Group interviews have become a fairly standard way for employers to get a basic grasp of the personality, skills, learning styles and thinking speed of potential employees. Group interview activities also give the employer the chance to observe social dynamics on the part of each participant.
Group interviews are becoming more and more common for seekers applying for jobs in the UK, and like any other type of interview, they should be prepared for carefully. Here are some group interview activities examples to be on the lookout for, along with tips on how to best handle them – and move forward to a solo job interview.
1. Tasking Exercises
A tasking exercise typically involves the group being presented with a specific task or problem, and working together to reach a solution. The task appointed may not be specifically related to the job at hand; mostly, this is an exercise aimed at determining how well each candidate works as part of a team.
Make it a point to introduce yourself to those you are assigned tasking exercises with, and practice active listening – don’t simply wait to speak. Participate, but be wary of dominating the conversation too much. Don’t be negative or shame other candidates for the ideas they have or suggestions they make to solve the problem, and try to incorporate as many ideas as possible to accomplish the task.
In this group exercise, candidates are assigned a particular role, given a basic background of that role, and asked to engage in scenarios where they play those roles out. These exercises tend to focus more on the duties to be performed, and each candidate will be given both their own agenda and the group’s agenda that must be fulfilled via the playing of the assigned role.
Research the other positions that are open at the company you are applying to, even if you’re not interested in applying for any others. Learn what the key duties to some or all of those positions are – if you are asked to play the role of any of the other positions besides the one for which you applied, you will be better prepared to carry out the roleplay exercise effectively. Finally, do not view the other candidates as competition for the job you want – view them, for this situation, as professional collaborators. This will stand out, especially if the other candidates choose to view you as a competitor rather than a colleague.
3. Group Discussion
In group discussions, candidates will usually be presented with a company or department-specific problem and asked to engage in discussion on how to solve it. While disagreements on how best to handle the issue presented may arise, entertain all ideas and contribute your own, stay calm and collected, and continue the discussion until a reasonable solution has been reached.
While other group exercises may be assigned, these are some of the larger ones you should expect to prepare for. Job search engines can help provide further preparation resources, such as Jobtome, Monster, or LinkedIn. No matter what sort of position you have applied for, taking the time to prepare for a group interview will propel you forward in the job process – and make it more likely that you’ll land a solo interview and, potentially, the job you desire.