Shining In A Group Interview; Stay Ahead of The Rest

  | 10 min read

What is a group interview?

You finally got an invitation to an interview. You are excited and you go through all the motions. You have researched well, your suit is well pressed and your certificates are ready. On the material day, you get to the company’s reception on time and the recruiting manager greets you courteously and asks you to follow her. You walk down a hall and into a room where you find another 4 interviewees. The recruiting manager then breaks the news that this is a group interview. What do you do? You were prepared for a one-on-one but the playing field has changed in seconds!

Group interviews are increasingly being adopted by employers with the major aim of assessing how potential employees would work in a team. Teamwork is one of the key skills that play a major role in modern organisations. Additionally, a potential employer may use a group interview for a role that requires customer interaction. The aim is to assess each candidate’s emotional intelligence and ability to solve problems.

In the current job market, management trainee positions lean heavily on the group interview technique. This is because the positions utilise a lot of teamwork and more often than not, they involve close interaction with clients. The challenge for most candidates, therefore, is to find the right balance between being overbearing and being a team player. While it is challenging to balance the two, the idea is to ensure that the interviewers remember you and your ideas.

Group interview formats

A group interview can take three major formats but you should not panic as they all involve discussions and group activities.

  1. A group discussion: This format involves a panel of interviewers asking questions to a group of interviewees. The interviewers may ask each candidate a question or ask questions and any candidate can answer. If the interviewers ask each candidate a question, it is your role to ensure that your answer stands out. If the interviewers ask questions to be answered by any candidate, it is your duty to actively participate in the session without dominating over other candidates.
  2. A group interview then individual interviews: Some companies first assess candidates in a group setting and then each candidate individually. The purpose of the group interview here is to pick out candidates who are team players and can balance their viewers in a team setting. Once the best candidates are chosen, they are taken through individual interviews to further discuss their skills. Your aim is to, therefore, be consistent by expounding on your skills during the individual interview.
  3. A group activity: A group interview may also take the form of activities which analyse your problem-solving skills. In this case, the group is given a problem to solve and present the findings and solutions. The group may be given a few hours or a couple of days to solve the problem. The aim here is to ensure that every group member participates in the activity. The interviewers are also looking for the ability to resolve a conflict. It is ill advised to have one person doing all the activities as the person shows the inability to work in a team.




Tackling the group interview

If you find yourself in a group interview, here is what to do to ensure that you get the chance to proceed.

       1. Relax and smile

Avoid showing shock and disappointment. This is just the first step and panicking erodes your composure so smile at everyone, say hi and take the seat offered to you. Your reaction may be a test so do not freak out and shrink in your chair.

      2.  Involve all the group members

It is tempting to dominate over other candidates. But, bear in mind that this is an indication that you are not a team player. Besides, involving other team members can be helpful to you as you can learn from them and use this knowledge to your advantage. If it is a group activity, let each team member participate and pay attention to what is said.

During the interview, feel free to add points to ideas that have been floated. For example, you may say “To add to Faith’s point, I think the test phase of the activity should be given about two weeks for a conclusive outcome.” This shows that you are attentive. It will also help you to avoid repeating what has been said, which is a very present danger in a group interview.

Remember, leadership skills are also being assessed and involving all the team members shows the ability to be an inclusive leader who brings the whole team on board. A good leader is one who ensures every person’s strength is harnessed and this is not possible when some team members are excluded from discussions.

        3. Be active

This can be challenging if you are an introvert or if you feel like other candidates have more qualifications than you. While you do not want to be in the spotlight, you should also not disappear into oblivion. Being active demonstrates that you are interested in the activity and the job. As such, you should answer questions whenever possible and give ideas.

Being actively involved in a group interview also lets you share your ideas and opinions and this can be very helpful in landing you the job. A good way of shining in a group interview is by ensuring the interviewers remember you and that can only happen if you give good ideas.

If you sit back and let others do all the talking, you also appear as being individualistic which makes you a ripe candidate for disqualification.

Do not wait until you are prompted to speak for you to contribute to the discussion. While it is not good to hog the spotlight, it is also detrimental to be dormant. A good balance will help you shine and secure the job. The interview is supposed to involve all the participants, be there.

