When you think of an interview, you probably imagine talking one-on-one with a hiring manager. However, there are a number of other kinds of interviews that companies use as well. A group interview is when several job candidates meet together and answer pre-set questions from the hiring team. They might get asked the same question from each member of the panel or different ones depending on their role. If you’re interviewing for a position that will require team collaboration or managing other people, it’s a good idea to know what to expect from a group interview. In this article, we’ll give you some tips about what to expect and sample questions to help you prepare for your upcoming group interview.
Know What to Expect From a Group Interview #
A group interview can take place in a number of different ways – in some cases, candidates will be asked to participate in a group project, and other times it will just be a discussion with several people. You might be asked to work in teams, or you might be asked to talk about yourself in relation to a specific topic relevant to the job. Keep in mind that the way the interview is structured can vary quite a bit and there’s no way to predict exactly how it will go down. A group interview might feel a little scarier than a one-on-one interview, but it’s a different experience for every person involved. Some people might feel more comfortable in a group setting, and others might prefer it to a one-on-one interview. No matter how many people are in the room, there are a few things you can do to make sure the interview goes as smoothly as possible.
Tip #1: Come With Questions of Your Own #
This isn’t necessarily a one-sided interview, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to ask questions of the hiring team. If there are certain questions you’d like answered that aren’t covered in the pre-set list, don’t be afraid to speak up. You can ask questions about the culture of the team, the work environment, or anything else you’re curious about. The most important thing is to be genuine about it. Don’t ask a question just for the sake of asking one — your questions should be tied to your interests in the company. If you don’t know what questions to ask, here are a few ideas:
- What does a typical day look like for this position?
- What does the ideal candidate for this position look like?
- What are the biggest challenges facing this team/department right now?
- What does the team like about working at this company?
- What does success in this role look like?
- What is the next step in the interview process?
Tip #2: Be Confident #
Interviews are all about projecting the best version of yourself to the hiring team. This means being confident in your abilities, but also not being cocky or over the top. You’ll be sitting in a room with several other candidates who are also trying to get the job. You don’t want to come across as someone who is above the rest of the group — this is a bad idea for several reasons. For one, if you act like you’re better than everyone else, it will make the hiring team feel uncomfortable. They want to hire someone who is a good fit for the team and the company culture, not just the most qualified candidate.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up #
Keep in mind that while you don’t want to come across as arrogant, you also don’t want to be too quiet. You should be confident in your abilities, but you should also be humble. If someone asks you a question and you have an answer, don’t be afraid to chime in. You want to sound confident without being obnoxious, but you also don’t want to be too shy to contribute. If you feel like you’re being drowned out by other candidates, here are a few ways to make sure you get your voice heard:
Look the hiring team members in the eye when they ask you a question — this shows confidence and it helps you remember the question so you don’t forget to answer it later.
If you feel like you aren’t getting enough time with the hiring team members, ask them if you can elaborate on something you said earlier.
Follow up with a thank you note after the interview. This shows that you’re confident in your abilities and you’re grateful for the chance to interview.
Tip #4: Think About Collaboration #
When you’re sitting in a group interview, it might be tempting to say that you’re most successful when you’re working alone. However, a group interview is all about collaboration. You want to show the hiring team that you’re able to work well with others — this is a crucial skill for most jobs. Think about times when you’ve had to work on a team and how you were able to contribute (or not). Did you know how to speak up when you didn’t have the necessary skills? Did you know how to talk to people who came from different backgrounds than you? Think about specific moments in your past when you had to collaborate to come up with strategies for how you would handle them in this interview.
A group interview can be nerve-wracking, but it’s also a great opportunity to show off your skills. Remember that you don’t have to be the person who talks the most or the person who talks the loudest — you just have to be the person who talks the most effectively. Make sure to come prepared with questions of your own, and don’t be afraid to speak up when you have something to say. Think about how you collaborate with others and make sure that you’re the person who the hiring team wants to hire.