With the current job market and the events of the world, there are so many people looking for new jobs at this time. Although with Covid and social distancing it is unlikely that you will have a group interview it is still important to know what group interviews are like and how to prepare.

After two winter season’s with a school trip company I decided that I wanted to try a different type of company for my next winter season. This meant going back to new job applications and back to more group interviews. Having done them before I felt more prepared than I did the first time, however they were still quite nerve racking to start. I applied for my seasonal jobs through a website called Season Workers. This is a great website it seems to be the one with the most jobs as well as giving loads of different destinations.

So what are group interview like?

What is a group interview?

It’s the same as an other interview except normally there is more applicants than interviewers. So instead of two or three people interviewing you. There are two to six people interviewing six to twenty of you.

Why do companies run group interviews?

I believe that companies run group interviews to test how you work in a team and to see how you communicate between each other.

A meeting room is the normal for group interviews

What a group interview looks like?

Most group interviews take place in a conference or meeting room. This gives it a meeting feeling. I think they do this to try and make you feel more relaxed, but I think this can also be quite daunting, especially if you are one of the last to arrive you feel like all eyes are on you.

These interviews normally start in the morning, with an introduction from the company and the people running the interviews. They typically follow with asking everyone to introduce themselves. Often with a fun question, like an unusual fact about yourself or if you were an animal what animal would you be and why. Then they set you a couple of group tasks (please see below for more on the Types of questions/ activities you may be given during a group interview). Please note some companies ask people to leave after this first stage. Then, usually after lunch they give you an allotted time to have a one to one interview. This is when they want to know what you have to offer the company and why you want to do a season or the job.

4 thing to remember for a group interview?

  1. Prepare to speak. For lots of people speaking in front of others especially their peers can be quite a nerve racking moment. Remember that everyone is nervous, but as I was once told no one knows what you were meant to say so don’t worry if you forget anything.
  2. Put everything into it. If you sit back and don’t input (especially during the group parts) you won’t be noticed and this will allow them to doubt your ability to speak to customers (this is a key requirement for a majority of seasonal jobs).
  3. But don’t be the only one to talk. Give everyone a chance to talk, they want to also see that you can listen to what others have to say and take it on board.
  4. Wear something smart but comfortable. It is better to be the best dressed than the worst. It sounds silly but people do judge a book by a cover. Also make sure it is comfortable and you have sensible shoes on that you can walk in. They often make you move around a bit, to mix people up. By wearing something you are comfortable in you will have a sense of confidence before you have even started the interview.
group interview outfit

Different types of group interviews

Depending on the size of the company as well as the job you have applied for you may experience slightly different types of group interviews. These are the two types that I have experienced.

Type 1 group interviews

Probably the most common I have done, is with a mixture of applicants for lots of different job types. This means that you could be sat next to someone applying for a completely different job. This is when they really want to see how you work as a team. Different roles need different skills so don’t worry if you feel like you know the least.

Type 2 group interviews

Everyone is applying for the same job. Many of these companies need a number of people for the job role you have applied for. I found this interview better as there were typically less than ten people. This way you get more details about the job as they could be specific about what the day to day job is like and pay etc.

Types of questions/ tasks you may be given during a group interview

So I am going to (at a later date) write a full blog post about the different questions and activities I have been asked/set during group interviews but here are just a few.

Describe how to make a cup of tea to an alien. Yes rather strange but we had to write down the instructions on how to make a cup of tea for an alien. Now this is where it gets complicated does an alien know what a kettle is?

What six items would you take if you were stranded on an island? Again a little odd but they put a list of items up and asked you as a team to decide which items you thought you should take. They made it harder by only allowing you to take six. We then had to present back to the group which items we had chosen and why.

What other jobs have I had group interviews for?

Only two come to mind, and I am pleased to say I was offered a job in both cases! The first, for a job I accepted, was for a sales representative selling corporate hospitality. The second was for a customer experience consultant for a building distribution company. Both of these included a similar group interviews to the seasonal job interviews. However they were both just an afternoon rather than a whole day like the seasonal ones. They also didn’t have as many people at them.

Hopefully from all of this information you can be more prepared for your next group interview. If there is anything else you would like to know please leave a comment below. And don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list to ensure you never miss a blog and check out all my other blogs.