Work on Improvisation
On a general scale, it’s not probable that you’ll be asked to participate in a “group interview,” but on the off-chance it does, preparation is key. Improvisation is a great tool in any type of interview, but let us throw a scenario at you.
You’re invited to a group interview at a predominately female public relations company in Atlanta, GA. The company is fairly new and could be considered a start-up, so there are unconventional rules at play here. Hence, the unconventional group interviews that you’ve been invited to. Keep in mind, you had no idea that you would be taking part in a non-standard interview so you did not have the opportunity to do extra preparation.
Here’s where improvisation comes into play. Sitting around a round table in a small, but festive room with five other female candidates, you see two White females enter the glass doors. The two act more as moderators than interviewers. After introductions around the table, the interviewers ask symbolic questions such as: “If you could be an animal, what type would you be and why?” (OR) “Who is your favorite author and why?”
The order in which you answer the questions is randomly designated by the interviewer and changes each time a question is asked. When you arrive at the author question, you are asked to go last and you ultimately hear the person ahead of you say: “Maya Angelou”. Your heart sinks. Maya Angelou truly is your favorite writer and the link between your first book and your childhood – studying her art as inspiration to everything you’re currently pursuing. However, if you give the same answer as the previous person, you’ll look like the copycat, not the originator.
This is where improvisation comes in. Be proactive. Always have at least two examples for each question that could possibly be asked. I would recommend having 10 different concrete examples to support any point that you’re trying to make about yourself. If you state that you are adaptable or a leader, there must be examples to back this up. If your first response is “taken” or the interview goes in a different direction, improvise by utilizing the other examples you already have in the chamber. Otherwise, you may find yourself stumbling, pausing and regurgitating the same information repeatedly. -> No bueno for an interview.