What to Do If You’re Faced With a Group Interview

Now that we’ve dealt with the “meal meeting,” let’s turn our attention to the next “special situation”: the group interview.

What is a Group Interview?

The group interview format is often popular with small companies and companies that focus on teams.  This “special situation” can often be intimidating, so below are some tips for handling just such a situation:

  • Make a positive and professional first impression in a group interview by being assertive and giving a firm handshake to each interviewer and addressing each interviewer as they are introduced.
  • If possible, jot down the names of those interviewing you in the order they are seated.  Use names when replying to their questions, as appropriate.
  • Sit comfortably but with good posture, without being stiff or sprawling over the chair.
  • Project confidence and a positive attitude.  Be aware of your voice, posture, energy level, and enthusiasm.  Make hand gestures to emphasize important points, but avoid distracting or excessive gestures.
  • Establish rapport by relating to each interviewer.  Note the wording that is used by each interviewer and when appropriate, use similar words.  Maintain eye contact with each of the interviewers throughout the interview.
  • Be attentive.  Listen to each question carefully and don’t interrupt.  If you aren’t sure of what is being asked, politely request that the question be repeated.
  • Be concise—don’t get into too much detail unless prompted.  Many interviewees have talked themselves out a position.
  • Smile confidently, but not so much that you appear too casual.  Smiling will also help you relax and establish a rapport with the interviewers.
  • Manage weaknesses or barriers so that they appear to be indications of your strengths.
  • Speak clearly and avoid “uh,” “you know,” and slang.
  • Use positive words.  Instead of “if,” “I think,” “I feel,” and “I wish,” use “when,” “I am,” and “I would.”
  • Conclude with a strong closing statement of your qualifications for the job.
  • Thank all the interviewers.  Shake their hands individually and thank every interviewer by name.

Okay—we’re almost at the end of our journey.  We’ve addressed and analyzed nearly every aspect, situation, and circumstance involved with interviewing with a potential new employer.  In our next blog post—the last post in this comprehensive series—we’ll wrap things up by providing a list of “Do’s and Don’ts of the Face-to-Face Interview.”

(For more information about successfully preparing for YOUR next interview, download a copy of Dan Simmons’s e-Book, Put Your Best You Forward: Simple Steps to a Successful Interview.)

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