These days it’s not uncommon for large organisations to utilise group assessments during their recruitment process.

This is especially the case when they’re recruiting large numbers of people at a time.

As they aren’t as common as the standard style of interview and there are a few things that you can do that will help you to get through to the next stage of the recruitment process.

So what are my tips for effective group interviews:

Smile.  This is an obvious one that is relevant for all styles of interview, but it’s still worth mentioning.  Too many people allow their anxiety to get the better of them and they come across as a bulldog who swallowed a wasp.  Remember, group assessments are looking for how people interact with others, and smiling is a great starting point for showing that you can be a positive contributor to any their team.

Build rapport.  It’s important that you focus on building rapport with every person in the room.  I would encourage you to greet each of the recruiters and all of the other candidates when you enter the room, learning their names and taking an interest in them.

Listen to others.  There will be times during group assessments when others hold the floor and are sharing their thoughts.  I’ve seen a lot of people get distracted and let their mind wander in these environments which isn’t a good look.  It doesn’t matter how inane the other person is, be courteous and pay attention.  Good assessors are always watching and body language that indicates you’re disinterested will be noticed and marked down.

Be heard, but don’t dominate.  I have seen many candidates either make the mistake of talking too much, or not contributing at all during group sessions.

If you’re talking and you see the eyes of everyone else glaze over, it’s time to stop.  Stay away from arguing with others when participating in group exercises as well.  State your case and allow others to make their contribution as well.

Conversely, it’s important that your voice is heard during the assessment to show that you’re assertive and confident enough to contribute in a team environment, so make sure that you take advantage of opportunities to put your best foot forward.

Be positive.  This is important in all interview contexts, but can become especially obvious in group assessments.  In addition to smiling, make sure that you’re positive about your past employers, other candidates and anything else that comes up.  Employers are turned off by negative people, so make sure that you express yourself in an optimistic manner.

Groups interviews are a unique experience and need to be approached differently from normal interviews.  They’re not a war of attrition and you need to remember that employers who use them are generally recruiting teams of people at a time, so don’t be anxious if a few others seem to be shining.  Good for them.

Just do your best and I hope that these tips are helpful.

Do you have any tips for group interviews that you could add to the list?

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