Group Interviews

Individuals in Group InterviewsGroup interviews are becoming increasingly popular with companies who are seeking to find just the right person for the job. While it is important to be skilled and qualified you should also be able to get along with the existing staff as well as the management. Group interviews are designed to determine if you are able to work well with others and are able to communicate ideas and opinions respectfully and coherently. There are three types of group interviews, they are the committee interview, joint interview, and departmental interview.

What is a Committee Interview?

A committee interview, at first glance, may appear pretty intimidating. Instead of a one on one interview during a committee interview you will be in a room with a panel of people. They can range from executives, human resource representatives, and even key employees in the department you are seeking employment in.

The goal of this type of group interviews is to see how well you are able to answer questions and interact with multiple people at once. Each member of the committee will ask a series of questions and evaluate your answers comparing their thoughts and opinions with their peers at the end of the interview.

You will be evaluated by your answers to the questions along with how well you are able to handle the interview process as a whole. Employers understand that a committee interview is intimidating and the better you handle the process the more impressed they will be by you. Keep focused, stay charming, and remember to answer all questions to the best of your ability. The key is to remember that the decision to hire you is left up to the group instead of an individual so you just may have the popular vote on your side.

What is a Joint Interview?

The joint interview takes the concept of group interviews to the most extreme. In this interview it is not only you facing the employers but the entire group of candidates with you in the room. While you may feel discouraged at not being able to charm the employers on your own the joint interview actually holds several advantages.

The idea behind this type of interview is to examine how well you interact with others. The interviewers will introduce topics of discussion and evaluate how individuals handle that topic within the group. An exchange of ideas and opinions will be shared with the candidates with the interviewers watching. How well you participate in those discussions will go a long way in determining your eligibility for the position.

While you do not want to be rude during the group discussions you will need to make sure that your voice is being heard. If you are capable of taking the lead in a discussion now is the time to demonstrate that skill.

What is a Departmental Interview?

A departmental interview takes the concept of a committee interview but with only members of the department you are applying for. The members can either be senior employees, management, and even employees that hold the position you desire. The recruiters or human resource representatives will examine how well you interact with the department members to determine if you will fit in well enough to be hired.

This type of group interviews present a great opportunity for you since you will be able to interact one on one with people that hold the position you are applying for. This is the time to ask questions about day to day duties, what to expect, and their opinions about various topics. The department members will present scenarios and situations and ask how you would go about handling them.

This interview is often the last step in being hired so if you are able to impress the department and show that you are able to get along with the employees you probably already have the job.

 Adapted From The Everything Job Interview Book, 2nd Edition by Joy Darlington and Nancy Schuman, Copyright © 2008, 2001 by F W Media, Inc., published by Adams Media, a division of F W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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