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How to Handle a Group Interview

Tips for Handling a Group Interview


Business executive discussing with her clients
ONOKY - Eric Audras / Brand X Pictures / Getty Images

To successfully handle a group interview, take time in advance to prepare. Ask who you will be interviewing with and ask for their names. That way, you can bring a copy of your resume for each interviewer and it will be easier to remember who's who. Check the LinkedIn Profiles of your interviewers so you can get insight into their role at the company and their background.

Review the interview questions that are typically asked during this type of job interview.

Be sure to research the company ahead of time. The more you know about the company, the easier it will be to respond to questions.

Bring a notepad and pen and take notes. Again, it will be easier to keep track of the interview if you are able to jot down some notes.

Connect With the Interviewers

Connect with the group as well as the individual interviewers. When one panelist asks a question, respond directly to him or her, but also make eye contact with the rest of the group as you're answering. The more engaged you are - with everyone - the better impression you'll make.

Try to find out a little about your interviewers if you have the opportunity during the early stages of the interview. Ask for their job titles and departments if that information has not been furnished with an agenda for your visit. Inquire about how they interface with the position for which you are interviewing. This information will help you to anticipate what they might be looking for in a candidate.

When you are given the chance to pose questions in the later stages of the interview, try to frame questions geared toward the roles of as many of the interviewers as possible. For example, you might ask "Bob, given your role with the advertising department what would you most like to see in the new sales manager?"

Pay attention to the group dynamics. How does everyone get along? What type of interaction do they have? Is it positive? You're interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you and it's important to see how you will fit in, if you're hired. If you're not comfortable with the synergy between the panelists, think about what it will be like to work with them when making a decision on accepting a job offer.

Follow Up After the Interview

Ask for business cards and send a thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. If you don't get a chance to collect business cards, send a thank you note to the person who arranged the interview.

If you do get contact information, compose an individual thank you letter to each interviewer. Incorporate a line or two referencing something specific which you learned from them about the organization. Another approach is to mention an asset which would help you to work productively with that person.

Research the Company
Before you go on a job interview, it's important to find out as much as you can about the company. That way you'll be prepared both to answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions.

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