Panel and Group Interviews for PA School: 10 Successful Strategies

PA School • June 20, 2023

Are you preparing for a group or panel interview for PA school? In this video, we’ll provide you with valuable strategies and tips to excel in this unique interview format. Join us as we discuss how to navigate group discussions, stand out in a panel setting, and effectively communicate your skills and experiences. Learn from real-life scenarios and gain the confidence you need to succeed in your PA school interview. Don’t miss out on this essential guide to mastering group and panel interviews for PA school!

10 Strategies for Mastering Panel and Group Interviews for PA School

Preparing for panel and group interviews for PA school is crucial. While individual interviews are common, panel and group interviews for PA school also play a significant role in the admissions process. In this article, we will discuss ten strategies for mastering panel and group interviews for PA school. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success and impress the admissions committee.

Understand the Difference

Before diving into strategies, it’s essential to understand the difference between group and panel interviews. A group interview involves being grouped with other candidates and being interviewed by one or two members of the PA program admissions committee. On the other hand, a panel interview is conducted with the entire admissions committee, and you are the sole interviewee. It is also possible to have a combination of group and panel formats. Understanding these distinctions will help you tailor your approach accordingly.

Active Engagement in Group Interviews

Group interviews can be challenging, especially for introverted individuals. To succeed in a group interview, actively engage with everyone in the group. Make eye contact, learn everyone’s names, and reference their answers when providing your own. Demonstrating active listening and teamwork skills shows that you can collaborate effectively with others.

Building Upon Others’ Answers

In a group interview, it is common for candidates to have similar answers to specific questions. If someone shares an answer you were planning to give, don’t be discouraged. Instead, build upon their response or provide an alternative perspective. Acknowledge the person by name and express agreement before adding your own thoughts. This approach highlights your ability to collaborate and contribute to a team.

Group Activities and Real-World Application

Group interviews may include activities where you must work as a team to solve a problem. Remember that these activities often mirror real-world situations where teamwork and communication are essential. When engaging in a group activity, be proactive, express your opinions, and communicate effectively. Additionally, be prepared to explain how the activity translates into real-life scenarios, such as patient care in a healthcare setting.

Communicative and Interactive Participation

During group activities, strive to be communicative, interactive, and respectful of others’ opinions. Engage with fellow candidates, using their names to foster a sense of collaboration. If you encounter a situation where one person dominates the conversation, politely assert yourself and request an opportunity to express your viewpoints. Balance your assertiveness with politeness to ensure you have a chance to contribute.

Be Prepared for Panel Interviews

Panel interviews often involve traditional interview questions, allowing you to prepare in advance. While the panel setup may appear intimidating, remember to stay confident and comfortable throughout the process. Each panel member may have a different personality and respond uniquely to your answers. Adapt your responses based on who is asking the question, demonstrating your ability to adjust and engage effectively with diverse individuals.

Research Panel Members

If you receive the names of panel members before the interview, take the time to research their backgrounds. Understanding their roles and experiences can give you a personal connection during the interview. Demonstrate your commitment to the program by referencing specific faculty members or panelists and expressing your knowledge of their contributions. This research shows your genuine interest and dedication to joining their program.

Be Prepared for Any Interview Format

While some PA programs provide detailed information about the interview format, others may leave it more open-ended. Prepare yourself for various interview formats, such as group, panel, or even individual interviews. By anticipating different scenarios, you can adapt quickly and perform well regardless of the format chosen by the program.

Eye Contact and Referencing Others

Maintaining eye contact with panel members or fellow candidates is crucial during interviews. It shows your attentiveness and professionalism. Additionally, referencing others by their names in your answers demonstrates active listening and respect for their contributions. These small gestures indicate your ability to engage and connect with others effectively.

Embrace Imperfection and Practice

Lastly, understand that interviews may not go perfectly, and that’s okay. Embrace the fact that mistakes or stumbles are part of the process. Prepare thoroughly, practice your responses, and engage in mock interviews to enhance your confidence and presentation skills. Remember, it’s not about achieving perfection but rather showcasing your professionalism and readiness to become a successful PA student.


Mastering panel and group interviews for PA school requires preparation, active engagement, and adaptability. By understanding the differences between group and panel formats, actively participating in group activities, referencing others’ responses, and conducting thorough research, you can demonstrate your ability to work effectively in a team and impress the admissions committee. Embrace the interview process, practice, and stay confident in yourself and your abilities. Best of luck in your PA school journey!

Also read: 7 PA School Interview Mistakes to Avoid

About me:

I’m Michele Neskey, aka The Posh PA. Welcome to my YouTube channel! My mission is to provide personalized guidance, education, and motivation to build confidence and promote wellness for aspiring physician assistants and beyond.   

Having been a PA for 17+ years and helped hundreds of students gain acceptance into PA school,  I understand the admissions process. I know what they are looking for, and I can help you tailor every component to make you shine, giving you the BEST chance of getting accepted to a program.  But it doesn’t end there. I create personalized plans for PA students and practicing PAs including test-taking strategy for the PANCE, contract negotiations, and tools to overcome and prevent provider burnout. 

My goal is to get you into a physician assistant (PA) school & survive the rigorous program, help you prevent burnout as a practicing PA, and help you take care of yourself so you can be the best version of YOU for your patients, family, and most importantly YOU!