How can you stand out when you are interviewed by or as part of a group?

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There are two types of interviews that could frighten even the most experienced job seeker: The Panel interview AND the Group interview.

By a Panel interview, I mean that you are being interviewed by more than one hiring manager at the same time. There are several things that you can do to be effective at a Panel interview:

  1. Make eye contact with each person who is interviewing you throughout the interview.
  2. Do not interrupt any of the people who are interviewing you.
  3. Do your research on each individual who will be part of the panel and direct specific answers to that person based on their background.

In order to be effective at a Group interview, where you are being considered along with several other applicants at the same time, it is important to stand out from the crowd. 

The top 5 ways that you can stand out from the crowd in a group interview include:

  1. Have strong talking points. Don’t waste your words. When time is precious, like it is in a group interview, it is important to have everything you say make an impact. Always have a minimum of 3-5 talking points prepared that include evidence of where you have increased Productivity, Efficiency and/or Performance in the past (show them your PEP!).
  2. Wear a bold color. Jewel tones are ideal (royal blue, kelly green, red etc…only do this for a group interview! Normally I recommend more subdued colors), but stay away from patterns or loud jewelry. Standing out is important, but you do not want to stand out in a negative way.
  3. Again, never interrupt! Do not interrupt your interviewer or your other interviewees. It all comes down to respect. Absolutely chime in when a discussion begins and add your two cents (tie in your talking points), but under no circumstances should you interrupt others in the group.
  4. Do your research/be knowledgeable! One of the main reasons that people do not get hired is because they have not done their due diligence. If you know more than your counter parts who are being interviewed, you will have more opportunities to speak and share your knowledge with the group. Make yourself stand out by being the expert in the group. Be confident, not cocky!
  5. Don’t forget to ask questions and follow up immediately after the interview. I think it is always wise to send an email thank you immediately after the interview AND to send a hand written thank you note the following day.
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