A group interview will place you in an interview session with different other interviewees or candidates that might be rivaling you for the same job profile.
Group interviews are turning into a more normal employing practice, as organizations place more weight on collaboration, teamwork, relational abilities, communication skills, etc. along with essential skills for that job profile.
To excel in a group interview requires extra abilities and skill-sets to those you need in a conventional personal interview. This article will take you deep into the world of what is a group interview, how to prepare for them, how businesses should conduct such interviews and key questions that are common in group interviews. So, let us get straight into the definition of group interview-
What is a Group Interview?
Group interviews are conducted by companies when various candidates are looking for a job position, for which they all are called to participate simultaneously.
Such interviews mainly include-
- Company presentation
- Group discussions
- Role-playing exercises
Generally, if an organization is opting for a group interview session, because they have a vast number of candidates for a profile or a few profiles, and they are searching for the easiest, most financially savvy approach to dismiss most of them who could not stand out in front of others.
This can be an unfortunate thing for many of the candidates. Still, at the same, it’s extraordinary news for the well-informed, prepared, and smart interviewees, as group interviews are also understood as the ideal platform to showcase how you are different and better from the crowd.
Let us now have a look upon the aim that group interview serves
What are the goals of a Group Interview?
The primary objective behind conducting a group interview is to empower the interviewer to screen the personality, behavioral conduct, and inclinations of candidates as an individual from a group or team.
Interviewers get to perceive how you respond when you are a member of a group and see if you have the skills to participate in a team to obtain favorable outcomes constructively. Group interviews also tell if anyone is obstructing the progress of the group in general.
It lets employers perceive what job you embrace inside the group.
In a group like a scenario, indeed, certain candidates will try to play the leader’s role while others may turn passive.
In case you opt for leading the group, the interviewer will check whether you are equipped and skilled for delegating tasking and managing the team.
Types of group interviews
Group interviews are an efficient means of conducting interviews. There are two types of group interviews:
In this type of group interview, a panel of interviewers interviews a single interviewee. Typically this panel of interviewers consists of the manager, department head of the department you have applied for, a representative of the Human Resource Department.
In this category of group interviews, multiple candidates are interviewed by a single interviewer at the same time.
Some companies prefer to conduct both of the interviews. Also, note that when we talk about group interviews, in general, we refer to the second category of the group interview.
What can a candidate expect from a Group Interview?
In most of the cases, companies inform the candidates that they are going to participate in a group interview—this will for sure help you to plan and approach the GI sessions with some thought and readiness.
Let us have a look at things that you can face in your Group interview (GI)-
1. Team Building and Problem Solving Sessions
To let the interviewers perceive how dexterously and enthusiastically you participate in the group there. Therefore, you have to expect some team-building exercises there that will also test your ability to solve problems.
2. Role Play Sessions
When you are going for an interview for a specific role, then it is guaranteed that your skills and expertise will be tested. So, your interviewer might put you and other participants of the group interview in a situation where you all will be performing tasks related to your job profile or the tasks your company is involved in.
Therefore, you should be fully aware of the job profile you have applied for, plus knowing about other things that the company does will also help you in standing out in a group interview.
Your interviewer might also ask you to present your thoughts about a specific topic. You can be asked to do it by being a member of a group in the form of group discussion or something, or you will be asked to give your presentation individually.
You need to make your points here, as your skills will be tested in such sessions; how you present yourself when others are also trying their best to present themselves well for sure plays a crucial role in making you out of the ordinary.
You can also be asked to use visual aids in your presentations, and you have to do this skillfully and expertly.
Some of the commonly asked questions in group interviews
1. How do you describe yourself?
Rather than simply asking you to tell them something about yourself, they ask you this question. But there are some hidden intentions in the interviewer’s mind. This question is asked by the interviewer(s) to find out how self-aware you are.
Try not to brag too much and strategically mention your abilities in such a manner that you seem suitable for the job you have applied for.
2. Why do you want this job?
This question is asked by the interviewer(s) to know how thoroughly you have gone through the job opportunity they are offering, what your expectations from this job are and how serious you are about it.
3. Why should we select you out of all the candidates?
Branding time! In this part, you are supposed to make yourself appear as the ideal candidate fitting into all the requirements for the particular job. Remember; don’t brag about presenting your abilities enticingly.
4. Who would you choose from all these candidates except for yourself?
Now the interviewer is checking your observation skills and decision-making abilities. They are also seeing how comfortable you are at acknowledging others’ capabilities. Don’t just randomly pick someone.