       4. Respect other people’s views

We all have divergent ideas. As much as you may not agree with some ideas, you should not trash what other people say. This demonstrates a condescending attitude which is a big red flag. If you have been given a group task, ensure that you respect every person’s idea even if you do not agree with it. Do not shoot down what another person says.

Disrespect rubs people the wrong way and no one will want to work with you. It also alienates you and you set yourself up for disqualification. As much as you want to shine with your ideas, showing disregard for other people’s ideas, even if you do not agree with them, is totally unacceptable. If you do not agree with a person, you can, for example, say, “While I appreciate X’s point of view, I think the economy has provided numerous informal jobs in the past few months and this is a positive thing, in my opinion.”



        5. Pay attention and listen keenly

A group interview can be hectic and this can result in lots of tension as you are trying your best to be noticed. It can thus be hard to be attentive as you are worried about your performance and whether you will get an opportunity to speak.

If you want to give good ideas, start by listening keenly. The purpose of a group interview is to build ideas and this can only be achieved through keen listening. You can also show attention by using body language. For example, if an idea pops up while someone else is talking, note it down so that you can speak when the opportunity to contribute arises.

Paying attention also helps you to stay active as you get ideas to contribute from what others are saying. Even if you have no ideas, you can easily get a light-bulb moment by listening to what others are saying.

        6. Be your genuine self

It is very easy to get lost in the group especially if the team is trying to stick together. One can easily take on another character. This is dangerous especially if there is a follow up with a one-on-one interview. Be careful not to get carried away as interviewers can pick this out and disqualify you.




What to avoid during a group interview

As you try to get the attention of the interviewers through your ideas, it is easy to fall victim to some harmful behaviours which can get you disqualified. Here is what you should not do during a group interview.

  1. Do not be overly competitive

An interview is a competitive process. However, a group interview is primarily meant to gauge your teamwork skills and emotional intelligence. Being too competitive projects a lone ranger which is exactly what the interviewers are not looking for in a potential employee.

By being too competitive, you also deny others a chance to participate in the group activity and this is going against having an inclusive team. So, while you want to shine, let the group interview be all inclusive. The purpose of a team is to harness each team member’s strengths for great results on tasks. This means that each person has a contribution to make and if you are overly competitive, you steal the spotlight.

  1.  Don’t shy away from praising other team members

Although a group interview is a competitive process, there is no harm in praising another person. Remember you are a team and praising another person in a group interview shows that you appreciate what another person is bringing on board.

Each team member has something to bring on board and praising other team members shows that you have good leadership skills as you recognise the need for diversity.

  1.  Do not take a back seat

During a group interview, there are some people, especially extroverts, who stand out from the rest. One can be tempted to relax and let the loud mouth do all the work. This is a wrong approach as you can be forgotten and appear disinterested. If you are an introvert, you may feel overwhelmed by the person taking control of events.

In such a case, you should take advantage of the outspoken person to shine. It is pretty simple, just listen keenly to what he is saying and add your own points to his or give a different opinion to his. This makes you also stand out and secure your chances of passing the interview. The ability to also support or disagree with someone shows that you are attentive and analytical.

Group interviews are designed to test your soft skills. The idea is to see how well you can solve problems in a group setting. So, do not panic. Be a team player and you will sail through without any problem.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.


    • Hi Catherine,
      Thanks a lot for your testimony and please don’t stop here, share this testimony to your colleagues and friends so that they also be encouraged to use our platform.


  1. hello,i have a quiz,how can one answer the question of the how much one is to be paid in an interview,how much can we pay you?

    • Hi Janet,
      We have all the answers that you need, kindly view this template and it will guide you on how best you ought to.
      Click here and read.


  2. Sometimes i blurt out during an interview especially when asked about things i have not experienced in my line of duty…plus my public speaking is not that good what can i do or read to sharpen the latter?


    • Hi Sam,
      You can conquer any interview as long as you manage your nerves. Even if you have been asked a question that is not in line with your experience, you can take your time to try and link your experience with what the interviewer requires. In order to improve your public speaking, you need to practice, be positive, engage the interviewer and plan well. This helps you to know what you will say and how to say it. Feel free to get in touch for any help.

    • Hi Chiirs
      with what we have highlighted, you cant go wrong just implement and you will see the results.
      From us we wish you all the best.


  3. Hellow
    What if you are a complete introverts who is completely freaked out by talking in front of a group of people, how do you go about it?

