A group interview is one of the trickiest formats to navigate and make successful. A lot of companies will have you meet with people from several different departments at once to maximize their time and be able to ask questions in a more collaborative environment.
While it may be beneficial for your potential employer, a group interview can easily turn one-sided where the panelists just pepper you with questions. With some helpful hints, you can turn your group interview into a pleasant meeting of discovery for everyone involved.
Do your homework
Make sure you get a list of each person on the panel and their role at the company. Find out how they would interact with you on a daily basis if you are hired. Research the company and position for which you are applying and reference key facts you’ve learned when answering questions.
Always make eye contact
Shift your focus to whoever asks you a question and answer by first addressing that person by name. You should always make a concerted effort to meet the gaze of every person in the group. Maintaining eye contact lets them know that you don’t have anything to hide and will answer their questions truthfully.
There might be one person in the group that you simply can’t manage to reach. Don’t give up. Try a little harder to engage that panelist and see if you can draw them into the discussion. You want each interviewer to be included and feel that what they have to say is important and relevant to the meeting. One way to accomplish this is to pose a unique question to each person. Every panelist comes with a different background and expertise. Get them to talk about what they do at the company and how you would best fulfill their needs in your potential role.
Conclude on a personal level
As the interview is coming to an end, make one last round of interaction with each panelist. It could be as simple as this statement: “Thank you [interviewer #1]. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to speak with me.” You want to leave a lasting, personable impression so that the whole group has a positive opinion of you. The goal is for the group to unanimously want to hire you for the job.
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