One of the most efficient and least time-consuming way to fill multiple vacancies for an organization most often seems to be the process of group interview. They are able to weed out the unworthy candidates by comparing them to their immediate competitors. Candidates are able to demonstrate how well they will fit into the team and the scheme of things but also able to show their ability to handle pressure.
We can understand that you might be jittery about your prospects of facing a group interview for the first time but they can be a catalyst for you to stamp your authority if done right. We, at Careermarshal have assembled a list of do’s and don’ts to make the right kind of impression.
Group interview do’s:
Arrive early (or on time at the very least)
When the competition is directly against a lot of people, don’t miss any opportunity to rise above the rest and also make sure to not be remembered for the wrong reasons. Aside from showing earnestness and punctuality, if you arrive before time you have the unique advantage of getting more time to impress the interviewer. You can also interact with other candidates and measure your competition in a less formal way. All of this doesn’t means that you reach before even the office opens.
Remember the icebreaker
All of the candidates will first be asked to give a short introduction. To avoid any glitch or embarrassing situation, be prepared beforehand. It would earn you some bonus points if you’re especially witty in your introduction. Make it to the point and engaging for all to hear. Before any of the actual tasks begin, you’ll almost always be asked to provide some sort of introduction of yourself (or worse, some sort of introduction for someone else in the group). To avoid embarrassing situations, always prepare your answer beforehand. Your intro needn’t be long, provided it’s pertinent and engaging. Avoid being unsure about yourself and mention your professional and personal achievement in passing.
Be alert and don’t slouch
Body language subconsciously tells the interviewers how interested and engaged you are in what is going on in the room. Slouching is a big no-no hence. You want to appear attentive and alert, not a listless bag of bones. You should and are allowed to relax as the interview proceeds. Don’t let this relaxation get in the way of an alert posture. Sit up straight and listen to all others make it obvious in your posture too.
The first step to preparing for an interview is to research about the market position, works and ethics of the company in question. If you do it right, it is natural for you to have queries about the functioning of the company. When they get to the ‘any question’ part, that should be your cue. It can be entirely possible that you may genuinely have no query at all. In that scenario, don’t force out a question just for the sake of it. You might end up asking a very stupid question and that can hurt your chances too.
Interact with and include everyone
One thing that you don’t want to be associated with is hogging all the limelight and not letting anyone else speak at all. Patiently hear what everyone has to say and then respond to it in a calm and asserting tone. If anyone else is hogging the limelight, make sure you point it out. Don’t let the conversation become an echo chamber of your thoughts If you spot someone who is particularly silent, encourage them to speak their mind. It will impress everyone at the table. Praise others’ ideas, take notes, dress appropriately, smile are also things you should partake to.
Group interview don’ts:
“Just be yourself.” An advice you have seen plastered over people’s Facebook pages. It might sound cheesy and cliché. Your interviewers probably can smell faking in an interview and hence it’s advisable to not indulge in it. Trying too hard may reek of desperation and will not go down too well with your interviewers. Try ingenuity as much as you can. Don’t laugh on jokes unless they are really funny. Be a bit restrained in your reactions.
Interrupt or talk over people
This is the worst possible way to give an erratic account of yourself. When you’re in the flow of the argument and think that you are right, you tend to raise your voice to get your point across. Never allow yourself to undermine teamwork. Make so compelling arguments that you don’t need to raise your voice. Raise your bar not voice decibel.
Get drowned out
What you really need to do in the environment of a group discussion is to balance between the above pointer and getting overshadowed by everyone else in the room. There will always exist people who will try to hog all the speaking space and you might feel overwhelmed by it all. If you don’t feel that the discussion is going in the right direction, make it your responsibility to steer the conversation in the right direction. Offer your insight and opinions and let your voice be heard.
Get a bit too comfortable
There is a certain decorum that needs to be maintained inside the room. It is completely okay to appear relaxed and comfortable in there. Just don’t overdo it. Whistling incessantly, swearing, talking loudly and appearing disinterested in what’s going on is looked down upon and should be avoided.
No matter how boring the proceedings get, never lose sight of the ultimate goal of cracking the interview. Take notes, keep eye contact at an acceptable (and socially acceptable) level, smile, nod, and generally try and look enthusiastic and engaged throughout.
Don’t stare off into the space and don’t check your phone during the whole duration of the group discussion. These two statements are quite obvious but still themselves in the need of being restated.