Wednesday, June 23, 2010

8 things to do in group interviews

Yesterday I had a group interview for a job I would really like. It was a very interesting experience. I have been in group interviews before but yesterday I noticed some things that people do which are quite detrimental for themselves, so I thought I would point them out here, in the hopes that we don’t make these same mistakes.

1.) When they ask you to talk about a specific time something happened be specific. That probably sounds obvious but yesterday the interviewer had to continually ask a few people for specifics. Instead of them starting like everyone else saying something like “One time I had to...” They would go on about how working in that industry it’s required or you do such and such, no specific times when they personally did something. This caused a bit of frustration for the interviewer.
2.) When they ask about you, they do not want to know about the “team” you work in. They want to know about YOU! What are your strengths, what makes you stand out etc...
3.) Listen to what they are asking and answer accordingly. I noticed people often went off on a bit of a tangent and didn’t really answer the question. A few times the interviewer had to ask the question again and sometimes even 3 times. It is not good if they have to repeat themselves because you didn’t answer the question they asked or you weren’t specific.
4.) Be prepared. Go in with some knowledge of the company, why you want to work there, what strengths you will bring to the role, how your previous employment can cross over etc... Why should they employ you?
5.) Make eye contact. Don’t look around the room, at the floor or ceiling or your hands. Make eye contact with the person or people you are speaking too.
6.) Use good body language. Leaning in, nodding your head, open and friendly body language is a good sign. Sitting there with your arms folded or fidgeting will not leave a good impression.
7.) Speak clearly. Don’t mumble or speak to fast. You want them to be able to understand what you are saying and not have to ask you to repeat parts because you spoke too fast and they could not follow. Speak at a reasonable pace, mouth open, no mumbling.
8.) Presentation. Dress appropriately. I have to say I was impressed yesterday with how everyone dressed. Everyone wore business attire, had done their hair and make-up, nails were neat and tidy and jewellery for the most part was appropriate. There were a few things some people were wearing or doing that I didn’t think were appropriate, but that is just my opinion. Leave the big chunky jewellery at home (unless of course you are going for a fashion related job and it’s appropriate). Also be careful with your make-up. Not all businesses are happy for employees to look like drag queens. Also remember to remove your hats and sunglasses when inside.

Those were the main things that stood out to me. Everyone had a lot of confidence it seemed, but not everyone was happy to be specific and talk about themselves. You are at an interview to show people why they should hire you, so you need to be talking about and promoting yourself.

I am hoping I did well in the interview. I know there were some things I could have said better, but overall I was pretty happy with how things went. I’ll know by the end of the week if I was successful.


  1. Fingers crossed!! Good luck ;o)

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  3. I've never heard of a group interview like this. How did it make you feel to be interviewed as a part of a group?

  4. Thanks.

    It wasn't my first group interview Bucksome. I think it is fairly common practice here, many people I know have been interviewed like that.

    It's weird, because you are obviously competing though trying to be polite. From an employers point of view it sort of gives you a insight to how they will interact in a group which can be very helpful. Like who are team players.


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