Preparing for a group interview

Preparing for a group interview

I’ve received a few emails from candidates about “group interviews”. Chelsea, 18, asked if a tank top and cargo pants were suitable interview gear while Robert wanted information about the process.

Companies recruiting several people at once such as call centres favour group interviews. It allows many people to be assessed simultaneously while also providing candidates with a look at what the company is all about.

Jacqui Whyatt of the Chandler Macleod Group says group interviews do not follow the traditional question and answer format. Instead, candidates take part in a number of group problem-solving activities.

Often role-playing will be involved with one candidate acting as the angry customer while another plays the staff member applying a solution that the group has come up with. Candidates might be asked to stand up and tell everyone a bit about themselves and why they believe their attributes suit one of the roles on offer.

The best way to prepare is ask for a job description. Spend some time thinking about why your skills and personal attributes would suit that description. Some CareerOne readers have told me companies fobbed them off when they asked questions. Don’t sweat it if that happens; just get on with your research. Read up on the company using its website as a source but also visiting a library to look at newspaper clippings if need be. Rehearse talking about yourself and role-playing with family members. This helps calm nerves and enables you to practice a firm handshake, good eye contact and listening skills as well as speaking clearly and loudly enough for all to hear.

Ms Whyatt said corporate dress is the only way to go even if you know the company has a casual dress code.

For more useful tips read the other stories in the Job Hunting Strategy section.

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