Practice makes perfect and in this article, you can read some practical group interview tips. In the end, you can take a free practice mock interview where you get insights and feedback from artificial intelligence.
A group interview involves interviewing multiple candidates simultaneously or a panel of recruiters conducting an interview. Both these group interview types are practiced at organizations when required.
Group interviews are getting popular due to the fast-paced company dynamic nowadays. They save time, speed up the hiring process, and scrutinize candidates better.
Group Interview Types
The two main interview types include:
Candidate group interviews
In this type, multiple candidates are gathered in the same room for an interview. The other candidates have applied for the job position as you in most cases. In these interviews, it’s important to stand out among the crowd and make yourself noticeable.
Panel group interviews
Panel interviews are very common and involve multiple interviewers. This involves a normal Q&A session comprising questions and exercises related to the job position.
The following article mentions useful group interview tips and commonly asked questions.
Effective Group Interview Tips
Preparing for this interview type involves practicing methods to stand out among a group of skilled people. You must be confident, opinionated, well-prepared, and respectful to ace in this interview format.
Group interview tips: Greet candidates and interviewers individually
You must arrive at the interview venue early. This casts a positive impact on your hiring team. After entering the room, you must greet all the interviewers and candidates separately. This helps in breaking the ice and boosts up your comfort level.
Also, introducing yourself lets you catch the names of the other applicants and recruiters. You can address them with their names during the interview. This represents your superior people skills and attentiveness.
Group interview tips: Prepare an impressive introduction
The first question commonly asked during an interview is a brief introduction of the candidate. If you want to cast a positive first impression on your recruiters you must prepare your introduction well. It must be to the point, brief, impressive, and focused on highlighting skills required for the applied job post.
Group interview tips: Be focused and friendly
While participating in a group interview, your interpersonal skills must be highlighted. You must portray your tendency to go along with the crowd while working as a group member.
Being vocal about your thoughts is an important trait for good leaders. If you are vocal and strong about your point of view, it makes you a suitable candidate for the job. Companies prefer hiring people willing to argue to prove a point and are open to discussions.
You must have a solid argument for your answers during your interview. It portrays your convincing abilities and leadership skills. If the argument is not strong enough, you must prepare a question out of the counter-argument.
For example, you must not declare a certain sales strategy helpful. Instead, you must ask your fellows that “Has this sales methodology ever worked well for you or not?”. Telling others that certain methods are outright wrong seems rude. You must seek popular opinion first during an interview involving multiple participants.
Group interview tips: Be a good listener
It’s vital to stay attentive and listen to how others respond to a question during an interview involving numerous candidates. Utilize the time between the question and your turn to think of a response better than other candidates.
It’s important to stand out among the crowd to grab the attention of the hiring team. If you have a good point in mind, never interrupt other candidates. It will make you look aggressive and ill-mannered. Wait for your turn to voice your opinions. You must be precise in your answers and avoid lengthy responses.
Group interview tips: Involve other participants in your answers
You must not repeat answers similar to other applicants. You can stand out by listening carefully to the answers of others and then build up an answer by adding your thoughts to it.
For example, you can say it like “I think the (title) is perfect, we can also choose” (rephrase the answer for any of the applicants), and add (your input) to the phrase.
In the case of a panel interview, if you notice that an interviewer doesn’t seem convinced of your answer you can elaborate further and try to convince them. For example, you can state that “(Name of panel member), It’s understandable that you are hesitant about my response because of your organization culture. However, if you look at it like (Add a stronger counter-argument)“.
If you spent some time interacting with other candidates, you can add anything from that discussion to your responses as well. For example, if both of you were involved in a discussion of web developers and you discussed GDPR(General Data Protection Regulation). You discussed its impact on the security and privacy of the website’s users.
If you are asked a question about keeping updated about industry changes, or a challenging project you recently worked on, you can mention your GDPR discussion in your answer.
Group interview tips: Be the first to answer
To stand out among the pool of candidates during a group interview, you must answer first. It’s not always possible to ensure that your answer will be the best among the lot.
So another way to grab the attention of the recruiters is to answer first for most questions. Do not do this after every question, it may appear like blocking out other applicants.
Group interview tips: Body language must be confident
Maintaining a confident and charismatic body posture during a group interview has a positive impact. You must keep your chin up and keep your back relaxed. Avoid appearing stiff and inflexible.
You must smile while answering. Your voice must be loud enough to be heard clearly. Do not sound monotonous and emotionless. Avoid trailing off while responding as it will give others a chance to interrupt your answer.
Commonly Asked Group Interview Questions
The questions asked during individual or group interviews are mostly similar. However, group ones do not involve questions about the information mentioned in your resume. Frequently asked questions during a group interview include the following:
How do your co-workers describe you?
In response to this question, you must think of the adjectives your colleagues used to describe you. Support your answers with examples like “My co-workers used to appreciate my adaptability and tell me that I am easy to work with”.
What is your motivation?
This question is asked to scrutinize the candidates on a personal level. The interviewers are well-trained to understand whether the answer is fake or genuine.
Why do you want to work for our organization?
You must respond with your reasons for this job application. You must conduct prior research on the company’s culture and history to get familiar with its motto. You must be aware of the company’s products and services. Avoid mentioning salary benefits as they make you look less consistent.
How can you help our company in achieving our goals and milestones?
This question also weighs your prior research on the company’s products and culture. Mention how your experience can help the company with the technologies they are working on. Stay updated on the industry’s latest trends and how they can help any business in improving sales.
Are your career goals aligned with our company’s hierarchy?
This question is not asked to know about your career goals only. So after mentioning where you want to be in 5 years, elaborate your answer further and list down the skills you are interested in learning. Throw light on the challenges you want to overcome and reasons you can be an asset to the company.
How would you react if you notice some other employees stealing from the company?
The answer to this must be that you will either confront that person or report the incident to the management.
Typical Group Interview Activities
Sometimes the group of candidates is asked to perform certain activities and simulations to portray their intelligence and skills. The questions asked post these activities are mentioned below:
What made your team perform better than the others?
In response to this question, you must focus on the methodologies and approach your team adopted to complete the task. Avoid boasting about your unique ideas or individual contributions. For example, you can say that your team made sure that the communication and collaboration were seamless despite limited resources.
Explain your contribution to the group activities.
You must mention your contribution towards performing the task at hand. Also mention how your approach has helped your team in moving forward and mention the skills you used for completing the activity.
How do your team members describe you?
You must stick to the truth while answering this. Your teammates can deny your false claims as they are also present in the same room. Think of the positive impact you had on your team and use that information to formulate your answer.
What were the challenges faced during the group task and how did you conquer them?
You can mention how you handled the pressure and remained focused during a rough patch. For example, if any of the other members couldn’t agree on something, you can convince them on moving forward due to the lack of time and resources.
Preparing well for an interview is extremely important in moving forward with your career choices and landing your dream job. For an impressive interview, the aforementioned group interview tips must be practiced. Your answers must be precise, unique, and focused. Be a good listener and focus on the responses of other candidates to come up with answers that make you stand out among the crowd.