Group interviews

So we have traditional interviews, open interviews, Skype and phone interviews and open interviews.  That covers almost all of the bases as far as the types of interviews, however there is yet another we should talk about.

Group interviews. What are they? What is the purpose and how do you prepare?

Group interviews are conducted with a group of people and not a one-on-one type of atmosphere.   There are two types of group interviews, a candidate group and a panel group. 

A candidate group interview is where you will be put in a room with other job applicants.  During this type of interview, you will often times listen as much as you will speak.  They will inform you about the company and the position and proceed to ask you questions or ask you to participate in a group activity or exercise.

A panel group interview is when you are interviewed by two or more people. The interviews take place individually, but there will be more than one. The format is similar to traditional interviews with a question and answer session.  However, there might be some instances where you are asked to participate in a test or exercise that measures your potential in the work environment.

Companies use group interviews as a means of screening applicants.  Depending on the industry, turnover is at a high rate and by using group interviews, it is an attempt to reduce this issue.  Group interviews also help point out those who have team-working skills. Lastly, companies use this method to get more than one opinion.  With two or more people interviewing a candidate, this helps to get a better feel as to if he or she fits the job position.

Tips for group interviews:

  • Prepare.
  • Practice.
  • Dress professionally.
  • Greet your interviewers individually, shaking each of their hands.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Don’t focus on one person, make sure to engage the whole group during the interview.
  • If you are with other candidates, make an effort to lead and not follow.
  • Make sure to thank everyone by name.
  • Follow-up.
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