How to Stand Out in a Group Interview

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Interviews are typically stressful and you’re probably wondering: what could be scarier than a face-to-face interview? Well, how about a group interview? 

When you’re part of many interviewees in a room, it can be a bit disorienting. In fact, the thought of being in the same space with multiple other candidates vying for the same job post is enough to make your palms sweat!

Yes, group interviews can be somewhat nerve-wracking and very intimidating, especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, it is possible to stand out in a group interview and leave a lasting impression on the interviewers, and this blog post will show you just how. 

What Is A Group Interview?

Group Interviews are simply interviews where you simultaneously face the panel with other candidates. Think of it as an audition but instead of facing the judges alone, your competitors are right there with you. 

Contrary to popular beliefs, group interviews aren’t all that uncommon. In fact, a recent study found that nearly two-thirds of companies use group interviews as part of their hiring process.

In most cases, companies use these types of interviews when they are trying to fill multiple positions. This way, the hiring managers are able to get a better sense of how you interact with other people, how you solve problems, and how well you communicate. There are 2 main types of group interviews:

  • Panel Interviewing format In a panel interview, you are interviewed by a group of interviewers. Employers frequently use this method to allow several people to weigh in on a candidate. So, on this panel, you are likely to find the hiring manager, a member of HR, a subject matter expert, and a few employees from the department you’re interviewing for.
  • Group Discussion Interviewing Well, this is rather challenging! A group discussion interview is exactly what it sounds like – a group of candidates sitting around discussing a topic or question posed by the interviewer. This type of interview is often used to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills and how well they work with others.

What Happens During A Group Interview?

Typically, most group interviews follow a similar structure, and based on research conducted by several interview experts, here’s what you should expect:

  1. The interviewers will start by introducing themselves and explaining the interview format and guidelines.
  2. They will then ask the candidates to introduce themselves. This is your opportunity to create a strong first impression! Be confident, act professional but at the same time, don’t take too much time introducing yourself – remember you’re competing against other candidates!
  3. After everyone has introduced themselves, the interviewer will give a scenario or problem and ask the candidates to discuss how they would handle it. This is also another chance for you to shine! Be sure to share your ideas and thoughts while listening to what others are saying. This gives the interviewer the impression that you are a team player and that you can work well with others. Try not to dominate the conversations; let other candidates have a chance to speak and share their ideas.
  4. Lastly, the interviewer will ask some individual questions about your experience, skills, and goals. Be ready to have a few stories prepared that demonstrate how you meet the requirements of the role.

Why Is It Important To Stand Out In A Group Interview?

We all know the saying – “there’s no I in teamwork.” And while this is definitely true, it’s also important to remember that there’s no one better than you when it comes to selling yourself. 

Most studies agree it is important to stand out during a group interview setting as it can often be the difference between getting a job offer or not. So, here are 2 ways standing out in a group interview comes in handy: 

Lasting Impression: – In a group interview setting, it’s essential to ensure that the hiring manager remembers you long after the interview is over. By standing out and showcasing your unique qualities, you will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Increase Your Chances: – There’s a good chance that everyone in the room is as qualified as you are. So, to increase your chances of getting the job, you just have to stand out.

How To Stand Out In A Group Interview

When preparing for a group interview, it’s important to remember that you’re not competing against the other candidates – you’re competing against yourself. 

To make sure that the employer remembers you, you have to be memorable. And to do that, you need to do something that the other candidates aren’t doing!

Here are a few tips on how to make yourself stand out in a group interview:

Tips to stand out in a group interview

1. Be Yourself, Don’t Try To Be Someone You Are Not

This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Being yourself allows the interviewer to get to know you better and helps them remember you. 

So, be sure to let your personality shine through! 

Note: While it’s important to be yourself, don’t go too far and try to stand out in a way that’s not authentic to you. This will only make you seem fake, and the interviewer will likely notice.

2. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone Don’t Blend In

If you notice that your fellow applicants answer questions in a particular way or follow a certain trend, don’t do the same! This will make you seem like you’re just going with the flow and not thinking for yourself. 

Instead, try giving informative answers that add new insights to the question asked. Remember, the interviewer is looking for someone who can think on their feet and contribute to the team. So, don’t be afraid to stand out!

Note: It’s also good to note when someone in front of you has a genuinely good answer. You can even expound and build on their response to ensure that the interviewer knows how good a team player you are.

3. Demonstrate your Leadership Abilities.

Going first every once in a while will show that you have strong leadership skills and are not afraid to take charge. 

If you see an opportunity to lead the conversation, go for it! Not only will this make you stand out, but it will also show that you’re confident and have a lot to offer.

Note: Just be careful not to come across as bossy or entitled. 

4. Showcase Your Listening Abilities

When it’s your turn to answer a question, listen carefully to what the other candidates have to say. This will show the interviewer that you’re engaged and interested in the conversation. You may even gather some valuable information that you can use to your advantage. 

Note: Avoid interrupting others and wait until it’s your turn to speak. This will show that you are respectful and are willing to listen to what others have to say.

5. Connect And Involve Other Interviewees

When possible, try to connect with the other candidates in the room. This will show that you’re friendly and sociable – two essential qualities for any team player. During the interaction, you might get some valuable insights into the company and the position. 

Note: Just be careful not to come across as too friendly, or you might seem like you’re trying to make friends instead of being focused on the job.

Final Thoughts:

Standing out in a group interview can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The best way to ace the interview in a group setting is to be genuine and authentic. So, be yourself, take chances, and listen carefully to what others have to say. These are surefire ways to make a great impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of getting the job!

Good luck with your interview. You’ve got this!