    • Hi Dama,
      That should not worry you. Remember this is not a public speaking activity. It is an interactive forum that allows everyone to shine. If you are freaked out by the talking in front of people, take your time to relax then make sure you take part by answering those questions you are sure of in a short way. You do not have to give long answers unless you need to. The point is to be memorable to the interviewers so make your answers short but very well informed.

    • You’re welcome Kevin.
      As per your request we will keep on sharing.
      Just keep it here because there is plenty more.


  4. Please advise me how to modify my CV and cover letter to fit the requirements of a multinational corporation recruiting for the position of a business controller.I have the academic qualifications but have never worked in a commercial sector for 5 years as per their requirements.I have over four years internal audit experience in the public sector, majorly working on manual processes as opposed to modern softwares such as ERP tools

    • You’re welcome,
      We are pleased to know that we are of great significance to you.
      Stay tuned for more enlightening articles.


  5. Hi am Rebecca pliz help to format my cv i have tried to apply for job vacancy i have done diploma in business administrator and cpa section 2.

    • Hi James,
      Thanks a lot for showing interest on our jobsite.
      We have a template that will guide you on the same from our previous article.
      Kindly click this link here and down load the highlighted samples.


  6. Brightermonday,
    Thank you for your good work as a career center and as a professional counseling hub! I too am a member of Brightermonday and keenly read your posts.
    I am a security professional, having been in both public and private practice for over twenty years. I subscribed to brightermonday and have been applying for security jobs with you. However, i have not received any invite for an interview or regret. I sincerely wouldn’t mind if i got a regret as this is a learning moment as far a am concerned as it is a call to sharpen my skills better. Disappointingly i applied for lower cadres which appears less demanding and competitive but in vain.
    My question is: Is something terribly wrong with my qualifications, credentials or me as a candidate? Or is there a statement in my CV that puts any potential employer off?

    • Hi Nicholas,
      Thank you for writing to us. We have heard your story and there are several factors that are contributing to your current predicament which you need to look on to like:
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained. subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      so to conclude, there is nothing wrong with your qualifications, just implement these measures and you will improve your chances of hearing back from them.All the best Nicholas!


  7. I have been plant manager for a chemical manufacturer for 7 years and I feel it’s time I advance my career further by moving to another company but I have been applying for relevant vacancies for a year with no response or even invitation for interview. Can you assist in preparation of an eye catching cv?

    • Hi Pilate,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      click here to get tips on how to come up with a good draft.
      With that much experience surely you cant miss out on an opportunity just make sure you cv is well constructed and that you apply jobs which match our qualifications.


  8. Today am attending a group interview,i have learned a lot from this article and will use the same skills to shine in a group interview.keep up the good job.

    • You’re welcome STC.
      We are glad to have been of great help to you.
      Continue to share that testimony to others as well.


  9. Morning, please can you advise me on how to modify my CV to fit the requirements of a programs or operations officer. I worked part time while pursuing my under graduate degree as an operations assistant in a school. After school I worked as an assistant inventory controller for manufacturing company. I also did a contract for one job as a training officer for an NGO. I would however like to end up in programs and operations management

    • Hi Emma,
      Thank you for showing interest on our website.
      The link here will provide you with information that will guide you on how to construct a cv based on what you require.
      We do have latest opportunities under that category. Kindly click here to view and apply jobs that matches your qualification.


  10. Hi,for a long time am looking for a job in your advert. No success. Kindly attache me to Agricultural job mostly Diploma level. Am highly trained,experience and competent from National Youth Service (NYS)

    • Hi Geoffrey,
      Thanks a lot for showing interest on our website.
      We do have that category of jobs on our website. Kindly click here to view and apply the ones that suites you. You can also check out on the latest security jobs that we have posted via this link


  11. Thanks very much brightermonday for the information but i will like you to help me i have six years experince working in microfinance both in finance for three years and operation for three years and now i have resigned due to some issues and now i need to update my cv ad cover letter for me to apply for another job plz assist

    • Hi Margaret,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We do have a template that will assist you in drafting one. Kindly click here to view.
      Once you are through in constructing one, also ensure your profile is complete.Kindly click here to get tips on how to update your profile. We wish you all the best as you persue for a new job.


