Neal Kaplan I'm a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I've also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I'm also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.

What can I expect from a group interview?

5 min read

There will be discussion around the problem solving process and a problem solving exercise. The purpose of this style of interview is to see how you interact with others, demonstrate your skills in a crowd, and solve problems on the spot.

How do you stand out in a group interview?

  • You have to be yourself. Candidates should be honest.
  • Provide examples and accomplishments.
  • Be respectful to everyone.
  • You should be confident and knowledgeable.
  • Show you care about people working together.
  • Point out the problems and their solutions.
  • It is important to show clarity of thought.
  • You need to prove you’re curious.

If you want to impress your potential employer, you have to differentiate yourself and your skill set from those around you. It is possible to ace this part of the process, even though it takes a little bit more prep work.

To find out what actual employers think, we asked members of the YEC what they like to see candidates do in a group setting. The landscape of professionalism is changing and we want people who aren’t afraid to bring the positive attributes of their personality to the office. If you don’t get the job, there isn’t much of a match and you’re better off in the long run. It’s important to highlight specific accomplishments with visual stories that are easy to remember.

Along with skill set and qualifications, the hiring team is also looking at your ability to behave under pressure, work with others, and demonstrate confidence. Group interviews are a good place to look into the team aspect of a company. Employers will be more likely to hire you if you want to be part of a dynamic team. In response to unusual situations and questions, show clarity of thought and a winning personality.

When we conduct job interviews, we ask, when was the last time you made someone smile? The answer tells us a lot more about the candidate than traditional questions.

There is a direct correlation between the amount of research a candidate conducts and their positive impression. The questions fill in the blanks for the data they couldn’t uncover. Even if a person isn’t qualified, seeing his creativity and marketing skills is important to me. If you get some one-on-one face time with the interviewer, you can hopefully start building a relationship before everyone else shows up!

Even if you don’t get the chance to speak one-on-one, it’s likely that the hiring manager will remember your arrival. An interview is a chance for a job candidate to share her talents, skills, and ideas. An original song performed on guitar was one of the most impressive passion presentations. Trying to steal the spotlight and impress everyone won’t work in a group interview setting.

Show us that you can work and thrive as a team member by engaging in the conversation. The person who printed out our website and brought it along for reference was the most impressed by the group interview. She immediately knew everyone’s role in the room and each of our back stories after reviewing the staff page. If you don’t want to do the work most people don’t want to do, you’re not going to get the job.

What is the main purpose of a group interview?

A screening process where you interview multiple candidates at the same time is called a group interview. The purpose of a group interview is to see how candidates choose to stand out from each other, how well candidates function in a group of people they don’t know and if candidates show the teamwork attributes that you need.

How do you prepare for a group activity interview?

You should arrange a meeting with your interviewers before the group interview. Everyone should understand the process and goals. If required, assign roles. You might want one interviewer to be silent while the other asks questions.

How do I prepare for a group interview?

  • Conduct due diligence on an interviewer
  • Interviewers and candidates welcome each other.
  • Be friendly, but keep your convictions in mind.
  • You can listen more than you talk.
  • Everyone should be involved with your answers.
  • Answer first, every now and then.
  • Don’t be afraid of your body language and voice.

You don’t pay attention to the other people because you’re busy with the interview answers in your head.

Group interviews with more than ten candidates don’t always go this way because there isn’t enough time for everyone to get a turn Group interviews can include an activity or task where you are expected to work with other applicants to achieve a common goal. Panel interviews feel like an inquisition compared to the setup described earlier. Frontline jobs like retail, customer service, and food service rely on a candidate’s ability to solve problems, keep calm, and think fast all while wearing a smile, which is why group interviews are often done for them.

It doesn’t mean that group interviews are limited to the above roles, as more employers are starting to prefer this setup because it’s cost-effective. Even if you’re not the one talking, you have to stay alert because you’re going to look dumb once everyone’s attention is back on you. Use the strategies below to prepare for your next group interview so you don’t get caught off guard.

You might think that addressing another person by name isn’t important, but to the interviewer this shows that you have good people skills. People keep the status quo with friends and family and the same applies in the workplace. If you believe in your answer and have a solid argument, don’t hesitate to rock the boat in group interviews.

This is a good way to stand out in a discussion where people tend to agree with the most popular opinion, even if you don’t apply for a leadership role. Instead of saying the group’s consensus on a sales strategy is wrong, ask, “Did this sales tactic always work for you previously?” It is easier to make the group question their opinion than to tell them they are wrong.

If you spent some time talking to other candidates, you can tie those conversations to your answer. If you are both web developers, you might have discussed how the General Data Protection Regulation affects the websites you build or maintain. When the interviewer asks what you do to keep up with industry changes, or about a recent or challenging project, you can casually mention the topic.

Group interviews favor the confident and charismatic, so keep your chin up and smile when you answer. Keep your voice clear and level, don’t let it trail off in the midst of answering, it will give other applicants a chance to interrupt you. Sarah Taylor, Talent Acquisition and Development Manager at Wall, Einhorn, and Chernitzer, says this is one of their go-to questions. If you want to tie the company’s mission, products, or industry to your own interests, talk about it instead.

This tests if you have taken the time to research the company’s goals and background. If you can’t clearly tie the company’s background, goals, or vision to anything in your resume, now is the time to modify it for the job you’re applying for.

Don’t limit your answer to where you want to be in a few years, the interviewer isn’t interested in where you want to be You should connect your professional goals to the skills you want to learn and the challenges you want to overcome as part of your work. The interviewer is only interested in what you can do for the company, and your potential job promotions isn’t exactly a benefit for them, so you need to frame your answer in a way that clearly articulates your value as a candidate. Only in this case, you can’t lie or exaggerate your answers because your teammates can contest your claims You can frame it in a positive way by describing yourself as someone who likes to spit ball ideas to get the juices flowing, instead of saying that you are the most opinionated in the group. You dealt with the fact that you had limited time and resources to complete the group activity.

Send a thank-you note after the interview that includes a part of the conversation when you made a memorable answer, or a joke. Sending a thank you note is one way you can help the interviewer remember your face.

What is a group team activity interview?

Group interviews are designed to rigorously assess a candidate’s ability to be a team player as well as other essential job skills. 2020

Neal Kaplan I'm a director of technical communications working for a data analysis startup in Redwood City. I started as a technical writer, and since then I've also been learning about information architecture, training, content strategy, and even something about customer support. I'm also passionate about cross-team collaboration and user communities.

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