Interviewers use a verity of methods to interview job hunters, the most common is a one to one interview closely followed by group interviews often used for sectors working with the public or in a team.
It is vital to have knowledge of all the different interviews employers use as part of the interview process, to ensure you are properly prepared.
Generally, when you gain a group interview you will be asked to complete a “group exercise” – build a bridge out of straws, complete a brain teaser or make a jigsaw, etc. The employer has no concerns if you complete the task or not, they are more interested in your reactions to others, your communication skills and how you work within a team.
How to gain a head start:
By following these ten tips you can quickly gain a head start above the other interviewees:
- Start by introducing yourself to the other interviewees and interviewers. Be polite and friendly and remembers peoples names.
- Listen to the instructions for the group exercise, if possible write them down.
- The first thing the interviewer will look for is to see who joins in with the activities; group interviews are generally used by employers looking for team members. If you don’t join in with the interview team activity, you probably won’t work well within a team environment.
- Join in with the group discussions and don’t dominate, let others have their say and give your own opinion.
- Boost group morel, by telling people when they have had a good idea or suggestion, if someone is being quite, ask for their opinion. This will show the interviewers that you try to involve others and will suggest you have managerial skills.
- When you’re worried about your interview performances, an interview coach can help you prepare.
- Learn to compromise and accept others’ ideas with an open mind, remember the idea of the task is to see if you work well within a team not to solve the problem – even though solving the problem can’t help; Google group activities for ideas and solutions.
- When someone disagrees with you, say “it’s good to get everyone’s opinions and ideas” and ask how the solution can be improved. Don’t make disagreements personal, keep focused on the problem/solution, remember you’re a Team Player.
- Prepare a list of questions you can ask the group to get them motivated “has anyone come across this group exercise before?”
- During the group feedback to the interviewer, demonstrate to the employer that you have participated in the group exercise and that you gave some of the input. You may gain bonus points by being the group member who feedbacks (have other group members join in with you)
- Be enthusiastic throughout and when asked questions by the interviewer, mention your experiences and how this helped you complete the exercise. If you new the answer to the group task don’t let on, slowly give hints to the group to pass the task. It’s more important to demonstrate team skills rather then being someone who knows the answer immediately.
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