Make sure you have a valid reason for choosing someone, and it will be better if that candidate has almost similar abilities as you.
What to do before your Group Interview?
- You should get prepared well ahead of time so that you can be there a couple of moments early.
- You should dress correctly, as this will automatically separate you from others who are casually and incorrectly dressed up.
- You need to have a light satchel or portfolio that should have your resume, two pens, a tablet, and other vital things relevant for that interview.
- You should greet other group members energetically, as having a good rapport with other interview participants will ultimately help you out later during the interview in exercises related to team building, role-playing, etc.
What to do during your Group Interview?
- You might expect that your GI session begins with an introductory welcome from the HR or recruiting head who might be joined by other interviewers as well (if your group interview is supposed to get conducted in a panel interview setting). In the case of a panel setting, you should try to know the names and faces of the panel members.
- You should be sure and attempt to stand apart as a leader during GI exercises. You need to give a valiant effort to overcome any social nervousness and anxiety here while working in a group or speaking in front of others. In case another person plays the position of leader, you should not become passive. Instead, you should stay engaged and be dynamic through your participation.
- In case you can lead, then you must lead well. In such cases, you should try to include all the members, put forward your opinions in an inclusive yet exclusive manner, criticize constructively, empower and consider input and applause when it is expected. Interviewers constantly see these characteristics, and accordingly, they make their decision.
- You have to know here that it will be viewed consistently and judged by the interviewers. They will analyze your personality in all your activities, plus your demeanor, inclinations, body language, etc. will be continuously scrutinized. Therefore, you need to be professional and amiable all the time.
How to stand out in group interviews? Best Tips for acing a Group Interview
Making oneself noticed out of a bunch of people with almost similar abilities can be quite challenging. The following tips and tricks might help you to get success in a group interview:
1. Be prepared
Practice and prepare the questions that you are most likely to be asked during the interview. The interviewer(s) might ask you to ask them something, so be prepared for that as well.
2. Be proactive
You must voice your assessments and opinions in a group interview. You should participate actively in the process to guarantee you catch the eye constructively and effectively.
Regardless of whether you conclude that you won’t be the leader, you should ensure you are voicing feelings and taking an interest in the session enthusiastically.
3. Be a good listener
Give attention to not only what the interviewer is saying but also to what other candidates are saying. If possible, try to refer to what someone else has said. It creates a good impression and establishes your image as not only a good listener but also a team player.
4. Be yourself
Don’t try to be someone you are not. Represent yourself at your best. Bring out the best version of yourself. Pretentious behavior is easily detected by the experienced eyes of the interviewer(s), and it creates a wrong impression.
5. Be confident but not bossy
Some candidates may intimidate you, but don’t let it show. Be confident and put your best foot forward. You need to be assertive in your approach all the time. Never shout or order other group members.
6. Respect the group
In a group interview, you should always let your voice be heard, but always do it without being tyrannical. You should always regard others’ feelings and let them voice their sentiments and thoughts.
Being gracious and not participating in negative interactions are also crucial for GI sessions.
7. Make friends & Communicate
Most interviewers tend to go through their notes or phones before the interviewer arrives.
You can utilize this time to initiate small talks; this will not only make you more comfortable but also you will be the one initiating conversation during the interview that will make you stand out from the rest.
8. Abstain from flaunting or showing off
Trying some unusual stuff to get noticed is never suggested in group interviews. Making jokes, being loud, or flaunting unnecessary skills are never going to help in getting noticed by recruiters.
How to conduct a group interview?
- Inform the candidates: Make sure your candidates are aware that they are meeting for a group interview. This will prevent and haphazard or confusion from happening.
- Meet the other interviewers (if any): You cannot just step into a room full of candidates with some strangers and ask questions. It would be best if you lay down a brief strategy as to how you are going to ask the questions and conduct the interview as a whole.
- Take turns: You and other interviewers should take a turn in asking questions. It will not be fair to the candidates if a handful of questions will be thrown at them at once.
- Introduction: Introduce yourself to the candidates when you enter the room.
- Discuss later: Discuss the result of the interview after the candidates leave the room.
Whether you are someone who is going to appear in a group interview or someone who is going to conduct one, a piece of advice goes for both of you; be confident, be prepared and know what you are looking for.
How effective do you consider group interviews in hiring the right candidates?