You’re sitting at a long table, faced with lots of strangers in nice pantsuits. Beside you sit 2 to 5 well-dressed candidates, all ready with their resumes, which look very comparable to yours. You’re in a group interview. How can you make sure you stand out?
#1: Be Yourself.
Yes, the most important tip really is that simple. Many interviewers say that one of the key differentiators of a good candidate is that they know that they’re a good candidate.
People who will be great at the job don’t feel the need to prove themselves or compare their answers in a group interview. Be kind to your fellow interviewees and have a genuine interest in what they have to say. Answer the questions in a way that makes sense to you, and don’t try to stand out so much that you end up looking just like everyone else.
This is a double-sided coin, though. While you don’t want to try to stand out, don’t try to blend in, either. If everyone else has answered the question in the exact same way, answer with your own unique spin.
#2: Talk About Experiences.
The great thing about experience is that they’re all yours and no one else’s. Your experience is completely unique, so use your experiences within your answers. Instead of answering the interviewer in general, share specific examples of how you’ve overcome the challenge in question before.
#3: Research, Research, Research.
Most people do a little research before an interview, but you’ll stand out if you do more research than expected and bring it to the interview.
Spend an extra half hour on Google and type up a small report. Copy and paste graphs that are particularly insightful and give a brief description on how you would incorporate that knowledge into the position, should you be hired. Bring up this report in one of your answers where it’s relevant, and then offer to give it to your interviewers. They may never read it again, but the memory of your efforts will stick with them.
#4: Prepare for Awkward Questions.
Interviewers are likely to ask a question that would make you compare yourself to others in the room, either directly or indirectly. No matter what, you’ve got to learn to be comfortable promoting yourself even when your competition can hear you.
Questions like “Why do you think you’re the best fit for this position?” make things uncomfortable in the interviewing room, but there’s no doubt that the person who gets the job is also the person who answers this question confidently. Prepare for awkward questions, and they won’t seem so bad when they are asked.
Group interviews can make you feel like just another candidate, but with these tips, you’ll stand out naturally from the other applicants. Interviews are all about being honest and showing your stuff, so go into your next interview with confidence!
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