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What is a Team Interview and How to Win It? A Must-Read Guide

Home / Career Advice / What is a Team Interview and How to Win It? A Must-Read Guide

What is a Team Interview and How to Win It? A Must-Read Guide

team interview

Yet another type of interview is the team interview, the details of which I will share with you through this blog. Well. As the name suggests, it involves a team of people, and this team is of the interviewers. In short, when more than one person conducts an interview in an organization, it goes by this name. The team comprises of eminent individuals who occupy managerial positions in the workplace; the intent of arranging an interview such as this is to check whether the candidate would be capable of carrying out the varied duties of the role efficiently. For instance, a sales manager, a finance manager, and a senior marketing manager would be the components of the team in this type of interview. Since they all ace in their area of work, they correctly gauge whether or not the candidate has enough knowledge to handle the responsibilities in every area.

Now that you know by definition what is meant by this term, doesn’t it feel even more challenging than the regular one-to-one interview? It definitely is! The fundamental reason for this is that you will have to impress more than one person on the other side of the table and to impress an entire panel of judges is not a cakewalk. Thus, this type of group interview is also known as a ‘panel interview.’

This interview tests your focus and level of calmness, hence even before you start preparing yourself, you need to plan things ahead. You could start by trying to know who all would be taking the interview. Once you get this information, you could look up on LinkedIn about them. See if you find any common area of interest that you could bring up during the interview. Also, check the position they are employed at; this will help you in getting an idea of what lines they could direct their questions to you. For instance, a manager might want to know how organized you are with your work.

One essential criterion to keep in mind while attending a team interview is you have to pay equal attention to each interviewer. I understand it is nerve-racking, but that’s the way you ought to go about it. Make direct eye contact with each of them and make sure to look at everyone while answering, even though just one person is asking the question. This conveys the message that you are not biased toward any interviewer. In fact, it is best if you can link the answers, by that I mean, while answering one interviewer, if it is possible to connect it to an already asked question. It helps in keeping the others who have not asked the question to stay involved. However, don’t forcefully draw links, it becomes awkward.

Nonetheless, keeping an eye for the one interviewer who seems to be calling the shots is not a bad idea for he/she may influence the decision-making process; but you have to be cautious in doing so. Make sure that you do not alienate the other interviewers, for, after all, you would need everyone’s vote. The judgment of this interview pattern is one of a consensus among all the interviewers, hence pleasing everyone has to be your goal.

I totally understand how intimidated you will be feeling facing a panel of people throwing questions at you, sometimes pretty rapidly, but you will have to hold your ground. The fact that one who is being interviewed asks questions to interviewers does not change in this type of interview, and so make no exception. If you do have queries, which I suppose you should, feel free to ask them. It would be best if you get the names of each of the interviewer at the beginning of the interview so that you can address the person by name when you ask your question. It gives a nice touch to your confidence and also establishes you as a person interested and excited to know things and not someone who has just come by the way for an interview.

The proverb ‘the first impression is the last impression’ does never go wrong, and thus, you have no choice but get a grip over your nerves and go all out. If it is of any help while preparing, you could use the assistance of your family and friends in creating a similar situation for you to rehearse. The mental pressure might be much more in a team interview, but it’s all a mind game. Tame your mind and keep telling yourself it is just another interview, and you can rock it!

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