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How to Handle Group Interview

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 1 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
How To Handle Group Interview

The dynamics of a group interview are much different than that of a one-on-one meeting. Consequently, it will benefit you greatly if you prepare accordingly.

Here, we'll look at some of the ways you can make sure that you perform at your highest ability during interviews with two or more individuals.

Bring a Notepad

Group interviews can become very complicated; many people may talk at once, and you'll want to answer all their concerns and questions. Thus, having a notebook in front of you will help keep you (and perhaps them) on track. You can write down questions, ideas, or even the names of the interviewers as reminders. Of course, you don't want to remain buried in your notepad, but it can be helpful to occasionally write down important elements you don't want to miss discussing.

Look Everyone in the Eye

It can be tough, but you need to acknowledge each person in a group interview. Don't just hone in on one of the interviewers; instead, give equal time to each one. When you answer a question, don't simply talk to the person who made the inquiry; instead, make eye contact with everyone in the room as you give your response.

A good rule is to spend about 10 seconds on each person, then move on to another as you give your answer or statement; of course, you'll need to practice this technique so you don't seem too stilted. Have some close friends or loved ones help you out with this type of group responding for the best results.

Ask Questions

Many interviewees become so intimidated by being interviewed by a group that they forget to ask questions. Don't let that happen to you. Make sure that you ask for clarifications whenever possible. That way, you can be assured that you understand exactly what the job and the company are all about.

If you're worried you won't be able to remember questions, bring a list along with you and add to it (or delete from it) during your interview. Then, when one of your interviewers asks, "Do you have any questions for us?", you'll be able to quickly refer to your notes.

Watch for Dynamics

A group interview is a wonderful opportunity to check out the dynamics of the organisation. For instance, is everyone deferential to a certain manager, even if he or she isn't the so-called "boss"? Perhaps he or she will one day rise to a high position in the company, or maybe he or she is simply a bully. Even though you'll be busy "selling" yourself to everyone during your interview, pay close attention to the comfort level of each person in the room.

After all, they could wind up being your coworkers; thus, you have to be able to envision yourself as part of the group. If you cannot, you might want to reconsider if you're offered the job.

Bring Along Several Copies of Your CV

If you're being interviewed by a group, make sure you come into the room with several extra copies of your CV for distribution. Many times, some of your interviewers might never have even seen your CV in the first place; in other cases, they may have misplaced or forgotten it. By handing out a fresh, up-to-date document to every person who needs a copy (or, if you've added credentials recently, to every interviewer), you'll be showing that you're an excellent planner and an interviewee who means business.

Though they might seem overwhelming at first, group interviews can be a terrific way for you to stretch your wings and shine. Plan a little and you'll get a great deal of information and satisfaction out of the experience.

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