How to stand out in a group interview

Rachael Brown

 “76% of interviewers reject candidates who appear arrogant.

 

With a high volume of recruitment occurring at the moment, it is no surprise that some companies are moving towards group interviews when shortlisting candidates for roles. This saves them time and money to progress a large number of candidates at the one time, and, if done well, can prove as a highly effective way to recruit staff.

However, I am yet to meet a person who enjoys talking about themselves in an interview, let alone raving about their skills when 10 other people are listening!

Here are my top tips to consider when you are interviewing in a group:

⇒ Pay attention to what’s being said

Not just by the interviewer, but pay attention to the responses of others in the group too. Not only will it show the recruiter that you’re paying attention, but it saves you the embarrassment of repeating someone else’s brilliant answer just after they have mentioned it!

You will be assessed on your answers, but also recognised for supporting the contribution of others.

⇒ Be a team player

Don’t use the interview as an opportunity to put down the other candidates to try and make yourself look good. You’ll only come off as argumentative, challenging, and demeaning.

Don’t worry about the others in the interview. Focus on how you can best answer the questions to display your skills and knowledge.

You have been invited to the interview because the recruiter thinks that you may be the right fit for the job. It’s not your responsibility to show them that the other candidates are not suitable – they will do that by themselves.

Recruiters want to know that you respect the contribution and opinions of others in the group – not your own ego.

⇒ Contribute just the right amount

Don’t dominate the conversation and don’t be the first to answer every question. This will only show the recruiter that you are not a team player. Be mindful of talking over other candidates, and give them time to have their turn as well.

Having said this, make sure that you contribute enough to ensure that you don’t fade into the background. Be respectful and allow others to have their turn, but don’t fall into the trap where you are so busy being accommodating that you forget to have your say. It’s a fine balance, but you want to be remembered as the one who wasn’t being rude, dominating the conversation and cutting others off to gain a competitive advantage in the discussion. You want to stand out, but not for all the wrong reasons!

⇒ Ask Questions

Go to the interview prepared with questions about the organisation, the position or the team you will be working with. Avoid asking questions that are specifically related to you and your situation instead ask generic questions that can benefit the entire group. Think of a few questions that others may like to know the answers to as well, but may be too nervous to ask.

⇒ Don’t forget your manners

Be polite to the interviewer as well as the other candidates. Wait your turn, hold the door open and be respectful. Recruiters pay attention to manners and emotional intelligence. Get to know your fellow interviewees. When you are in the waiting room, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Don’t treat them like the competition, as sometimes your behaviour in the waiting room will be observed as well.

⇒ Share your story

Share your story and why you are unique, tell them about the skills that you can bring to the role. You can do this in an informative way rather than coming across as arrogant or egotistical.

When it is time for fellow interviewees to share their story, pay attention, be polite and considerate.

 

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About The Author
Rachael Brown

Rachael began her career working in human resources (HR) in 2012, with a particular interest in recruitment and career coaching. She’s enthusiastic about inclusiveness and giving everyone a fair opportunity, regardless of the obstacles that are faced.

Rachael loves a chat and is known for asking lots of questions to gain a true understanding of the person she is communicating with. Whether coaching you to apply for jobs, empowering you to find a new career direction, or delivering career workshops, Rachael is passionate about sharing her knowledge and inspiring you to make good career choices.

In her spare time, Rachael is whipping up delicious cupcakes for her side hustle and continuously working on unfinished DIY home renovation projects.

For more useful information, follow Rachael on LinkedIn.

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