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Standing Out in Group Interviews

Author: Frederick Pasco

It may still be a while before in-person face to face interviews are happening on a regular basis again, but many companies are conducting interviews digitally. This includes group interviews, which can be a challenge under the best of circumstances, but bring a lot of advantages for companies, so you need to be prepared for them.

Some benefits of group interviews, from a companies perspective, are that they allow the company to see who stands out in a room full of candidates, they let them analyze prospective candidates in a team-based environment, and they save time.

Here are some key tips for making sure the YOU are the candidate who stands out in your next group interview.

1. Speak Up

It's easy to feel intimidated in a room full of other candidates, especially when another candidate gives an excellent answer to a question. The dangers there are convincing yourself you’re not good enough, that an answer you might give is wrong, or becoming passive and simply waiting around to be called upon.

One way to combat this fear is to meet it head-on. Be the first one to speak up after a question. You don’t want to monopolize everyone's time in the room but you definitely want to make an impression and stand out. Chances are breaking the ice will make a good impression on the interviewer, which can only improve your chances of landing the job.

2. Engage Other Candidates

While it is important to speak out, remember that you are not the only person in the room. If you tend to monopolize everyone's time the interviewer might think that you’re not someone they want on their team. Give out your best answer and then let the other candidates give theirs.

Remember to engage those other candidates. If you agree with someone's point or perspective, say so. Let others know when you think they've given an excellent response. Be receptive and active. Remember that this isn't a one on one conversation, and there is a reason for that. Also, be kind to your fellow interviewees at all times.

3. Ask Questions

The last thing you want is to be seen as a passive participant in the group interview. Again, monopolizing everyone's time is certainly not the goal, but coming across as an active and engaged participant is. Sometimes, in a group interview, you can feel that your answers haven't done enough to help you stand out from the crowd or make enough of an impression. One way to make up for this is to ask quality questions.

Targeted, insightful questions can help sell the idea to the interviewers that you are proactive, detail-oriented, and don’t leave anything to chance. It can also be a great way to open up the floor for questions from other people which helps make you look like more of a team player. Remember that no matter how prepared you are, it all starts with speaking up. I’ve personally been in group interviews that I had a pretty good answer and question to everything but I was too shy to speak up. Safe to say that I didn’t get the job. Hopefully, these tips will help you do better!

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