What Is A Group Interview?

Throughout the interview process, you will experience many facets of interviewing. From telephone interviews to one-on-one interviews, each has its set of challenges and techniques to acing the interview. Group interviews are unique as they present many more sets of challenges and distractions when interviewing with other individuals. The pressure is more intense, as you are competing with many other individuals and need to be certain your voice is heard clearly. How will you stand out from the literal crowd around you? In this first part of the group interview process, we will discuss the basics of the group interview.

Group Interview: What Is It?

You may ask yourself the difference between a one-on-one interview and a group interview. It is quite simple! A group interview is meant to bring you, as well as many other individuals, to an area where each of you will be interviewed simultaneously. Your potential interviewer is interested in how you will react with other individuals around you. How will you respond to the questions that are focused on you? Will you show support for other members of the team? Can you be a team player? The group interview setting typically allows the group to work together on activities or situations while being monitored by the interviewer(s). Teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills will be evaluated during your group interview.

Group Interviews: Where Are They Used?

Typically, group interviews are reserved for positions that will be faced with working in a team environment or require intense customer contact. Group interviews are beneficial to the interviewer as it allows them to fill numerous open positions. Examples of such positions may include customer service, sales, or retail.

Group Interviews: Why Are They Used?

Group interviews are common in the interview process as they are geared towards careers that rely on interacting with the public. It is cost effective for your potential employer, quick, and helps simplify the overall interview process. Furthermore, group interviewing allows the potential employer to see how you will interact within a potentially stressful job environment. Additionally, group interviews allow for comparison of the other candidates.

Group Interviews: Formats

Within the group interview setting, there are three formats an interviewer will follow: group discussions, group activities, and individual interviews after the group interview.

1. Group Discussions
Group discussions typically involve three to seven individuals along with the interviewer. Each applicant will be asked to answer a question by the interviewer. It is essential you are creative in your responses, while trying to make yourself stand out from the rest of the pack.

2. Group Activities
Group activities involve, you guessed it, activities! The interviewer will set up activities for you to solve as a group in order to see if you are a team player. Generally, a specific problem needs to be solved and the main task is to see how you will handle conflict within a job environment. Will you work well with others? Can you handle a stressful situation?

3. Individual Interviews After the Group Interview
Occasionally, after the group interview is over, the interviewer may ask you to stick around for an individual interview. You may be asked to answer additional questions or explain your skill set to the interviewer. If you have made it to this point, it means you stood out from the rest of the applicants! Congratulations!

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