The recruiting process is shifting amidst the global pandemic, making video calls the norm for interviews. However, this also makes it easier to conduct the dreaded group interview, allowing candidates and interviewers in different places to come together easily on one platform. This might mean being interviewed by a panel or this might mean being one of the multiple candidates interviewed at one time for a single position.
A very different dynamic than the one-on-one interview, group interviews function to provide insight on how a candidate responds to group interaction or how a candidate might work on a team. Here are some tips to set yourself apart the next time you are faced with a group interview on Zoom or other video platforms.
- Know who you are speaking to: This is most important if you are being interviewed by a panel. Often, there will be representatives from different departments at the company with which your future role would collaborate. Take the time to research those on the panel to ensure you know your audience and what they might be looking for. This can be as simple as memorizing their names and titles. Addressing them each by name and having specific responses prepared will set a positive precedent, help build personal connections, and show that you care.
- Don’t Bulldoze: Maintaining respect and decorum is essential to creating a positive first impression at a group interview. An aggressive personality does not fare well in collaborative environments. It is possible to stand out without making yourself the center of attention. Instead, be a leader, and most importantly, be a collaborator, especially if you are one of many candidates being interviewed. For example, if the group is presented with a scenario to solve as a team, take the lead in a way that mediates and lets other candidates shine as well.
- Listen: Whether you are being interviewed by a panel or are one of a group of candidates being interviewed, listening to others on the chat is key. Especially during video interviews, it is essential to remain present. If a panel interview, take note of what each panel member is looking for and speak to those specific needs. If in a situation with multiple candidates, listen to what your competition has to say. Look for ways to differentiate yourself and even ways to compliment the ideas of others that you agree with. One of the perks of Zoom interviews is that you have the ability to take notes if need be. This can be as simple as writing one to two bullet points for each person that you can refer back to later in the conversation. Remember to stay present but take advantage of the additional resources at your fingertips.
- Be aware of Body Language & Expression: As with in-person interviews, it is essential to present yourself confidently from the moment you pop-up on that screen. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact with the camera, so that everyone on the call feels as if you are speaking directly to them. When it comes to Zoom interviews, it is important to be slightly more expressive than you would be in person so that it translates to everyone on the call. With Zoom calls there tends to be some sound feedback when there are multiple people on the call, so make sure to speak clearly and confidently so that you are heard.
- Don’t forget to follow up: Sending a follow-up email not only helps the employer remember you, but it also helps mitigate the impersonal nature of a video interview. If an employer has multiples names and faces to remember, a follow-up email is a perfect reminder. And, if you were interviewed by a panel, take the time to thank everyone you spoke to. If you took notes or remember what each of them might have said, reference specific ideas that resonated with you. This will not only help deepen personal connections, but it will also show that you actively listened and valued each member of the team.