There are two different types of group interviews that consist of panel interviews and group interviews. The latter usually includes a single interviewer who assesses a variety of candidates.
Group interviews are most commonly held in the retail, hospitality and catering industries. Conversely, panel interviews involve a panel of interviewers who are interviewing a lone job candidate.
The group of interviewers will usually include HR representatives, managers and any other relevant members of the team.
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How Effective Are Group Interviews?
Group opportunities have many distinctive advantages when compared to other types of interviews.
Your company may be looking to save time during the interview process and as such, interviewing many candidates on the same day will be the most efficient means of doing so.
Group interviews also enable an interviewer to assess the interpersonal skills of the various candidates.
The vast majority of candidates will state that they work well within a team-based environment. However, this is not always the case, and group interviews allow you to really see how people operate relationally.
Group interviews will also provide an interview with an insight into which candidates will suit the ethos of the company itself as they highlight which candidates shine under pressure and which candidates have the self-belief required to fulfil the role effectively.
If the position in question is high-paced, a group interview is the perfect way to replicate the pace of the role in question and to see how the candidates perform.
How Do I Set Up A Group Interview?
- Inform your candidates that it is a group interview. This gives the candidates an opportunity to psychologically prepare for a group setting and allows them to wholly utilize their respective interpersonal skills.
- If you are interviewing with other interviewers, your team should’ve held a meeting beforehand in order to establish how the interview will be conducted. Everyone on your team should have a good understanding on how to evaluate and assess potential candidates prior to the start of the interview so that they are aware of what to spot.
- Introduce yourself to the prospective candidates and highlight the role of your company, explaining why it is a great organization to become a part of.
- Take it in turns to ask relevant questions. This is crucial if you are interviewing with a number of other interviewers as you should avoid overwhelming your candidates or appearing disorganised when asking questions.
- After the interview has concluded, you should debrief with any other interviewers in order to obtain their impressions of each candidate.
How Do I Nail A Group Interview?
If you are the prospective candidate and wish to know how to nail a group interview. There are some crucial steps to implement in order to succeed within a group interview setting.
- Carry out your research prior to the interview. You should be as familiar as possible with the company that you are going to be potentially working for. Your interviewer will be impressed by your knowledge and enthusiasm. There is no replacement for preparation and being informed is a desirable quality for any prospective employer.
- Greet your fellow candidates as well as the interviewers. Your potential employer will be assessing how you work with others and by greeting your fellow candidates, you will demonstrate that you have strong interpersonal skills and are a nice person to work with! This also provides you with the opportunity to learn everyone’s name which will benefit you within a group dynamic.
- You should prepare your introduction as group interviews will usually require you to introduce yourself with an interesting fact about you. Whilst these questions may seem harmless, they are actually the first opportunity to make a good impression and to stand out from the crowd of other candidates. Of course, you should avoid coming across as arrogant but do not shy away from your own individual identity either. You should prepare a short introduction that showcases your background, professional experience and why you believe you are suitable for the role in question (as well as your interesting fact!)
- Listen to the questions prior to answering. Whilst you may be eager to impress, listening skills are the most desirable trait in any candidate and you should avoid being too hasty with your answers. You should also listen to how other candidates answer a question and assess the reaction of your interviewers in order to capitalize on any opportunities that may arise to answer a question more effectively.
- Do not be too afraid to answer a question first. Whilst listening is crucial, it is also in your interests to show enthusiasm and be the first candidate to answer a question. You should answer those questions that you are thoroughly prepared for as this will enable you to speak confidently.
- You should try to support your fellow candidates statements where possible despite the fact that you are trying to eat yourself apart. Whilst you may be able to correct other candidates when required, you should avoid being arrogant when doing so and also support your fellow candidates statements when the opportunity arises. Expanding on the points made by others and opening these up to the room highlights your critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills simultaneously.
- Above all, you should ask good questions yourself. When you ask your potential employer thoughtful questions, you will inherently open these up to the wider room which makes the interview process smoother for everyone involved. Your interviewer will undoubtedly take note of any good questions that you have asked and you will be marked accordingly.
To conclude, a group interview involves a number of prospective candidates who will be required to perform specific tasks or answer open questions both individually and collectively.
A group interview can also involve a panel of interviewers and one candidate. Whichever format your interview takes, you should ensure that you have prepared thoroughly and accordingly in order to highlight your skills and abilities coherently and effectively.