Increasingly, many businesses have decided the whole one-to-one interview is a bit passé and predictable. Instead, more and more employers are turning to the dreaded group interview. There are some pretty good reasons for this, though. After all, you can research and prepare answers to most questions you’ll be asked in a regular interview and simply regurgitate it on the day. This proves is you have decent cognitive abilities and can use a search engine but not how you’ll actual behave in a high-pressure working environment.
Group interviews allow employers to see how you’d behave when faced with surprising challenges, how you interact in a team and how creative your answers can be to questions you’d never normally get asked. The interview will more than likely be divided into two sections; group tasks and solo tasks, each with differing obstacles.
The key here is to not be quiet. That does not mean you have to take over every group task or bully people. That’s a sure-fire way to find yourself on the next dole queue, but don’t retreat into your shell either. The group tasks might involve things like inventing a short story limited to words with only three letters or maybe even writing a song. Make sure and get involved with these tasks, suggest things, but make sure other team members are included too.
Solo tasks might include being given a random word or phrase and having to give a short presentation on it for a couple of minutes. This can be very daunting for people not used to being put in these situations. This is the point, though, they are checking to see how you’d cope in a pressure situation. Don’t shirk the challenge, don’t panic and make sure to try and be inventive. Write a poem or a short story on your topic. Remember, it doesn’t have to be any good – well, unless the job role involves inventing creative short stories – the quality of what you come out with is not being marked here, it’s how you go about doing it. Confidence is key.
When giving the presentation make sure to make eye contact with as many people as you can in the room, as well as those assessing you. Never look down at the floor.
Group interviews can also go on for a long time. So, if you are given a break don’t just sit there and say nothing to everyone else. Remember you are being marked on how well you interact with others. So, socialise, ask them where they’re from, what they plan on doing afterwards.
Group interviews are daunting and quite often you are not expecting it when you get there. The thing is, if you relax and are confident not only will your chances of getting the job rise exponentially, you never know, you might even enjoy it.