How to one-up during a group interview?

Every competition needs a winner and every group interview is friendly-fire. Number of positions are limited, so without saying, all available slots will be snapped up.

How to one-up during a group interview?

Every competition needs a winner and every group interview is friendly-fire. Number of positions are limited, so without saying, all available slots will be snapped up.

There are no friends in business

Smiles are fake while winner remain at the end.

To quote "all's fair in love an war", interviews are civilized war. So f*** all decency if you want to pay rent this month and put food on the table. Competition is fierce and opportunitiesare limited.  

Proving your worth while being compared to others

Group interviews are a quick way to determine the overachiever from the pack.

In any group session, one needs only a couple of minutes to see each member's personality, potential and weaknesses.

Easily you can distinguish:

  • the timid one
  • the confident one
  • the screw up
  • the lost person
  • the technically inclined
  • the socialite
  • the oblivious
Who you are seen to be?

From the panel of judges' perspective, they are looking out for the one who fits the bill. The criteria they have has been predefined and if you are the one that checks their boxes, then you've one-upped the rest of the group.

Don't show off, but tailor what you show to what the interviewers expect to see.

After many rounds of interviews you can be a seasoned "professional" but still not land the job. The reason being, you have many great qualities you think are great but these same qualities are not the things that the company is looking for.  

To ace a group interview, check off the list of criteria the job requires.

The job listing or description will say what kind of person is required for the role.

  • Team player or self-driven individual?
  • Technically inclined or socially apt?
  • Sway towards quantitative or qualitative attributes?  
  • Outspoken or is meticulous planning required?

The two ends of the spectrum featured above are at the extremes but clearly, there will be a preference for one or the other. You just got to figure out which end they are leaning on and perform in that manner during the group interview.

Kill the competition to secure your spot

Two strong contenders cannot win if there is only one job opening available.

I am not advising you to resort to nasty tactics to wreck your opponent's chances. Use tactical maneuvers to strike their wins and evasive maneuvers to slip past their attacks.

  1. After they've presented their part, instead of building up on their points, tear them up and build on top of the ruins. For example, if their point was that Idea X is financially feasible and lucrative, then your Idea Y will say "better than X, which already is workable and makes us money, we can do a pilot project of X and fund my Idea Y. Idea Y needs capital and the reasons M & N give us solid returns above what X can do in the same amount of time. Plus, with both projects, we increase revenue overall." Belivable? Yes. Group effort? Yes. Have you killed your enemy? Yes, yes, yes.
  2. If they say "here are the other (triggered!) points to the presentation", and hands the stage to you, make it sound like only the smallest part was revealed. "You've heard the preview, and let me take you through major point M on our Idea Y", or you can say "For the next parts, the content will be dense as I've got a lot to cover and more to share". Show that  the contributions of the next parts of the presentation are substantial and not to be missed.  

Outshining the competition is the ultimate purpose to group interviews

Brutal honesty in my articles are the hallmark of my writing style. Group interviews are not so HR can hire the group. Group interviews are for HR to hire the one.

With a twenty-to-one ratio of applicants to positions, no company has the time or resources to do a sit down session with all potential candidates. It is tedious, tiresome and repetitive. Group sessions allows for quick filtering of quality candidates who deserve the role and further filtering of the select few who check off the boxes on HR's wishlist.

At the end of the day, tough competition led to the planning of the group interview session. There are too many applicants and the company really wants the opening filled by the one who has the highest potential.

Unlikely is the case where HR ends up hiring all 5 people from the group, so don't expect the new friends you've made at the waiting area to have the same brimming faces inside the interview room.

We fight 💪🏻 for oneself.

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