As job applicants are becoming more and more skilled and knowledgeable, choosing between them is becoming more and more challenging for employers. Driven by a desire to make the most correct hiring choices, many employers are looking for a new selection method, alternative to the in-person, one-on-one interview. Recruiters have long concluded that applicants cannot be rightly evaluated, while they are talking face-to-face to one or two people. It is only through their interaction with their competitors, vying for the same or similar position, that applicants’ personality and professionalism can vividly shine through. With this in mind, the group interview has recently been introduced as an alternative method of winnowing unwanted applicants.
The group interview is centered around two major activities offered to job-seekers: group discussion and group exercise.
Group Discussion – The format of this activity is simple. During group discussions, six or seven job candidates are debating about a certain topic, while being closely scrutinized by their recruiters. At the beginning of the discussion, job applicants are introduced to each other and then given questions to ponder individually, by taking turns, or in a group. Those candidates who deliver the sharpest and the most dynamic answers are ranked higher and remembered by interviewers more strongly.
Group Exercise – During this activity, job applicants are assigned a problem or puzzle to solve together. They might also be asked to deliver a short presentation about their future role or the company’s business; or they might be invited to present a business model for their potential employers. The key to success in the group exercise is not only to show yourself in the most favourable light but also to build meaningful, productive relationship with other members of the group. Recruiters who are observing interactions within the group give applicants points precisely for their ability to conduct negotiations with each other persuasively and diplomatically. What is evaluated in group exercises is candidates’ contribution to group thinking and team working. Interviewers are also interested in seeing how applicants behave under provocation and during disagreements frequently occurring between group members.
Coming to the group interview without knowing what it is can decrease your chances of success. You need to know what to expect and how to behave during group discussions or exercises. JobTestPrep, with its exclusive interview materials, will give you a helping hand with your preparation for the group interview. Study with our interview kit and demonstrate to your recruiters that you can be entrusted with difficult tasks in your new workplace.
Many employers want to ensure that their employees are not only trained professionals, experts in their fields, but are also cooperative, accommodating people with whom it is pleasant to work. Therefore, they invite their prospective employees to the group interview, where their interpersonal skills and ability to work on the same project in tandem with others are accurately tested.
These skills are referred to as soft skills. Soft skills are essentially different from so-called hard skills, which are acquired with experience and learning. Hard skills are tangible, technical, and easily demonstratable. Soft skills, often called transferrable, are neither tangible nor technical. Not acquired through professional training, these skills are the expression of people’s personalities, attitudes, and intuitions. Your interpersonal skills enable recruiters to predict how well you will interact with others and whether you will be easy to work with, when you join a new workplace. Among the soft skills are such abilities as the following:
Along with measuring the interpersonal skills, recruiters want to ascertain that their potential employees can work in a team. For working in tandem with colleagues is an essential skill, without which cooperative coexistence at work is impossible. No role in a workplace is played in isolation but is interconnected in myriad ways with the roles of other people, all of whom work for the common good of the company and each other. Productive, intelligent, and polite communication with others facilitates the achievement of these beneficial results for everyone involved in the business. However independently or remotely you are required to work, you still need to share the results of your labour with your colleagues so that they understand how your contribution is connected to theirs and how together you influence the development of the company. Knowing how important the teamwork is for the blossoming of the organization, employers invite applicants to participate in the group interview where their communicative abilities are clearly demonstrated. Another reason to assess prospective employers’ ability to work in a team is more mundane. Employers do not want to hire people who will demonstrate antisocial tendencies and will be troublesome at work, causing distress and unpleasant feelings to the rest of the company.
Other reasons why employers prefer the group interview over regular interviews are practical. The group interview consumes less time. Instead of inviting five or six people to individual interviews and thus spending several days on assessing them, employers gather all of them in one group and save their own time considerably. And not only do interviewers save their time, but they also save the company’s money, when they organize the group interview. Spending more time interviewing and being away from business clearly brings less profits to the organization.
Group interviews are also good because they accurately simulate the everyday working environment. When applicants put heads together to solve a problem during the group discussion or exercise, the interview begins to approximate most closely to the real working environment, allowing recruiters to see how applicants will potentially approach problems, when hired. An opportunity to make a comparative analysis of job candidates is also factored in employers’ preference for the group interview. When they see all applicants together, they can easily make a comparison between them and thus select the most outstanding and confident person vying for the advertised position. The group interview also comes in handy, when recruiters need to fill in numerous positions quickly. The more applicants they invite for the interview, the more openings can be filled in one go.
In addition to engaging job candidates in group exercises and group discussions, interviewers may also ask them general, behavioral, or situational questions. Other questions may be geared at ascertaining how well job candidates work in teams or communicate with their colleagues. JobTestPrep has compiled a list of interview questions that may be posed to you during your group interview, some of which are presented in this section below:
Before coming to your group interview, carefully go over these and similar questions and formulate smart, crispy answers to them. Jot down questions that you want to ask recruiters to show that you are interested in the company and the position for which you applied. On the group interview itself, behave confidently and respectfully to interviewers and your competitors. Interrupting or not listening to them will throw unflattering light on you and will decrease your employability. When you answer somebody’s questions, refer to what others said before to demonstrate that you were listening to them attentively. Without overbearing others, try to show your leadership skills. Applicants who are content to play second fiddle to their competitors during the group interview might not be preferred by interviewers. A day or two after the group interview, send your recruiters a thankyou letter. Whether they make a choice in your favour or not, your interviewers deserve to be thanked for the opportunity they have given you.
JobTestPrep puts forth an all-out effort to help job applicants to pass their group interview with unqualified success. We offer detailed information about this type of interview, accompanying it with practical help in the form of the well-constructed interview materials. Purchase our high-quality interview resources, make a memorable impression on your recruiters with your clever answers and confident conduct, and start working in your desired role in the new organization.