Interviewing with other people can be intimidating. You are able to directly see your competition and compare your answers to everyone else’s. However, this is a really great opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.
There are many reasons employers will hold group interviews. It could be they don’t have a lot of time and want to get as many people seen as possible, it could be that they want to see how you work under pressure or how you interact with others. Whatever the reason, by preparing yourself for the interview, you can really increase your chances of landing that position.
The first group interview I ever participated in was for a rock climbing instructor position. Now, at the time, I had zero rock climbing experience so I didn’t have high expectations for actually getting the job. There were three of us interviewing together. The person on my left showed up late and didn’t give any apology or excuses and the person to my right was chewing gum the entire time. Needless to say, I was offered the job. Even though I didn’t have the experience my competitors had, I was able to stand out by not making common job interview mistakes.
So, what can you do to stand out from your competition during a group interview? The best answer – don’t make silly interview mistakes.
1) No jeans - Even if the workplace has a casual atmosphere, you want it to look like you are taking your interview as seriously as possible. I’m not telling you to go searching for a full interview suit; in casual environments khakis will do just fine. When the person sitting next to you is in jeans and a dirty shirt, you can make yourself stand out by simply dressing the part.
2) Arrive on time - Sounds obvious. But, being late for a group interview is even worse than being late for a one-on-one interview. You will interrupt the interview, everyone will turn around to look at you, and you will probably be remembered as the person who came in late, not the person with the great answers.
3) Take a mint instead of gum - Chewing gum in any interview is bad, bad, bad. In a group interview it can be very distracting. Also, if the person sitting next to you is not chewing gum, you are just making them look better in comparison. So, if you are worried about your breath, throw a mint in your mouth a few minutes before the interview starts.
4) Do your research - Go over both the position and the company. You may be asked specific questions about the position to test your knowledge. This will also help in the dreaded, “Do you have any questions for me?” stage. Instead of an awkward silence, you can stand out by actually having questions and making it look like you are invested in the position.
5) Practice the standard interview questions - While your competition may be stumbling over common interview questions, you breeze through them with poise and confidence because you knew it was coming and you’ve practiced your answer. This will set you apart and help with the nerves!
Seeing the other people going for your job is intimidating, but it can also give you a leg up on your competition. By being punctual, prepared and polished you will make yourself stand out for all the right reasons.
What group interview tips do you have? Let us know by commenting below!