare for your group interview better. Enroll with Great Learning’s Online Courses and upgrade your skills to power ahead in your career today.

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