How to Survive Group Job Interviews

There are companies that hold panel interviews to screen applicants. Usually, a group job interview follows after the initial and the second one-on-one interviews. The good news is that if you have been scheduled for a panel interview, you are one step closer to getting hired.

However, facing a group of interviewers can add up to the pressure. What can you do to lessen the anxiety and to ensure that you will make a good impression? Below are practical tips:

Do research in advance. Before sending your resume, you should start doing research about the company. Know its history and background as well as the scope of tasks of the position you are applying for. Knowing your facts will help you to be more relaxed when you face your interviewers.

Try to get to know your interviewers. When you get informed for the interview, ask if you may get the names of the possible interviewers, as well as their positions in the company. They will surely introduce themselves during the interview but knowing this information first hand will eliminate the surprise.

Make eye contact. There is no need for them to know how nervous or tense you are. When responding, try to make eye contact, particularly to the person who posed the question.

Never assume who’s the bigger boss. Do not assume that the manager or the CEO will be the only one decides whether you get hired or not. The opinions of the other members of the panel will surely count. Answer all the questions as best as you can.

Be professional at all times. Sometimes, the interviewers prefer the more casual way of posing questions. You may find that them to be friendly and without air of superiority. However, even in a relaxed atmosphere, you want to make sure that you don’t get too relaxed as to become unprofessional. Never slump in your chair or use slang terms in the conversation.

Arrive on time. Late people give the impression of laziness and unprofessionalism. Be sure that you will not get caught in traffic by waking up early and leaving early from home. See to it that you will get in the office at least 15 to 20 minutes earlier than your call time.

Understand the question first.
Don’t try to rush or impress the panel by giving quick answers. Make sure that you really understood the question before answering. If you did not hear it well or did not get it the first time, it wouldn’t hurt to request the interviewer to repeat the question for you.

Smile. It does not mean that you need to be smiling all the time. However, don’t be too serious as well. Greet your interviewers enthusiastically and don’t be afraid to smile at the right moments. Employers want workers who have a happy disposition.

Updated: April 16, 2011 — 6:08 am

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