HOW TO EXCEL IN
GROUP JOB INTERVIEWS
Ratkoczy - Executive Career Management Consultant
interview is no fun, but it could always be worse. Much worse.
yourself one of a panel of candidates, all vying for the same job in
a high-stakes, high-pressure "competitive
interview."One of the many reasons a company will move into this
complex environment is to save time, but mostly to see how well
interaction among potential employees occurs in a very competitive
arena. The difficult part is to find the balance between fighting
for your place without forgetting that others might be your future
co-workers or even bosses.
you need to imagine that you are already employed by the company and
discard the idea from your mind that your job is to impress your
potential employer at that moment using any means necessary.
Let me give
you an example of a similar experience I had with a large
international company a few years ago, and how you can change your
behavior and performance just because you know you are in an
I was brought
in by the company as an executive senior level career management
consultant through a basic two person interview allowing my resume
and personality shine. They were so sure that I was the right fit
that it was all was needed by the general manager to hire me. This
hire had a condition attached. I had to go through a certification
process that the company policy included, I was no exception. They
were not worried I was not worried.
I worked at
the company for about 2 months before the training and following
testing was able to take place. It seemed easy enough; a week of
seminars and meetings and an afternoon of presentations I was meant
to give to other consultants. These colleagues were meant to grade
my performance. So far so good, I had a lot of fun through the
training. They assigned every participant with one area of the job
search process to present.
I went home
and prepared for next day. I knew it all, it was hard to keep all
the knowledge inside. When it came time to make my introduction I
became serious and ready for business. I had potential future
consultants as an audience and acting as a group of clients. At the
other side three judges observing and taking notes. That’s when it
happened, I changed, I was the individual who forgets who he is and
transforms himself into the person he believes everyone wants him to
be. That is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make. And guess
what? I made it!
When I think
back is hard to believe that a pro as myself could act as such a
novice, but it happens. That’s why I am trying to strongly remind
you not to fall for it.
In any case
after my not so appealing performance, I was called in by my boss
and in a very disappointed voice she asked me “What happened? I did
not recognize you” I simply responded “ I know exactly what happened
in there”. I went on and explained to her that I forgot why I was
there, which was to do my job and not to impress them with
Since I had
been working there for a while and all my reviews were coming in
with top marks I saved my job and stayed for many years after that.
But I was very lucky because of the circumstances and they way
everything developed. In most cases you won’t get a chance to work
at a company first and then get tested. It’s usually the other way
few U.S. companies interview multiple candidates simultaneously.
But, you may still have to play the numbers game.
number of companies are using group interviews to screen candidates
as teamwork becomes more critical in the workplace. It often
involves several people from various areas in a company, a
recruiter, potential supervisor and future coworkers for example.
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