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what to expect in an in group interview

What to Expect in an In-Person Group Interview

Are you embarking on a healthcare or senior living career? 

In today’s senior living and healthcare landscape, the world needs more compassionate CNAs and HHAs than ever.

According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), as of 2022 more registered nurse jobs will be available than any other job in the United States. Additionally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 nurses will be needed from 2020 to 2030.

We’re here to support CNAs and HHAs in their future careers by providing valuable insights to confidently navigate the group interview setting for healthcare positions.

In this article, we’ll explore the world of group interviews, give you a brief overview of how they work, and offer helpful tips to prepare you for success in your fulfilling journey. 

What is a group interview in senior living and healthcare? 

Group interviews are a common hiring practice in senior living and healthcare where multiple candidates are interviewed simultaneously — especially when interviewing for nursing positions.

Because healthcare and senior living jobs involve working in a large team, employers use the group interview format to assess how applicants will work with others in a team setting and how they handle pressure. 

Employers can observe candidates’ interpersonal skills, empathy, and ability to handle challenging situations, which is necessary to provide exceptional care.

Typically, the group interview starts with a brief introduction and overview of the company by the lead interviewer. After this, the job candidates may participate in group activities to showcase problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork abilities. 

Finally, the interview will end with individual questions and answers similar to a typical interview.

7 tips on how to prepare for a group interview

By preparing for your group interview with these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to demonstrate your professional and personal qualifications to make a strong impression on our healthcare employer.

1. Research the company and its values by visiting its website

Understand the company’s mission and values and be prepared to discuss how your values align with the company.

2. Understand the job requirements and responsibilities

Read the job posting requirements online and be prepared to share stories on how your skills and experience make you a strong candidate for the role. Prepare your own list of questions to ask the employer about the job.

3. Dress professionally 

Wear attire that demonstrates professionalism and respect for your organization and your specific role. A business casual dress is suitable. Avoid wearing nursing scrubs, as this is inappropriate for a nursing interview.

4. Practice common group interview questions and scenarios 

For example, the following are common healthcare and senior living group interview questions: 

  • How would you handle a situation where a resident is agitated or uncooperative? 
  • Can you share an example of when you had to deal with a difficult patient? 
  • How do you prioritize tasks when dealing with multiple residents requiring assistance? Describe a situation where you had to work as part of a team to solve an emergency. 
  • How do you handle conflicts with coworkers or team members?
  • What strategies do you use to build rapport and trust with residents?
  • What are key considerations when providing care to residents with memory loss, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s?
  • What are our company values, and which do you identify with most and why?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What interests you about working with seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia?

5. Show up 10 minutes early to your interview 

Bring multiple copies of your resume and a notepad and pencil/pen for taking notes.

6. Focus on teamwork and communication during the group interview 

During your team exercises, demonstrate your ability to work well with others and communicate clearly. These are skills that should be honed and crafted for any career. 

7. Be empathetic and show adaptability

Empathy and compassion go a long way in senior living and healthcare. Emphasize your ability to empathize with seniors and their families by showing that skill in your group interview. Part of working in a team is being flexible as well. Show that you’re willing to go with the flow when possible and take charge when necessary.  

How to navigate the group interview process

The group interview process may be a bit intimidating if you’ve never experienced it before, however, with the right preparation and mindset, you can excel at making a strong impression.

Let’s look at the key phases of the group interview and how to succeed through each step. 

Opening phase

This phase involves introductions and an overview of the company and the interview process. To make a positive first impression:

  • Greet your interviewers and fellow candidates with a smile and handshake 
  • Maintain eye contact and display positive body language
  • Listen attentively to the information provided and take notes if necessary

Group activities

During group activities, you’ll work with the other candidates on various tasks and problems to assess your team working and professional competencies. To excel:

  • Actively participate in discussions and contribute your ideas
  • Listen to others, acknowledge their opinions, and build on their ideas
  • Demonstrate your ability to work well with others, and offer support and assistance as needed
  • Stay focused on the task at hand and work together towards a common goal 

Individual questions and answers

In this phase, the interviewer(s) may ask individual candidates specific questions to assess their experience and knowledge of the role. To prepare for this:

  • Familiarize yourself with common interview questions and practice your responses
  • Provide clear, concise answers that showcase your relevant skills and experience
  • Be prepared to share examples from your work history that demonstrate your abilities and accomplishments 

Closing phase

The closing phase is a time when candidates can ask the interviewer(s) questions to learn more about the company, role, and what the next steps are. To wrap up your interview nicely:

  • Thank the interviewer for their time and express enthusiasm for the position
  • Clarify any doubts or concerns you may have

Ask thoughtful questions, such as:

  • What are the most important qualities you’re looking for?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process, and when can I expect to hear back regarding my candidacy?

6 tips for group interviews for nursing positions 

As we mentioned, group interviews are common for nursing positions in senior living and healthcare positions. They’re the ideal environment for an employer to see how you’ll work in a team to solve problems. 

1. Emphasize your clinical knowledge and skills

CNAs and HHAs should be well-versed in various clinical knowledge and skills, such as:

  • Basic nursing skills
  • Clinical assessments
  • Wound care
  • Medication administration
  • Medical terminology 
  • Emergy response
  • Care plan development
  • Documentation and record-keeping

2. Prioritize patient safety

Be prepared to discuss your experience with safety protocols, error prevention, and your role in maintaining a safe environment for residents.

3. Delegation and leadership

CNAs and HHAs need to delegate tasks to other team members. Group interview activities may assess your ability to delegate effectively, prioritize tasks, and show leadership skills. 

4. Interdisciplinary collaboration

CNAs and HHAs frequently work with physicians, physical therapists, dieticians, and social workers. Group interviews may include activities and discussions for you to evaluate your ability to work with other healthcare professionals to show your understanding of each team member’s role in patient care.

5. Time management and organizational skills

CNAs and HHAs often juggle multiple responsibilities at once. Interviews may assess your ability to manage your workload and manage time efficiently.

6. Stress management and resilience 

Nursing roles can be emotionally and physically demanding. During the group interview, you may be asked about your strategies for managing stress and maintaining resilience in challenging situations. 

Kensington Place Redwood City: now hiring!

Are you a healthcare worker or professional passionate about making a difference in the lives of seniors?

Kensington Place Redwood City is now hiring for various positions! 

Join our dedicated team of professionals and experience a rewarding work environment that fosters growth, teamwork, and exceptional care for our residents!

View our open job listings and apply today!

Take the first step towards a fulfilling career with the Kensington family!

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