Don’t get lost in the crowd
Many businesses across hospitality and retail organise group interviews to appraise candidates’ interactive skills and personalities – qualities key to customer service. If you’ve been invited to attend one, here are some quick tips to help you succeed.
You’ll likely have to introduce yourself to the group. If public speaking gets you a little nervous, prepare some notes the night before. We suggest including where you’ve worked before, what your general interests are, and something memorable that will make you stand out, like an interesting hobby.
The interviewers will be looking for good team players, which means you’ll need to show you are a good listener. Referring to what someone else said when making comments is a good way to do this because it demonstrates active listening. Also use eye contact and nod after important comments are made.
Avoid talking over other candidates or dominating team activities. If you are a naturally dominant person, actively seek opportunities to ask others’ opinions. A good mindset to have is to think of other interviewees as colleagues, not competitors.
Interviewers will review both your verbal and non-verbal cues. Here are some quick tips to take on board.
These can be a good communication tool to emphasise points and direct conversations. Just remember to keep them below the collarbone so that you don’t appear aggressive or frantic.
Try and control your breathing the best your can. This will help relax your face muscles, making you looking calmer and open for interaction. Also smile where you can.
Sitting too upright will make you look stiff. Sitting too far back, though, is unnerving. Choose somewhere in-between, and make sure your arms are uncrossed to show that you are engaged and open for discussion.
Get a sense of how much people are contributing in general and try and equal that. If you talk more than others you risk coming across as too much of a know-it-all, which can be a red flag.
Tip: If you’re nervous, a trick to make contributing easier is piggybacking off another candidate’s comment, like starting a sentence with “can I add that … ” or “In regard to what you said … ”
Instead of joining the mass exodus at the end of the interview, be one of the last to leave and approach the interviewer/s. This will give you an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have and help you to solidify your relationship with them.