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Tactics for surviving a group interview or panel

(BUSINESS NEWS) Interviews can be scary. Group interviews can be even scarier. Learn how to master that domain by following a few simple tips.


Under interview pressure

I’ve written previously on one thing that most professionals find daunting: the interview process. Even the most qualified of candidates can feel squandered under the pressure of interviews.

What can make this process even more frightening are group interviews. Facing a whole panel of employers, or interviewing with other candidates simultaneously, can feel more magnified than a one-on-one, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

How to survive

Kate Lopaze of The Job Network recently wrote about survival tips for group interviews. The biggest takeaway is to not freak yourself out about it. The first way to accomplish this is simply to have confidence.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You wouldn’t be interviewing if you weren’t qualified. So, show them what you’ve got.” quote=”If you didn’t feel you were qualified for the position, you likely wouldn’t be interviewing for it. So, show them what you’ve got.”]

The confidence tidbit goes a step further with group interviews as you should enter the space with an air of confidence (not to be confused with arrogance.) And, if you were surprised that the interview was in a group setting, try not to let that register on your face as you come into the room.

Don’t be afraid to make friends

While waiting for the interview, you may be sitting in a waiting room filled with other candidates just as qualified as you. Instead of closing yourself off out the feeling of competition, strike up a conversation with a few people. Clearly you have a common interest if you’re all going for the same job, so this can be a beneficial place to network.

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The next thing to keep in mind is all about intimidation. First off, don’t be intimidating. While only one person can get the job, it should be obtained in an honest way that’s based on qualifications, not based on your attempt to one-up someone else.

On the flip side, don’t be intimidated. Just because there are more people in the mix does not mean you can’t let your personality shine. There may be more downtime in between conversation as it won’t be that one-on-one back and forth, but don’t let that make you shut down and be quiet.

Let them hear you

Be yourself and use the motivation you had to apply for this position drive your reasoning for being in the interview space. While doing so, make sure that you’re speaking up and participating in the conversation; but, just be careful not to talk over others.

Timing to talk in a situation like this is important.

Equally as important is listening. Rather than focusing on what you’re going to say next, take into account what each person is saying as they may have an insight on something that had not yet occurred to you.

When all is said and done, exit graciously and make sure to follow up a little while after the interview to give a thank you to those who took the time to meet with you.


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Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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  1. Pingback: Employers: What ONE question do you always ask during a job interview? - The American Genius

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