Are you headed to a group interview soon? Or perhaps you are on the hunt for a new Pilot job? For most roles in aviation, the chances are you’ll be expected to attend either an assessment day or participate in a group interview.
If you have had experience of group interviews, you will know that they are very different from your average interview. Group Interviews have different agendas and are often used by businesses to source a certain type of individual and are great for a variety of reasons, including;
Assessing how candidates interact with one another
Evaluating how candidates work under pressure
They save time when hiring for multiple roles
They speed up the recruitment process and eliminate multiple interview stages- as all necessary assessments can be carried out in one day
Most importantly, they enable businesses to assess how candidates work within a team and are a great chance for hiring managers to compare candidates against one another in real time. So, the sayings “dress to impress” and “first impressions count” really come into play during group interviews, especially as candidates are looking to stand out from one another.
If you are attending a group interview you will need to be prepared, and even though you won’t be the only person in the room, remember that all eyes will be on you.
If you look online you will find streams of advice around preparing for interviews, but contrastingly very little on preparing for group interviews- especially for the aviation industry, and specifically Pilots.
As experts in pilot recruitment, the team at GOOSE Recruitment wanted to share some key tips on how candidates should manage and represent themselves in group interviews.
1. Arrive on time and make a good impression
Group interviews are not ‘drop-in’ assessments and you cannot arrive late. Treat it like you would any other interview and arrive on time, or even better arrive 5-10 minutes early to show you are keen.
In group interviews, you will also be assessed from the moment you arrive, specifically on how you interact with the other candidates. Use the arrival/pre-interview time to introduce yourself to other candidates. This is a perfect opportunity to get an understanding of your competition, but to also show the hiring managers that you have confidence, initiative and are great at interacting with others.
2. Be a team player
This is your chance to show how you work with other people, and in an industry, like aviation, this couldn’t be more important. Remember, if you are applying for a new Pilot role you will need to demonstrate not only your technical skills but also how you work with other people.
Skills such as; communication, situational awareness, teamwork, decisiveness, and patience are absolutely crucial for Pilots to have. So, use the setting of a group interview to demonstrate all of these qualities. However, ensure you do so with consideration for everyone else in the room. You may be competing for a role that you really want, but there are a few things you need to bear in mind;
Don’t jump to answer every single question, but also make sure you have an input into discussions.
Don’t interrupt or speak over other candidates – instead, seek the opportunity to add further value onto other peoples answers.
Be supportive and motivating during team exercises- this is a chance to demonstrate how you work with others.
3. Show a strong leadership style
Group interviews can be intimidating, but don’t be afraid to take the lead and show assertiveness. In Pilot recruitment, you will be assessed on your decision-making skills and how you work under pressure.
A good way to demonstrate these skills is to showcase your leadership capabilities by initiating how tasks are carried out. Take the lead by starting things off with “I’m happy to lead on this if everyone is OK with that” or “I’m happy to go first, to get it out of the way.”
This shows you are able to make a decision fast but in a controlled and logical manner. Exactly what airlines will be looking for when making pilot hires.
4. Always remain professional
Group interviews can feel less formal than one-to-one interviews because of the informal setting but remember you are still being interviewed and will still need to remain professional at all times.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t show your personality- after all this is what will make you personable and stand out from the crowd. Just remember to maintain your professional personal brand, and refrain from using bad language or showing yourself in a negative light.
5. Keep your engagement levels up at all times
As a pilot, being able to prove your ability to focus is crucial. Yes, you will naturally be engaged when working on tasks, but be sure you don’t lose focus when other candidates are talking. Instead, use this as an opportunity to gain valuable insights and show how good you are to listening to others.
Communication is key for Pilots and the interviewers will be keeping a close eye on how candidates communicate and interact with each other. So if you are caught glazing into the distance rather than at the person talking, it’s not going to do you any favours.
6. Give the interviewers a reason to remember you
Group interviews are all about standing out from the other candidates, so ensure you use every opportunity to leverage that- even after the interview.
When you are thanking the interviewers for their time, why not extend the conversation by making reference to a particular task or part of the interview that you enjoyed? This will increase your chances of being remembered but will also reveal your confidence as an individual.
Why not connect with your interviewers on LinkedIn and send them a follow-up message?
Expanding your LinkedIn network is always a positive move, and sending a personal thank you for their time, could really make you stand out from other candidates.
Now you have everything you need to know about group interviews, we hope you feeling you have the right tools to successfully land your next Pilot role.