9 Tips For Winning Group Interview


9 GroupInterview Tips: How to Stand Out From The Crowd

group interview

We have written a lot about how to ace one-on-one job interviews. There are certain rules on what to wear, what to say and what not do to to ensure a positive impression on a hiring person. However, when it comes to a group interview process, things become more challenging.

Group interviews can be a real challenge for reserved, quiet personalities. However, a group job interview helps employers to evaluate leadership, analytical, and communication skills in job candidates. They also show how you work in a demanding, high-pressure environment and handle stressful situations.

How to differentiate yourself during that group interview? How to stand out from the midst of other job applicants and get a dream job? If you keep asking yourself this, read our tips below.

Why do companies conduct group interviews?

Before we jump to the best practices of handling group interviews, let's consider why companies choose to interview multiple candidates at once.

  • It saves money
    Let's say that the company picked 12 candidates for interview. Conducting one-on-one interviews will take a lot of the hiring manager's time. The decision to interview candidates in small groups of 3-4 people will save time and an inconceivable amount of money.
  • It speeds up the hiring process
    If the company doesn't want to interrupt their daily operations in order to spend days screening, conducting phone interviews and then interviewing every applicant in person, they usually implement the practice of group interviewing. Thus, the management focuses on business growth rather than the hiring process.
  • It's effective for some positions
    For stressful jobs that include working with customers or positions that require teamwork, conducting group interviews is the most effective solution. This interview type reveals teamwork skills and gives an insight on the candidate's behavior in work environment. Plus, group interviews pull candidates out of their comfort zone, making them react spontaneously and show their real personality.
  • It helps to compare candidates against each other
    A hiring manager can effectively compare candidates when watching them discuss and collaborate in a group interview. It helps them see the strength of each applicant better than by talking with each person one-on-one.

What does the group interview process look like?

A group interview is different from a traditional one-on-one interview. However, when you know what to expect, you can easily get prepared.

A group job interviewinvolves communication with multiple candidates at once. As a rule, these are applicants for one position. However, the company might want to hire more than one team member.

The reasons for running such an interview are different. Sometimes companies run group job interviews to streamline the hiring process and save costs. Or, the employer wants to see if you are a team player, evaluate your stress resistance and leadership skills, and check how you interact with other candidates while working together.

A group interview can be combined with an interview panel too. It means that several representatives of the company (multiple interviewers) ask questions to several job seekers.

It might be unusual for you to show up for an interview only to find out that they will interview you together with other fellow candidates. What you should know is that it is a normal situation. Some HR managers choose not to warn job candidates that they will have a group interview to see how they react to sudden changes and stress.

What is the format of a group interview?

As a rule, there is no big difference between the interview format with one candidate and the one in a group setting. It is still a discussion of applicants' talents and skills. Some agencies choose a format of small talk, while others conduct comprehensive interviews. Thus, they can compare you with other candidates answers and decide who is the best fit for a job.

Such an interview may also involve a work simulation exercise to evaluate the applicable skills of all candidates. Anyway, see a group interview as your chance to demonstrate collaboration and active listening skills and prove your value as a candidate.

Answering common group interview questions

An interviewer asks many interesting and unexpected questions during the interview. Please, listen carefully to give informative replies.

Questions about future goals

When answering questions about your next plans, try to give well-argued explanations. Wrong reasons for your big plans can be taken as the inability to analyze information and think out ideas. Plus, it is good when you connect your future with the chosen company and profession.

How can you contribute to the company's success?

It is probably the most popular question for every job seeker. The same question will be repeated by many recruiters, so, please, prepare enough arguments proving that you are a worthy candidate. It should not be the same answer for every new job. Find the correct answer at the intersection of your strengths and expectations of the future employer.

Unexpected questions

You will encounter at least one interviewer in your life who likes to ask creative questions. Something like: “How would you go out of the blender if you were a tiny creature?” “What geometric figure would you like to become?” The sense of such questions is to evaluate your stress-resistance and creative problem-solving skills. Demonstrate your own thoughts and explain your solutions.

