Put simply, you will be assessed at the same time as all the other candidates for the same position. This is generally the first stage, and a one-on-one interview may take place afterwards or at a later date, if you are successful.
The point of working an interview as a group is for the benefit of employers who can see how you act as a member of a team.
A group situation will allow the employer to see what role you take. Some people will take leadership roles while others may take a more reserved approach and contribute when they feel the time is right. Relax, no approach is wrong as all different characteristics are needed for a successful team so do what comes naturally.
If the job role you are applying for is fundamentally about teamwork, then the employer may choose this type of interview as this will be essential to the job role.
Some employers may choose a group interview as a way of saving time if they want to see a lot of candidates. They might also use a group process to quickly and efficiently remove candidates who are unsuitable.
What to expect:
Time to channel your inner actor and call on your starring moments in the school play! You might have to act out a scenario with some of your fellow group members such as simulating a phone call, giving an example of a sales pitch, or good customer service technique. Ensure you are fully aware of what the company does beforehand and listen carefully to what the interviewer wants you to do.
This is often an important part of the group interview. You may have to present an idea as part of a group or as an individual. If you present with a group you should ensure that you take an active role in the presentation. If you don’t speak during the presentation it doesn’t look good, even if you came up with the ideas that are being presented. Ensure you make your points clearly and effectively.
Team Building Exercises and Problem Solving: In order to let the employer see how well you participate within a group, there might be some team building exercises which will involve problem solving. Ensure you interact well with the group and take a thoughtful, proactive approach to the task.
How to be a good candidate:
Be proactive: You should voice your opinions and take an active role in the process to ensure you stand out. Even if you decide you do not want to be the outright leader of a task, have your say and take credit for your input.
Respect the group: You can make your voice heard without being overbearing. Respect other people’s opinions and allow them chance to have their say. You don’t always have to agree with everything someone says but you can remain polite and respectful.
Be confident, not bossy: If you do take a leading role in a task, assert yourself confidently, but do not shout or order people around. Take people’s suggestions on board; don’t let the power go to your head! You can be an effective leader without dominating group discussion and ideas.
Avoid showing off: There’s always one joker in the pack. Don’t be tempted to act the fool just to get noticed. There are better ways. Pay attention to what’s being asked, focussing your attention on completing the task successfully and to the best of your ability.
Have fun and good luck! Whether you get to build a lego robot or do a presentation about a block of cheese, group interviews are different and can be a lot of fun.
Just remember to be confident, respect others and enjoy yourself!