If you haven’t done a group interview before, you need to understand how group interviews work. A group interview is literally a group of people in a room. This environment feels like, and is, a highly competitive environment. You will be required to participate in the interview, and you will have only so much time to work with.

We’ve created some group interview tips to help you through this process.

Group interview rules

Group interviews can be a little tense. Putting a large number of people in a room competing for jobs does include a stress factor. How you behave at the group interview is important.

The absolute basic rules are:

  • Be professional throughout the interview process and act accordingly.
  • Always be polite and friendly to other participants.
  • Don’t interrupt people while they are speaking.
  • Speak clearly, but not too loudly. (If you’re not sure whether or not people can hear you, ask.)
  • Participate productively. If you can’t contribute high value to a particular part of the interview, don’t participate “on principle”.
  • Your comments should be easy to understand, so the interviewers and participants can follow your narrative.
  • Make your answers and statements stand out. In a group interview, you need to establish yourself as a constructive contributor.
  • Don’t repeat what somebody else has already said. Try to avoid clichés, and make your statements interesting.
  • Play to your strengths. Always participate in areas where you have the advantage of expertise and experience.
  • Stay alert for issues involving core competencies related to the job.
  • Pay close attention to everything that happens in the interview. You need to demonstrate situational awareness, and productive participation is impossible if you don’t stay fully alert to the issues under discussion.

Preparing for group interviews

To prepare for a group interview, you need to do your homework on the employer, the core business related to the job, and research the role of the position thoroughly.

Make sure you are as well informed as possible about the job, the responsibilities of the job, and the business priorities related to the job. You can usually contact the employer’s Human Resources section or a recruiter for more information if you need it.

What interviewers are looking for in group interviews

In group interviews, strong contenders will inevitably emerge. That’s one of the reasons for holding group interviews, and it works very well. The most competent people will naturally stand out. These are the people who can contribute to all aspects of the interview process, and they invariably do.

You need to be very much on the ball in a group interview. The reason for this is that the people who are not alert, not paying attention, and not contributing are inevitably discarded as candidates. A group interview really is a performance-based event.

In effect, you need to be the person who the interviewers are looking for, the one who stands out from group. Do your research, prepare for your situational interview questions, and you’ll do well.

We hope you’ve found our tips for group interviews useful.