This week, for the first time in my personal experience, I was subjected to a “group interview.” As someone who has been out in the world of work for a number of years, I hadn’t run into this before and was actually pretty excited to see what it would be like.
Three of us showed up at 2:00 pm and were taken into the manager’s office space. The interviewer proceeded to ask all three of us the standard kinds of questions often asked in an interview, such as, “tell me about a time when you had to provide customer service.” We were all allowed to jump in and answer in any order we felt appropriate.
I must admit that I really enjoyed this format. The whole process was much more informal and relaxed than a standard interview. This could have been due to a number of other factors, such as there being more than one position available (so no one was in direct competition) and this being a retail clothing store, but I think there is something to be said for solidarity among job seekers. Being surrounded by two other candidates wasn’t intimidating—It was encouraging. All three of us really responded well to one another. Everyone was polite, no one interrupted anyone else as we gave our answers, and we tended to take an answer that one candidate had provided and build off that as we gave our own examples. It seemed like the three of us and the interviewer had a great report, the conversation seemed casual and yet it was still professional.
Maybe I was lucky? Perhaps in the next group of candidates there was someone who couldn’t stop talking, or was rude and abrasive. I would be curious to hear from others what their group interview experiences have been like.