Job interviews can be stressful at the best of times, without them turning into some kind of Hunger Games…
OK, so they aren’t quite that extreme. But with an increasing number of employers using group interviews to find the best talent, it never hurts to get to grips with the tasks and activities you’re likely to face.
Example 1: The Case Study
In this group interview task you’ll be given a brief, based on a scenario you’re likely to face as an employee of the company you are interviewing for.
The brief will outline certain problems, which you, along with your fellow group interviewees will be required to solve.
Case study interview activities are designed to test your ability to work as part of a team, as well as your leadership and problem solving skills.
Tips for conquering the case study:
- Treat your competitors as colleagues
- Take the lead but don’t talk over people
- Show good leadership by including any introverts in the group discussion
- Research the company inside out before you attend the interview
- Remember you’re being watched – the interviewer isn’t just interested in the solutions but how you worked together to find them.
Example 2: The Role Play Exercise
One of the most dreaded group interview activities has to be role play.
This group interview activity places you in a situation you’re likely to face in your prospective role (such as chairing a meeting, managing a team or dealing with a customer) and tests your ability to perform well in it.
Here the interviewer may be assessing a wide range of skills, depending on the job role. For example: leadership qualities, the ability to provide good customer service and problem solving under pressure.
Tips for performing well in the role play:
- Read the brief carefully
- Ask questions to get an idea of the bigger picture
- Actually listen to the answers
- Structure your approach to the exercise, but remain flexible
- Use appropriate body language and eye contact
- Be yourself and be confident
Example 3: The Practical Task
Group interviews commonly include a practical task, requiring the interviewees to work together to solve a problem. The practical task may or may not be relevant to the job.
For example, candidates may be asked to build the highest structure with the least amount of bricks or something similar.
Yes, you might actually get to play with Lego during your interview. But basically you’re being tested on your ability to communicate and work as part of a team.
Tips for a successful practical task:
- Contribute your ideas – don’t get lost in the group
- Listen to others and value their ideas too
- Remain professional in how you communicate with other candidates
- Find an opportunity to take the lead – but don’t steamroll
- Keep focussed – it may be a fun task but you’re there to impress
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