As someone who has been the Interviewer and the Interviewee (both multiple times) during their lifetime, and has experienced both solo and group interviews, I thought I’d dish out some of my advice for both the Interviewer and the Interviewee when it comes to Group Interviews – aren’t I lovely?
I’m going to start with the Interviewer, so Interviewees feel free to skip ahead to your section below.
Whether it is your first interview or your thousandth, your assessment of the candidates in front of you needs to change for every job you interview for. This is obvious, as you’re not going to look for the same type of candidate for a Bartender position as you will for a Nurse, and if you have a good enough understanding of the role at hand you should know pretty much what your perfect candidate will be like.
With this in mind, however, you need to be prepared to be flexible with your expectations of the candidate, as the people you have in for interview may not meet every single criteria you want them to, but could still be great for the position. This is important especially in roles which require little or no experience, as your perfect candidate could have zero experience, but your company could mould them into the perfect employee – so keep an open mind!
One more tip for these interviews, especially when it is more of a junior position, it might be a good idea to get a Team Member who will work alongside the successful candidate to help out with the interviews, as they can give you a different perspective on whether or not they would be suitable for the role. I’ve been this selected Team Member before, and I could really tell that my expectations of the candidate were different to the expectations of the Managers, so the “perfect” candidates covered both of our expectations.
Hi Interviewees, welcome back! This is now all about you, so listen up:
Of course, depending on the position you have applied for, your behaviour in your interview needs to be tailored. If you have applied for a Customer Service type role, you need to prove to the Interviewer that you can be lively, empathetic, and entertaining. A boring or rude person probably won’t thrive in a position which requires you to always look like you’re having fun.
Similarly, if the position you have applied for requires specific experience which you have, make sure that you try to slip in some of your expertise, but do not show off! There is a really healthy balance in group interviews between being extroverted and engaging, and being overpowering and bragging about everything you’ve done – make sure you are the former.
Some group interviews will be followed up by a one to one interview, so this is the kind of time that you can really sell yourself and your experience. The Interviewer will get a feel for how you can work in a team during the group interview, and the one to one interview will give them a feel for who you are as an individual.
I hope this little guide has helped, whether you are about to interview a number of candidates or be interviewed alongside a number of candidates. If you are the Interviewer in this situation, you might find our Interview Tips or Interview Cheat Sheet handy, both of which you can access for free!