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Tips for group interviews

How to make your mark in a group interview


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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A group interview is a type of interview where more than one candidate is interviewed together at the same time. They are usually structured in one of two ways, candidates can be given an allotted time to speak over the course of 10 - 15 minutes, or it could be less structured where candidates can speak up when they want.

Why do companies have group interviews?

There are many reasons why companies have group interviews. Some of the reasons include: 

  • To see how you deal and work with other people - an important aspect of most jobs
  • To see how you communicate in a crowded environment and see if you can stand out
  • To see how influential you can be to others
  • To see how well you can think on your feet and react to difficult situations
  • To see what kind of people are applying for their jobs, as a form of free market research

Group interviews can seem daunting, but don't let that deter you from getting you dream job. Here are some tips that everybody can follow on how to stand out and succeed during your group interview.

Tips for group interviews

Be prepared 

Make notes on things you’d like to talk about, practice talking about the most relevant points, get a good night’s sleep before the big day, and most importantly, relax. Once you’ve walked in the door of that building, you’re prepared as you’ll ever be.

Speak up

Speak up and contribute early, especially if there are lots of other candidates in the room. It will make the interviewers pay attention to you, and you’ll find it easier to contribute to the conversation later.

Be clear and to the point

Make sure your input is brief and precise. As each person in the group will want to do a lot of speaking, it is very important to decide on a few points which you deem are most relevant and which will make you stand out from the group. Some people think that group interviews are more suited to dominant personalities and good speakers, but that’s not necessarily true. Hogging the limelight and taking over the speaking time can leave a bad impression. 

Try and stay calm 

Don't lose your cool, even though it can be frustrating with so many people trying to get their point across in a relatively short span of time. Remember, they’re not just looking to see how much you can communicate, but also how you go about it.

Be patient 

Wait for the perfect moment to speak. It can be difficult to get your bit in when someone insists on rambling on, but try not to cut them off mid-speech.

Be relevant

Make sure what you say is relevant. You’ll only get so much talking time, so make the most of it. The interviewer would rather hear one minute of you making a relevant, coherent point than you rambling on just to prevent others from speaking.

If you are looking for a new job, it is also a good idea to update your CV and cover letter.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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Published Octo­ber 2nd2014
Tags employment job interviews
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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