Leading the Pack: Group Interviewing

By: Andrew

Standing out in an interview can already be tough enough to do, so what do you do when you have to stand out in a group interview? One could argue that there are many different ways to go about shining through during a group interview. However, I think that the following tips will have you setup for group interview success.

Group Interviews

There are two general types of personalities: extraverts and introverts. Since we can all fall into one of the personality types to some extent, I will explain how each personality can succeed during a group interview.

Extraverts are known for their outgoing and talkative personalities. Introverts are known for their quieter personalities and are energized through reflection. In a group interview it can be challenging to have yourself heard and seen if you are an introvert. On the other hand, extraverts run the risk of taking too much of the attention. Here are some ideas on how to avoid having too much face time and how to gain the face time you need.

Tips for all:

  • Make a point of greeting each of the people interviewing you. It can be easy to forget this since you are with a group of other interviewees. Remember their names, addressing the interviewers by name when responding during the interview will certainly impress them.
  • Treat the other interviewees with respect. Seems obvious, but from first-hand experience interviewing and being interviewed it is an important thing to remember.

Tips for extraverts:

  • It’s an easy thing to do, be you. Careful though, you can be too talkative during the interview. Be conscious of the limited amount of time for the interview and how your extended responses could limit time for other responses. If you can manage this you will be showing more skills than just what you actually said in your response.
  • Use your outgoing personality to your advantage. Channel the energy that you bring into your responses by leaving high-quality and concise responses. A loaded response that is well articulated will keep your name fresh in the interviewers minds.

Tips for introverts:

  • Naturally, the group interview is going to be an uncomfortable setting for you. You do not need to act differently than normal, be your calm, cool, and collected self. Your thoughtful and calm demeanor is a skill and quality in itself. All organizations need that calm thoughtful presence when situations arise.
  • Be comfortable with silences or not having as many opportunities to speak. My last group interview had this happen and it played to my advantage. I had less time to speak, but some people spoke so much that they most likely lost their offer from doing so. Be responsible for making high-quality responses instead of a high-quantity of responses. Quality answers will always be remembered.

Not all of us will be faced with a group interview, but when we are it is important to consider our personalities. By understanding our personalities we will be better suited to answer the questions of a group interview in a thoughtful and concise way. No need to over think the group interview, but do take the time to know what you are preparing for when it comes to group interviews.

Read Andrew’s other posts

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About ellenhatfield

New professional in the field of Student Affairs in Higher Education. I am a Career Counselor at the University of MN Duluth.

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