So, how do you respond to all these questions?Remember that you are not alone at the interview, so do not interrupt others and show respect to everyone. All in all, you are competing for the same position, and being rude will not take you anywhere. Try to strike the balance between self-awareness and bragging to ace the group interview.

Do you need professional help with group interviews?

If you feel confused about the presence of other job seekers at the job interview, we are here to help you with that. Our experts are willing to analyze your dream job, study potential questions, and prepare a list of sample answers for them.

We'll tell you about the most popular talking points, as well as prepare any career document, including a resume, thank you letter, cover letter, etc.

Group interview tips to make it a success

1. Make friends with other candidates

If you have arrived early, now you're probably sitting in an office or hall with other candidates waiting for an interview to start. So, resist the urge to sit silently. Ask everyone's names and try to start a conversation. When the interviewer arrives, they will notice who is facilitating conversation and will make a conclusion about your leadership qualities.

2. Show up early

In group interviews, first impressions matter. Arrive early so that you'll have plenty of time to focus, be well-groomed and communicate on a positive note. Remember that the company is choosing the best job candidate, and confidence can go a long way.

Remember that you need to be aware of the company, its mission and challenges, and the names of other interviewers. The more you find out in advance, the more chances you'll have to position yourself as the best candidate.

3. Avoid aggressive competition

Some coaches recommend that you compete ruthlessly and draw attention to yourself by all means, especially if you're interviewing for a leadership role. Yet, this isn't the best strategy. By being too aggressive, you are likely to come across as arrogant and a poor communicator.

Instead of competing with other candidates, collaborate with them. Remembering everyone's names, facilitating a group discussion, and building your ideas on suggestions from other candidates you'll show that you can coordinate group efforts and work great in a team. Thus, you will differentiate yourself without the necessity to interrupt and dominate the conversation.

4. Use your body language

Body language can make all the difference during the interview. If you feel uncertain, stressed and tense, make sure your body reflects all of it. In this case, you should make an effort to relax and take control over your posture, gestures and facial expression.

Be mindful of your body language. Try taking a deep breath or using relaxation exercises before the interview. Simple, use a confident posture, make eye contact and don't cross your arms or legs to make the right impression.

5. Prepare interview questions

Preparing your questions is always a good tone, and a group interview is no exception. Prepare a list of smart, relevant questions at home and carefully listen to interviewers. Remember that good questions can differentiate you from other job applicants and generate more attention to your person.

6. Speak with intention

During the stressful interview, some people can speak louder than usual and interrupt each other striving to get more attention. Don't do this. Before you speak, think of whether you have something meaningful to mention.

Stay engaged in what the interviewer and other applicants are saying, and give additional comments if needed. Even if you only get involved in conversation for a few times but manage to demonstrate the qualities the hiring manager is looking for, you'll have more chances for one-to-one interview  than someone who was talking off the subject during the entire interview.

7. Show your genuine self

Obviously, you've come for a group interview to get noticed and get chosen from out of the number of others. Nevertheless, avoid playing a role that isn't natural for you.

For example, if you function great as a team player, don't try to look like a dominant leader during the interview. Not only this will make you feel uncomfortable, but also may mislead the hiring manager who is seeking for particular traits of personality in a candidate. As some say, it's better not to get hired that to be fired soon.

8. Showcase your accomplishments

Just like during the standard interview, in a group interview it's important to emphasize your past accomplishments and projects you were involved into. An accomplishment-driven personality evokes more interest than a simple ‘doer' in any industry. Highlight the examples of leadership or teamwork (depending on the desired position) as well.

9. Send a follow-up letter

Be sure to send a follow-up note in 24 hours after the job interview. By doing so, you will show politeness and repeat your skills and interest in a position. To make a good impression, refer to the matters discussed during the interview or mention why you are a great fit for the company. Plus, if among all the participants in a group interview you'll be the one who sends such a note, you'll be one step ahead of the competition.


Despite group interviews sound tough, it is possible to get noticed and win one-to-one interview during it. Just follow the advice above and you'll master group interviews and will be able to differentiate yourself from the other applicants.

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Have you ever participated in group interviews? Did you manage to succeed in them?

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