Tips for Navigating a Group Interview in the Restaurant Industry
You've heard the old saying, "To get a job, you have to interview like it." But what does that really mean? When you're interviewing for a position at a restaurant or in the food service industry, you'll likely be facing multiple interviewers at once. This can be intimidating and confusing, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, if you know what to expect and how best to approach it—and if you prepare well beforehand—group interviews can actually be an opportunity for great insight into your potential new career path. Here are some tips:
Research the company, including the interviewers and what they do.
Prepare for questions you might be asked.
Practice answering common questions in a group setting ahead of time so that when your name is called during an actual interview, you can confidently walk up to the front of the room and present yourself as someone who has done their homework and knows what's expected of them as an employee.
Be honest. If you're not sure about something, don't try to guess or make something up--just say so! It's better for the interviewer(s) and for your own credibility if you admit when you don't know something than if you try to fake it and get caught.
Be confident in what work experience and skillset you do have; this will help show them that they are hiring an employee who knows what they want out of this job position and has some idea of how they plan on achieving those goals once hired by their company (i.e., by being proactive).
Be personable! This should go without saying, but remember: people hire other people because they enjoy working with them; so be friendly, polite and respectful during all stages of your interview process -- from application submission through final decision-making meetings with management!
Provide examples of when you've handled difficult situations in the past
Provide examples of when you've handled difficult situations in the past.
Show that you are a problem solver.
Demonstrate that you can think on your feet and make quick decisions when necessary.
Show that you're a team player who works well with others, but also knows how to take charge when necessary (and knows when it's time for someone else to take charge).
Demonstrate your ability to communicate clearly by listening carefully during conversations with others, speaking up when necessary, asking questions if something isn't clear or understood correctly by either party involved in such conversation(s), etc...
Stay focused on the questions being asked and avoid speaking outside the scope of the question.
The best way to avoid this is by staying focused on the questions being asked and avoiding speaking outside the scope of the question. This can be difficult because you may be nervous, so make sure you ask for clarification if you're not sure what they are asking or feel like they need more information.
If you have a tendency to ramble on and on about irrelevant topics, try taking notes during an interview so that when it comes time for your turn to answer questions, everything has been organized into something manageable (and concise). If someone starts answering a question before it's been asked, politely remind them that they need wait until they've heard all three parts: "What was your previous job?" "Why do we want someone with experience in this area?" And finally: "Tell us about yourself."
Listen carefully to other interviewers, as they may have insight into a different part of the business than your direct interviewer.
When you're in a group interview, it can be hard to know what questions to ask. But don't be afraid of asking questions--your direct interviewer may not have all the answers and will appreciate your initiative. Additionally, if something isn't clear as they're speaking, don't hesitate to ask for clarification!
If there are two or more people interviewing you (and most restaurants will have at least two), then everyone should get an equal amount of time talking with you. If one person seems like they are dominating the conversation more than others, take this opportunity to speak up and share your thoughts on something that was just discussed.
Consider bringing examples of your work and/or educational experiences to share during the interview.
The group interview is a great way for you to showcase your skills and experience. If you have any examples of work or educational experiences, consider bringing them along with you. Your goal is to show that you are qualified for this position. You don't need to bring in every single thing that shows how awesome you are; just bring some things that highlight the skills and traits listed in the job description.
You may want to prepare ahead of time by writing down what exactly it is about each example that qualifies it as a good one (for example: "I worked on this project where..."). This will make it easier for everyone involved during the interview because they'll know exactly what kind of information they're expecting from each person sharing their experiences/examples during their turn at bat!
If possible, try not having more than two-three examples ready ahead of time so as not overwhelm yourself with too much prep work beforehand but still giving yourself enough time between now and then so nothing slips through cracks due out later down road (which could lead up feeling unprepared).
There are many things to consider before, during, and after a group interview, so it's important to be well prepared.
Prepare for the interview. Before you are even invited to a group interview, you should be prepared with all of your resume information and references in order. If you don't know who your references are going to be talking about or what they're saying, how can they give an accurate assessment?
Be confident and comfortable. In order to perform well in any type of situation, it's important that you feel comfortable with yourself and confident in your abilities--and this goes double when you're being interviewed by multiple people at once! You want everyone involved with hiring decisions making the right choice based on their own impressions rather than any outside pressures being applied by other candidates or managers trying too hard (or not hard enough) with their questions/answers.
Listen carefully to questions posed by managers/supervisors during interviews so that later down line when there's pressure from coworkers asking "why didn't I get hired?" etc., there won't be any surprises coming back around full circle again either way because someone forgot something important about themselves which could've costed them job opportunities elsewhere down line if not corrected before hand."
We hope these tips will help you feel more confident in your next group interview. Remember that it's important not to focus on the other people who are there with you--the only person whose opinion really matters is the one asking the questions! If at any point during the process, take a deep breath and remember that everyone has gone through this or something similar before (even if it doesn't seem like it). We wish all of our readers good luck as they continue their journey towards success in whatever field they choose!