(Closed) group interview tips?

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
1007 posts
Bumble bee

@MsPiggy:  I had a group interview for a retail job once and only about half of us were hired. My experience:

-The interviewer typically asks a question to everyone and each person takes a turn to answer the same question. So my advice here is to have multiple answers ready for each question in the case someone says your answer practically word for word. Which happens a lot with typical interview questions.

-There will always be someone there who interviews horribly lol

-Think of something interesting about yourself to share that will help you to stand out.

-Don’t mention your anxiety. I know it sounds unfair, but for a part time retail job you are a happy-enthusiastic-people-person! lol

Post # 5
3461 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

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@MsPiggy:  What was your last job?

Try to pretend you are somewhat loud and outgoing. Companies want people that aren’t afraid to walk up to customers and make a sale. Whenever I get nervous I take deep breaths and pretend I’m talking to someone I’ve known for a long time. That usually helps me a lot, and I try to be very very enthusiastic. When you go to an interview nothing is a problem and you are the most flexible person in the world. That’s who they want.

Post # 6
467 posts
Helper bee

I just did several of these for retail.  I really, REALLY hate public speaking, and I was weirdly nervous before each one, even though I’m overqualified.  I just tried to view it as interview practice.  I don’t care that much about the retail job, and there will be a day when I do care, so it is good to practice public speaking, and group interviews now.  When I viewed it as practice and not an interview, it seemed easier.  

I actually went on and got called back for a real job interviews this week, and the practice I got during the group sessions was really helpful.  I recycled some jokes that got laughs at the retail job.  (I got offered the job, but I turned it down because the pay was a joke, still.)   

My advice, is try to think up a few, work appropriate, jokes in advance that you can incorporate in an answer.  They almost always will ask you what you like to do in your free time or why you want the job.  You will stand out from the herd if you are amusing.  Also, look interested in what other people are saying (even if you are bored out of your mind), and smile a lot.  

Also, don’t despair if they don’t call you back right away, it took me weeks to hear back from some of the retail employers, and they ALL called me back way later than they promised they would.      


Post # 7
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@MsPiggy:  I had a group interview at a retail store for the job I have now. They are only one I know who does this, wonder if you’re applying to the same place :p. 


advice: it’s super relaxed, they ask everyone the same questions, make sure you try to answer first or last, to be the most memorable. Afterwards, be the last one to leave and shake their hand. Lets them know your serious. Stay calm, try not to have wordy answers. Smile and have fun 🙂


Post # 9
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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@MsPiggy:  oohhhh. I love That place. Good luck!!!

Post # 10
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

At the group interview I went to, they went in a circle asking questions, but 90% of it was a working interview! (They asked us to dress a mannequin for the store window)

I think of the 15 people who interviewed, they asked 5 of us back for a second interview! And hired 3 of us.

Post # 11
37 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

I worked several mall jobs while I was in college, and the main things they want out of an employee are:

Punctuality – they need to know you’ll be there when they need you to be there.  So show up a little early, and try to bring up how much you care about being on time and present and reliable.

Honesty – they don’t want people who will steal.  Make sure you reassure them that you’ll ALWAYS call security for anything, turn in your friends, return lost items, never accept gifts or whatever.

Willingness to follow their rules and do what they ask you to do – whether it’s approaching people, or always asking them if they’d like to open a store credit card, or whether they’d also like to purchase ____, or straightening up shelves, or whatever, they want to know you don’t think you’re too good to do these things, or that you would be afraid to ask customers questions that you think are annoying.  They want somebody who will follow their rules, no matter what you actually think of them, sadly.

I have no idea how high their bar is, and maybe just showing up would be enough.  And while they might think you’re trying too hard if you go out and tell them how great you are at all of these things, you have to make sure not to say or do anything that would score you negative points in any of these areas.

Post # 12
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I regularly hold group interviews for the company I work for. During these sessions I’m really just whittling down the group before the real interviews, as I don’t have time to sit down with everyone on a one to one basis.

Firstly, I really don’t mind it if you’re nervous, in fact it can be endearing. But please show up on time (or a little early), look smart and look at me when you’re talking to me! 

It usually isn’t the most outgoing people who get put through. I’m looking to see how you interact with others and, if you’re overpowering, talk over them etc., you won’t go forward to the next stage.

My best advice would be to think carefully about the question you’re asked (request a bit of time to think if you need it) and answer that question, not the question you want to answer.

Post # 13
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I’ve done several group interviews in the past. It’s important to be memorable but for the right reasons – others have good tips about being punctual, having a positive attitude, interacting well with others (both the interviewers and the other interviewees). For retail especially, you’ll want to be sure you look well-put together and tidy, and not too flashy.

Some group interviews do it so that they ask everyone the same questions but I’ve been through some that have provided different questions for each person – hopefully you’ll get something like that if you’re worried about someone else using your answer. Retail oftens asks situational questions, like what would you if a customer had X experience, how would you cope with a coworker who did Y, etc. Those are usually relatively easy, because you can usually easily know what the correct or preferred response is.

I also get very nervous in public speaking situations (even just the ‘go around the room and say your name’ things) and I’ve found practicing helps a lot. You might want to look up sample interview questions and practice saying answers out loud, just to get a feel for how you want to come across. Good luck 🙂

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