  12. please can you kindly show me sample c.vs for customer care and relations or social workers. i would love to do abit of changes to my c.v to make it more interesting to employers. thankyou

    • Hi Hilder,
      Thanks a lot for showing interest
      Here is a template from our previous article that will help you draft one. Click the samples highlighted and they will guide you in drafting.


    • Hi Jazmine,
      Thanks a lot for showing interest
      Here is a template from our previous article that will help you draft one. Click the samples highlighted and they will guide you in drafting.


  13. Actually I’ve never attended any group interview but thanks for the article, I’ve the requisite skills to help me come over it.

    • Thanks Richard,
      Now that you are well equipped we hope that when that time comes you will not be caught off guard but ready to face the interviewers with confidence. Keep it Brighter Monday for more timely articles.


  14. Thanks brighter Monday for your tremendous work, Iam Leonard Kirui,I have been invited for an interview in the county government,how should I prepare for the interview?

    • Hi Leonard,
      Thank you for showing interest on our website.
      Here is an article that will guide you on what you expect in an interview and how to conduct yourself. Kindly read it through and you will get all the tips you need to come out successful in that interview.


    • Hi Khushi,
      Thank you for showing interest.
      view the latest jobs advertised on our website daily and pick the category that matches your talent.
      Review your account and ensure that your cv and cover letter are well updated.


  15. Thanks you BrightMonday for bringing up this good kind of lesson to us sure its interested.
    regards Michael Kosia

    • Thanks Sylvia,
      We have latest opportunities advertised daily on our website that you can apply. But first you need to review your account and complete your profile. Also ensure that your cover letter and CV are well updated. Then when you are sure that your credentials are on point, you can now Go to and click the category that you are qualified for and apply. We wish you all the best.


  16. Thank you so much for this piece really enlightening. Kindly help me in drafting a CV that will help me in securing a job.

    • Hi Phillip,
      Thank you for writing to us Phillip.
      Click here and go through a template that will assist you in drafting one.
      Check also your account and ensure that your profile is 100% complete and subscribe to our email alerts to increase you chances of getting feedback from employers.


    • Sure flora,
      There are available opportunist advertised daily and we are not biased to one gender.
      Let us know what you are qualified for and we will send you a link with that job category of which you can apply.


    • You will Alice and but don’t sit back and wait, do your part also. Make use of our website to the maximum, go that extra mile and search also to others corners, review your CV and update it. Keep that faith because you will get that job and you never know it may even come sooner than you think.


  17. Thanks brighter Monday for the good job you do by educating people on how to prepare for an interview whether one on one or group. Secondly I would like to know what are the specific areas one can tackle in case he/she has been tasked to explain himself in 30 seconds.

    • Thanks Wilfred,
      We endeavor to give our readers practical and relevant tips.
      Click here to read a template that will guide you how to answer that question.


  18. Thanks for the information very educative. I updated my profile but I got 98% results. I went through it a number of times but could not get the missing 2%. Kindly advise

  19. Hiya very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb
    .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?

    I’m happy to find a lot of helpful informatin right here within the submit,
    we need develop extra strategies on this regard, thannks for
    sharing. . . . . .

    • Hi
      Joshua, we are glad that our services are of value to you. Please go through the article and stay ahead of the rest. Keep it here for more tips on career development.

    • Hi Chris,
      We are glad that our services are of great value to you. Keep it here for more tips and reads on career development. ^AN

  20. Am happy with all the staff am getting and I appreciate a lot your efforts to help people like me. The only worry I have is that I’ve never been called for any interview.

    • Hi Fredrick,

      We are glad that our services are of value to you. Our mission is to empower and equip all jobseekers with knowledge within the job market and beyond.

      We however concerned that you have never been called for an interview. If you have been following on our advice then this should not be part of your story. Nevertheless, it is important that we remind you on how a good updated CV and cover letter is when job hunting.

      These two tools marks a first contact with the employer before us meeting them in person. So, by all means, they have to be very good to convince employers to wanting to meet us in person. Not to worry though, we have well researched tips on how to go about it. Learn more here and we trust that this will mark the beginning of you receiving interview invitations: ^AN

  21. why is my account deactivated? I can barely click a new link without being asked to register/sign up again.
    Is there a problem with your website ? Please communiacate what the problem might be

  22. This is very very encouraging please keep it up so that many can excel in their interviews.

    Thanks so musc,

Comments are closed.