How to Handle a Group Interview

How to Handle a Group Interview

Group Interviews

Group interviews

Most recruitment interviews are conducted with only one candidate present, but there is nothing to prevent an employer deciding to hold a group interview. These can be nerve racking experiences for candidates, but they can be very useful for employers, and are most frequently used when there are multiple vacancies to fill, such as on graduate training programmes.

Essentially a group interview gives you much less opportunity to demonstrate what you can do. So have prepared your ‘elevator pitch’ – how you can sum up who you are, where you work, what you do and what your goals are, all in no more than 90 seconds.

However, there is no reason why you could not be asked the same type of questions in a group interview as in an individual interview – you are just likely to be asked fewer questions in general. So make sure you are every bit as prepared for a group interview as for a regular interview. Research the company and the role thoroughly, and prepare some questions to ask the employer. Also research some of the key issues affecting the employer’s business sector, as the group interview may include a group discussion on some of these issues.

On arrival, introduce yourself to the other candidates. You may be competing against them for the role, but it is likely that the recruiter will be discretely monitoring how you interact with others.

Think carefully about when it is the right moment to speak. Don’t dominate the conversation, talk over others or interrupt. You should also avoid getting lost in the group and ending up contributing very little. Acknowledge good points made by others, and where you disagree, argue your case based on facts and evidence, and don’t start denigrating the other candidates.

When other people are being asked questions, ensure you are still concentrating on what is being said. Don’t start fiddling with your phone or doodling.

At the end, make a point of approaching the interviewers, shaking their hands and thanking them for their time, just as you would at an individual interview. Don’t be put off doing this just because there is a long queue of candidates wanting to do the same.

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