Employers use many types of interview to narrow down the candidate field and the group or panel interview is one of them. Group interviews can consist of multiple candidates interviewed simultaneously, or a panel from the company interviewing one person individually.
Group interviews where a panel speaks to each candidate individually will be more common in the hiring process. However, upon occasion, you may be asked to interview alongside several of your competitors.
Interviews by a panel group.
A group interview conducted by a panel management team allows a number of your potential future colleagues to assess your skills at the same time. Such interviews can be unsettling to candidates given the size of the group asking questions. However, it could also be beneficial if you make a particularly good impression on one of the group.
Questions asked in this type of group interview will still likely include standard interview questions, so it's important to research, prepare and practise your answers beforehand in pretty much the same way. The key to succeeding in these interviews is the way in which you deliver your answers. You should greet each member of the group and shift your attention from one to another regularly.
Candidate group interviews.
Some businesses employ another type of group interview in order to narrow down the candidate field, which involves bringing in a number of candidates to be interviewed at the same time. This may happen if the position has attracted a large number of candidates, which means standing out from the crowd will be a must. However, be wary that you don't interrupt your competition or attempt to score points.
Most people want team players who share a common goal - the success of the organisation - so ensure you adopt a professional approach to sharing the limelight. Try and use phrases and signpost such as: "I think James makes a valuable point there and I would echo this sentiment. If I was running the project I would adopt this approach and take it further by...."
Another aspect of candidate group interviews you should consider is the possibility of group activities. This will be used to show your potential employer how well you can cope with working and communicating as part of a team.