Interviews are primarily used as a means to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations for peoples preferences. Interviews can be done on a one-on-one basis or in a group.
Also known as a panel interview, a group interview is conducted by a whole group of people. This can be intimidating than a conventional job interview since there are more people on the panel to impress. To succeed, you have to know what to expect in a group interview. As such, it will help to ease your nerves and enable you to understand what is expected of you.
Types of group interviews
Group/panel-Interviewers meet with a candidate. The panel typically includes the HR, manager and possible co-workers form the department you would be working if you get the job. The second type of group interviews is when numerous candidates are interviewed by one person at the same time. In some cases, a group interview involves both types of interviews.
Why a group interview?
Group interviews consisting of numerous candidates are very efficient: they enable the interviewer to conduct a couple of interviews at the same time. The interviewer may include other people as a way to efficiently introduce candidates to the people they will be working with. As such, group interviews show which candidates work well with others. Furthermore, it shows an employer which candidates fit well with the culture of the organization.
Faced-paced jobs, jobs involving high stress and those that require customer satisfaction normally require group interviews. If a candidate performs well during a stressful interview, he or she may be more apt to perform well in a challenging job environment.
What to expect
Group interviews have a number of formats:
In a situation of multiples, interviewers and one candidate, each member of the panel will take turns to ask questions. In an interview with multiple candidates, the interviewer will ask each candidate group as well as individual questions. In that regard, the group interview might end with each candidate having brief individual interviews. Also, the interview may involve a problem-solving exercise in which the participants have to work together as a team. This is an opportunity for the employer to see if you can work well on a group project, if you have leadership qualities and if you get along with colleagues.
Group interview questions. The list includes some of the common questions an interviewer or a panel is likely to ask a candidate, as well as questions regarding a work-simulation exercise.
How can you describe yourself?
Why do you want the job?
Where did you hear about our company?
What difference can you make in our company?
Can you work in a team and how?
Talk about your career history and future goals in a minute.
Questions on work-simulation exercises:
What made this team successful?
Who is your preferred candidate for your group and why?
How did you contribute to the teams performance?
How did you deal with the pressure created by the challenges?
Standing out from the crowd
Confidence and respect. Ensure your voice is heard during the interviewing process, however, you dont want to dominate the process. Speak up calmly when given a chance but do not cut off other people or appear too impatient.
Good listener. Be attentive to what the interviewers and your fellow candidates say. When answering a question, refer to what the previous person said: this shows you were attentive. Learn the names of the candidates, this further displays your listening skills.
Be a leader. Find an opportunity to lead the group. This can be done by including everyone in the project and ensuring everyone has a task. Be sure to give credit to your mates when reflecting on the project with the interviewer.
Be yourself. While making your voice heard, dont feel like you have to be particularly vocal if you are shy. Answer questions after a thorough thought-it are advisable to answer a couple of questions with purpose than to talk without any particular purpose. In that regard, answering questions carefully sets you apart from the rest of the group without appearing as someone you are not. Overall, be sure to send an appreciation or thank you letter to every interviewer on the panel.
It is vital to have a comprehensive record of what was said. Do not depend on your memory as it can be selective and you are prone to forget the most important details. If taking notes, its important to write them up after the interview so that you can elaborate and clarify.
Interview schedule each interview program should have a cover page with a number, name, and address. The cover sheet should have provisions on where to record the date and time, the interviewer, the result of the interviews and space to write down specific times at which a call-back has been organized. Additionally, space should be left to record the end results of the interview, that is was an interview rejected, if contact was made or if the was number disconnected.
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