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emeraldisles's avatar

How can one make themselves stand out in a group job interview if it is their first "real" interview?

Asked by emeraldisles (1934 points ) January 9th, 2013

In this economy, let’s say you have only heard back from two companies. How can one make themself stand out in a good way at an interview? My thoughts were that a one on one interview would make more of an impression.

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12 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Explain a little more about the group aspect, would you? Is it a group of interviewers with a single candidate, or is there a group of candidates all being seen at once? If the latter, how many, and how does that work?

emeraldisles's avatar

I was told on the phone that it would be a group interview where candidates are being seen all at once. I have no idea how it works. I was under the assumption that each person would be called in one by one until this was mentioned. The position I applied for is an Activities Assistant Director for an Alzheimer’s Unit. I’m freaking out because I have not been able to obtain any work experience besides volunteer experience and experience with animals.

Jeruba's avatar

If your chief assets for this application aren’t based in experience, don’t try to show qualifications you don’t have. Chances are that enthusiasm, readiness to learn, kindness, and patience will be important traits too, and you don’t need experience to express them.

Maybe they want to see how you handle yourself in a stressful group situation—exactly what you might face on the job. Try to relax, be positive, and be sincere. And—listen well and follow directions.

Good luck.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If you have time between now and the interview, write two C.A.R. stories. Mention the Circumstances of the situation you faced, even if it has nothing to do with the job you’re applying for. It could be a difficult classroom situation. Tell them your Actions in relation to the situation, and finish with the Results and make those positive.

By preparing two, you will have something that may provide you with a way to stand out above the rest of the group.

Good luck.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you’re being called in for the interview then obviously they have seen something in your application that merits the follow-up. Congratulations on that.

After that, there is no point in “freaking out” just because you may be presented with a non-standard interview process. I’ve never heard of any kind of group interview before which involves a group of candidates. Interviewing as an individual candidate with a group of current employees is not at all uncommon, so that’s what I’d be prepared for. (That’s how we frequently do it, and then all of the interviewers send feedback to the one who will make the hiring decision. In fact, I still have to give my boss some written feedback on a candidate we interviewed more than a week ago.)

If you’re interviewing collectively and all at once with multiple candidates, then I daresay that none of them are familiar with such a process, either. Just go with it. Prepare the best you can for a single interview, and be ready to do it a few times.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve noticed a lot of people in interviews are so incredibly eager to share all their qualities, it makes them come off a little too eager if that makes sense.

It’s not the time to be hysterically funny or too egg-heady, just stay calm, dress appropriately (business suits if applicable) and do your make-up, hair and perfume a little better and lightly.

That’s my advice. And as Jeruba said above, a lot of it is experience so be honest and personable, don’t freak out too much that you act abnormal.

Jeruba's avatar

Please come back afterward and tell us what it was like, whether you thought it went well for you or not. Your story could help someone else.

emeraldisles's avatar

Well I’m not the kind of person whose sense of humor you would get. I don’t wear business suits, let alone have money for any. I was just planning on wearing slacks or dressy kind of pants, a button down shirt, and a cardigan or sweater over it with dressy shoes. Plus, how would I have been able to get ANY work experience, if no one was willing to hire me even at Dunkin Donuts. Believe me, I’vve tried with lots of places who are let me put it this way always overwhelmed with applications and always say come back when you have experience or don’t call us, we’ll call you. I ‘m still at the point of doing volunteer work, just to get out of the house for a while. Thank you.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, it’s a delicate balance. You want to take as much time as possible, but you don’t want to take other people’s time. You also don’t want to waste the interviewer’s time. So when you talk, you must be on point and say relevant and meaty things.

I think @Hawaii_Jake‘s idea of preparing a few stories is a good one. Stories that describe a problem you’ve faced, how you dealt with it, how you took responsibility for it, and how you solved the problem and improved the situation in a quantifiable way. Then quantify it, if relevant.

I think you want to express a few points. You like elderly people. You enjoy the problem of figuring out how to get through to them and engage them. These are experiences where you have engaged hard to engage people in the past. This is what makes you good for this position now.

CWOTUS's avatar

You could always tell them that when you run into problems you have this awesome resource that you can tap into at any time of the day or night, so when they hire you they effectively hire all of Fluther.

I’m not sure if you should use that as a “selling point” or a “threat”, but there it is.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

People love to be noticed, and they like to believe that they’re fascinating.

During the best and most successful interviews—at least from the viewpoint of a job-seeker—the interviewer talks nonstop, and the interviewee nods but barely speaks. If you can turn the interviewer’s attention to himself/herself and get the individual to start talking, that person will go away with the impression that you’re charming and brilliant beyond belief. So what if you didn’t say anything about yourself?

I swear that this approach works. I’ve had interviews when I’ve barely squeezed-in more than a few words, yet I got the job offer.

emeraldisles's avatar

Allright. Thanks.

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