Religion. Politics. Ex-relationships. These are all topics that are universally avoided in mixed company. With the election only days away it is becoming harder and harder to avoid political discussions among friends and peers. The reason I bring it up now is to call attention to the ‘group interview’ scenario, where you, other candidates and several interviewers are staring at you both and asking you both questions. How do you impress your interviewers without being disrespectful to other candidates?
Watching President Obama and Governor Romney go back and forth in the debates reminded me of my own personal group interviews. So, thanks to the election, here come our best tips to WIN the interview.
Introduce yourself to your peers.
Even though this is a ‘competition’ you don’t see the Presidential candidates ignoring each other. They are all about showing off their social skills and offering each other handshakes left and right. So introduce yourself, initiate a little small talk (quietly of course) and show off your personality.
Don’t appear too cocky.
In my own group interview, my ‘competition’ gave herself a 10 out of 10 for her public speaking skills. Her over-confident attitude actually backfired as the interviewers shortlisted candidates who expressed their desire to grow and improve. There is always room for improvement and I don’t know anyone who wants to hire someone who already believes they are the best at everything. Plus, would the candidates, even Presidential, score a 10 out of 10? Maybe on a good day.
Take some notes from both candidates in their choice of attire for the debates. Make sure to dress professionally. If you aren’t sure that you are dressed appropriately, it is best to take a second look. I would rather be overdressed than underdressed to my interview.
Presidential candidates often interrupt each other. I don’t recommend this tactic in a group interview! Wait for your turn to speak and then state your answer in a clear voice. Have a few of your own questions ready for the end of the interview, so that you can stand out among your peers. Remember, you are interviewing the company as well as them interviewing you.
I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on this one, but presidential debates are a prime example of what it takes to enthrall an audience. Make eye contact with your interviewers, believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to shine.