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Tips for group interviews

What happens when you find yourself in a group interview with other job candidates? ANGELI RAMOS tells how you can survive and stand out.

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05 Feb 2013 Print This Post Print This Post

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    I have conducted quite a number of job interviews, have been exposed to different personalities with different circumstances and have had my share of timid, aggressive, talkative and inquisitive candidates.

    Over time, I was able to understand common behaviors and motivations of candidates when applying for a job. Some candidates would even confidently tell me that it’s just a discussion of their technical skills and experiences.

    But what happens when a one-on-one session becomes a group discussion and you’re not the only one telling your story? Here are some basic pointers that will help you get through that group interview.

    Dress appropriately. Nothing beats power dressing. It’s one way of impressing the interviewer.

    Organize your thoughts before speaking. Randomly blabbing ideas makes it difficult for an interviewer to understand you. It would definitely be a plus if the interviewer can see how you process your thoughts.

    Do not make up stories. Impressing your interviewer does not mean exaggerating stories of your experiences.

    Do not conceal anything. Always keep in mind that employers go for someone who knows how to build and maintain trust.

    Be honest with what you know and don’t know. The interviewer will know if you are just rambling to fit in the position.

    Do not just copy other candidate’s answers. There may be generic answers to some questions, but always keep in mind that a candidate’s answers show his/her personality, motivations and career goals.

    Do not talk like you’re the only one in the hot seat. Answer questions directly and be sensitive enough to other interviewees and the interviewer.

    Do not argue with the other candidates. Remember, you’re there for an interview, not a debate.

    Be respectful. Let the other candidates (as well as the interviewers) finish their statements before your turn.

    Do not lose eye contact. This is considered crucial in communication.

    Lastly, smile.

    Of course, these tips are also helpful in acing other types of interviews. Always keep in mind that presentation and integrity matter a lot for employers. You don’t have to know everything. Just be honest and be courteous to everyone.



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