Published on September 6th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards1
How do you make yourself stand out in a group interview?
By Amy @BubbleJobs
The good news: you’ve managed to bag yourself an interview for that dream job, the bad news: it’s a group interview. Uh-oh! The dreaded group interview! Yep, if there’s one thing worse than a nail-biting, cut-the-tension-with-a-knife one-on-one interview it’s a group interview!
What’s so bad about them then? Well, think about it; rather than having one possible candidate to focus all their attention on, employers have a shed-load of candidates which they have to consider simultaneously - yep that means that when it comes to a group interview, there’s no way to ensure employers will actually spot you in the crowd.
Hmm… starting to get the picture? While you can ensure employers see your good side in a one-on-one interview, it’s completely different with group interviews – you have to make yourself stand out from the crowd and stand head and shoulders above the competition (not literally but hey, if the opportunity arises, give it a go!).
The problem with group interviews is it’s all about finding the right balance – you obviously want to make sure your voice gets heard and you stand out but you don’t want to come across as a know-it-all who thinks their opinion counts for more than anyone else’s. Remember, there’s a fine line between being assertive and being overly-dominant – it’s important not to cross it! Make sure you contribute to the group with great ideas and don’t be shy but don’t shout over everyone else to get your voice heard – it might somehow work on The Apprentice but it’s definitely not a good look in a group interview!
OK, so you want to be loud but not too loud, what else? Well, you want to make yourself memorable so try and be as unique as possible. OK, so I’m not talking about dying your hair pink (like our very own Steve ) or wearing a horrendous Hawaiian shirt – I’m talking about using your brains and your initiative to stand out from the crowd. If you’re in a group interview and you’re all being asked the same question, listen to what everyone else has said and come up with a unique, well thought-out answer that will instantly differentiate you from the competition.
Whatever job you’re being interviewed for, you’re probably going to need to work as part of a team so it goes without saying that you need to show that you can easily work in any team, even a team made up of candidates who are all vying for the same job! You need to show you’re keen to hear everyone’s views and opinions so make sure you make a point of asking for everyone’s opinions before a decision is made.
Last but not least, there’s going to come a point in the group interview when they ask you why you want to work for the company and what you can bring to the business – this is where being prepared really helps! Make sure you’ve researched the company in detail before you attend the interview and have a couple of answers prepared for each question – if you only have one answer and someone else has a similar one, you could be left red-faced and fumbling around for an answer – remember, it’s all about preparation! Similarly make sure you know exactly what the company do, what they’ve done/achieved in the past and their plans for the future – this will help to show you have a genuine interest in the company as a whole and not just the job in question!