Group interview is a process of gathering different candidates (applied for the same profile) in a room to recognize them on the basis of their knowledge, skills, qualities, communication skills, problem solving skills, and attitude. Also, to identify, how effectively a particular candidate can work in a team and is a candidate capable in becoming a good team player? Here, all candidates are interviewed simultaneously by the interviewer to pick-out the best candidates (suits to the profile) from the crowd.
The interviewing process requires all participants to actively support each other in a group in completing set of tasks that have been assigned. The task can be anything; it may involve participants in discussing a particular issue, creating something impressive from collection of stationery, or examining a difficult business case study.
- How each and every candidate behaves (or response) with the other candidates when a task is assigned to a group,
- Is he/she taking initiative?
- When a question arises, does he/she responds individually?
Also, group interview is held by the companies that need employees in bulk for the same profile. For example; for creating a sales team, any company requires minimum7-10 members. Companies that offer services, hire employees in bulk. For those companies, having a group interview helps them identify the best candidates faster.
Processes involved in interviewing candidates
Usually, companies involve two processes in the course of interviewing candidates,
- Group activity
- Group discussion
In a “group activity” process, interviewer assigns a problem (task) to the group’s members by saying that the problem has to be solved by each other coordination. The purpose of the activity to visualize how well an individual performs in a team and how well he/she is in supporting other team members.
On most occasions, assigned task will be related to the real-life business scenarios. By conducting this type of interview and providing real life challenges, the interviewer tries to assess how much a candidate is capable when he/she face actual scenarios or a more difficult situation in the future. Also, interviewer judges how he/she works, behaves, supports, and takes initiative in a group.
Sometimes, interviewers allocate separate role to each participant to judge how well the participants handle their own responsibility in a group. As per the requirement of the job, occasionally, employers test your leadership qualities. To test this skill, employers will assign a task and may ask you to take full responsibility of the task; lead the meeting and behave as a leader of a group in completing task successfully and produce desired results.
In a group discussion, all group members sit round the table to discuss on a given topic. The topic being discussed will usually be based on current scenarios or current highlighted news/issue. This type of interviewing process doesn’t give you time to think on the topic, and to collect & read the information through the net or newspaper, so prepare yourself for this type of interview. It is better to read the newspaper every day and get to know the current affairs of the world.
Also, during the GD round, listen carefully to what others have to say about the topic. Why it matters is that, if you are not paying attention to others point of view, you may end up giving the same opinion on the topic as conveyed by previous speakers. This may go against you, because you may appear as someone without an opinion, and a person who always try to play second fiddle to others.
In case, if you are not able to find any other opinion on the topic, try to convey the same thought in a different perspective. For example, you can start your talk with an opening comment “I completely agree with my previous speaker. I like to add few more aspects to the points conveyed earlier.” Also, start your talk after thanking the previous speaker.
Try to figure out the positive and negative aspects of the topic being discussed and convey both aspects in an eloquent way. By expressing the pros and cons on the topic, you may appear as someone who is more accommodating and mature to the interviewer.
Sometimes, the interviewer may raise the question and expect each and every candidate to express their opinion. Each and every participant has to give their best effort in answering the question, because answers from the group help interviewer to compare and recognize who is the best for the job profile.
Usually, companies use the group interview round to identify the best candidates in a short span of time. If you successfully clear your GD round, it will be followed by one or two rounds of technical interview and HR interview.
Tips to uniquely stand-out from the crowd
Since childhood, a person who likes to stay, play, study and work by gathering people; will surely like to participate and enjoy the group interview round. But, if a person is an introvert by nature, participating in the group interview round will be the most challenging task for him/her.
Apart from all, the biggest fact of life is that practice and strong mindset help a person overcome these deficiencies. You need to make yourself strong by putting your mind in the right direction and by getting correct guidelines and tips. Here are some tips will surely help you, if you got a call by interviewer to come and attend the group interview round.
Practicing yourself by following the tips given below will provide you a unique strength to successfully stand-out from the crowd in the group interview round.
Show-off you are very presentable by your strong listening skills
Not as difficult as you feel; you can attract others towards you via your strong listening skills and word magic. In group interview round, you can attract interviewer and other candidates attention towards you by showing them (Interviewers and candidates both) that you are an adherent listener and pay attention to each and every aspects in detail.
Your attention and strong listening skills will help you understand the level of talent within the group and the opinions that enthused the interviewer. Your opinion should be in line with the opinion which enthused the interviewer. Also, by estimating the skills of your peers, you can plan a strategy to better them.
Participate in conversation
A golden chance for you to show your character, communication and teamwork skills along with your die-hard interest for your job. During the conversation, make sure that you speak up and put some good point that can line up the conversation. By doing so, the interviewer will start giving more attention to you and wanted you to say something more.
Keep certain things in mind during a conversation. Don’t be louder while speaking, if you want to say something, raise your hand to attract everyone towards you, don’t argue with any candidate on his/her response.
There will be a predefined time for a Group Discussion. In case, someone is taking too much time to express their opinion, you can gently intervene and ask the candidate to give an opportunity to others to express themselves. By doing so, you may appear as someone who is concerned about the peers and show off your leadership capabilities.
Mingle with other participants by understanding their talent and characteristics
Don’t keep negative thoughts for other participants and that may harm you. Always try to understand the other participant’s characteristics & talent, and try to pullout some good things from their talents. Your positive nature towards other participants makes you unique among them, but your negative thoughts may spoil your overall personality.
Add some good points to other candidate’s response
This encourages interviewer to think you are paying attention to the other candidate's response and you have an ability to co-operate with the other team members.
Become a good team player
Be a good team player to enforce other participants to assist each other in resolving the problem given by the interviewer. A good team player always tries to mingle all group members with each other.
Give respect to everyone
A very important point that actually works out once you get the employment and you become an important member of a company. It may happen that the candidates who have participated with you in the group interview round, two or three more candidates are also being appointed by the company for the same profile. During the interview, if you had shown your respect and caring nature of the participants who have been selected by you, they will surely help you whenever you need their help in the future.
Keep in touch with your all team members
Whether you have cleared the group interview round or not, always try to be in touch with your team members. In case you are not placed, your contacts will help you know about the future opportunities in other firms.
Follow-up the interviewer after the group interview
At last, get interviewer's attention by dropping a “Thank You” mail to the interviewer.