What to Expect with Group Interviews

Coworkers in a Conference Room having a Meeting - group interviews

Group interviews can seem intimidating at first. Imagine you’ve gone through the entire application process online on ZipRecruiter only to find a room full of other eager applicants!

On the one hand, you want to impress the hiring manager to show them you’re the right fit for the role. And on the other hand, you also need to stand out from the rest of the candidates. While there are many things to consider during your group interview, they actually aren’t as difficult as you may think.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what to expect during group interviews. We’ll also share a few tips to help you succeed and (hopefully) land the job!

Why Do Employers Conduct Group Interviews?

People in a group meeting - group interviews

Most companies use the group interview style to hire quickly. Instead of conducting several 1-hour interviews with candidates, a group interview allows them to review multiple candidates at one time.

Group interviews are common in the customer service, hospitality, and retail industries. This is especially true if you’re applying for a temporary or part-time position. However, group interviews can also be used for tech, office, or labor jobs as well.

Before going into the interview, you should have a good knowledge of the job description. Know what the employer is looking for and how you fit the bill. You can look up and read job descriptions by creating a profile on ZipRecruiter. Even better, ZipRecruiter lets you apply to positions with just 1 click and matches you with jobs you’re qualified to take!

What to Expect During Group Interviews

Generally speaking, you and the other candidates will take turns answering interview questions. The interviewer may ask you all the same questions, or you may get a different question than another candidate.

There may also be an ice-breaker question to “warm up the room.” This may be introducing yourself and outlining your experience. However, you may also be asked something off-beat like, “share an interesting fact about yourself.” Either way, it’s important that you have a few answers prepared for either format.

Some employers also ask interviewees to participate in different role-play scenarios. This is to see how you would respond to real-life issues that may come up in your job. For example, one interviewee might be an angry customer, while another interviewee is a manager tasked with dealing with the said customer.

How to Ace Group Interviews 

Be Confident

While group interviews can be nerve-wracking, it’s crucial to stay confident and show your best self. Maintain strong body language and remember to speak loudly and clearly. Don’t try to dominate the conversation or repeat what others have already stated (that can be harmful to your interview!). Instead, speak with a purpose and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.

Be a Good Listener

Displaying active listening skills can go a long way in a group interview. Be respectful and pay attention to others who are talking in the conversation. And if possible, ask questions or review back to different points that were made. This shows engagement as well as an ability to work with others.

Be Prepared

As with any interview, it’s important that you’re prepared for whatever the hiring manager throws your way. We recommend reviewing key interview questions beforehand. It’s also important to review the job description and research the company to assist with different questions that may be asked. If you’re using ZipRecruiter, you’ll see a list of all the expected requirements and day-to-day duties on their site. And if you struggle with public speaking, practice answering questions with a friend or in front of a mirror.

Follow Up

Hands Typing on a Laptop Keyboard - group interviews

One key way to stay memorable during a group interview is to follow up with the hiring manager. This keeps you at the forefront of the employers’ minds and shows your appreciation for their time and efforts. Make sure to send an email to say thanks and reiterate your interest in the position. This is also a good time to ask about the next steps and a timeline for filling the open role.

Get Ready to Ace Your Interview!

Group interviews aren’t drastically different than solo ones. In fact, a group interview is a great opportunity to showcase skills you might not get to convey otherwise! By being confident, respectful, and memorable, we’re positive that you’ll ace the interview with flying colors. And if not, there are always millions of other listings waiting for you online on ZipRecruiter!

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