Group Interview Preparation Part 2

In this economy, there are hundreds of people applying for a single job opening. For the sake of efficiency, many employers conduct group interviews to make the interview process shorter and easier on their end.

Several years ago, I applied to work at an Apple store in the nearby mall. I received a call in response to my application, in which they invited me in for a group interview.

In Part One we discussed having confidence and being yourself. In Part Two we are going to talk about listening.

After giving the initial introduction to the group, the Store Manager, who had a strange name I have since forgotten, told us to go strike up a conversation with someone in the store.

What comes next is a contrast between what to do and what not to do (In other words, what I did) in that group interview:

What I Did Wrong

I thought it was a test. I was both right and wrong. I was right about it being a test. I didn’t want to ruin someone’s chances of actually buying a product, so I chose the less intimidating route and started a conversation with one of the employees, instead of one of the customers.

Wrong answer.

What To Do Right

Looking back, I see that the Store Manager really wanted to see how we interacted with the customers. I should have listened for what he really wanted, not for the most comfortable option.

So when you’re listening for instructions, stop, actually listen for what they want from you, and take the appropriate action. I realize now that the choice was obvious. For a sales position like that, the focus is always on the customers.

In life, but especially in a group interview, you will always be more successful if you listen, before you open your mouth to speak.


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