Tackling Group Interviews
Job interviews are daunting enough as is, but when you’re being pressed against other candidates in the same room you can cut the tension in the air with a knife. Unlike panel interviews when you’re alone having questions fired at you from HR, managers, and potential colleagues like an episode of Dragon Den. Group interviews are perfect for comparing candidates and testing how they work within a team and perform under pressure. Also, they’re cost and time effective for organisations looking to speed up the interview process and fill several positions. Group interviews are often used in graduate conference producer and event roles and usually consist of research tasks or problem-solving exercises. Our expert consultants will brief you on what to expect and the best approach to take for these situations to have a positive impact and succeed.
Right Place, Right Time
Show up early! You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Plus being the early bird gives you the best opportunity to pick a good spot in the room – sitting front and centre will help you stand out. If you’re waiting in reception, please don’t sit on your phone scrolling through Facebook or studying notes. Be proactive and introduce yourself and engage with fellow candidates, this interaction shows the potential employer that you aren’t afraid to network, and your confidence will shine through. Plus, you get to checkout the competition.
Body Language & Expression
Just like one-on-one interviews, mannerisms and personal presentation is integral in a group setting. Simple and easy fixes include sitting up straight and not slouching in your chair and maintaining eye contact with the speaker, all of which demonstrates attentiveness and a genuine interest in the conversation – this applies most to other candidates as the interviewers are watching how you can respond. Therefore, don’t be afraid to bounce off other applicants or spark new ideas, even disagree if you have an explanation. However, don’t allow your competitive nature to take over! It can be tempting to increase your voice to reinforce an opinion but talking over people really is shooting yourself in the foot. It’s seen as forceful and aggressive and won’t win you any brownie points. On the other hand, don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed or let yourself fade into the background.
Lead from the Front
Include everyone…Remember your leadership qualities are being assessed so try to encourage others to voice their opinion. An easy way is to utilise active listening skills and say other candidate’s names which clearly shows you’ve been paying attention. If someone’s introverted help them get involved in the exercises and participate. You’ll come across as a supportive team player with a good understanding of social situations.
There’s no denying that group interviews are tricky to master but they all have one thing in common. The key skills and traits desired by employers are communication and interpersonal ability, organisation and leadership, and cooperation within a team. Fingers crossed you move onto the next stage and show your true worth in a one-on-one. If things don’t go to plan use the feedback constructively and learn from the overall experience.
We’ve got several roles in conference production, event management, and event marketing that our experienced consultants can prepare you for and guide you, from the group interview to the final stages.