First things first

Group exercises for assessment include a set up of case studies, group discussions, and role-play tasks for aspiring candidates during the job application process. Nowadays, many industries organize group exercise sessions to assess the different abilities of candidates like team spirit, communication skills, analytical skills etc. This makes it imperative for aspiring candidates to take up group exercise preparation and sharpen their existing skills.

What are Group Exercises?

Group exercises, also known as group discussions, are common assessment centre activities used by recruiters to assess the competency of job candidates on various grounds. In a job selection process, group exercises generally precede the application form stage. Group exercises are used by employers to assess the candidate’s communication skills, values, motivation, team spirit, and ability to influence others. Being a key part of the assessment, group exercises target to bring out and put the problem solving skills of the candidates into action. The variables of assessment through group exercises will change accordingly the nature of the job you have applied for.

Which industries use Group Exercises?

Group exercises are common for jobs that involve a lot of customer interaction or public-dealing. These are also common for positions that require working in a team environment to accomplish company goals. In some cases many companies use group exercises when they have a number of similar positions to fill in. Some of the most common industries that use group exercises for job application are:

  • Tech companies
  • Retailers
  • Investment firms
  • Airlines
  • Hospitality business

How do Group Exercises work?

Group exercises in an assessment centre comprehend those themes and tasks for candidates, which they might be actually required to cater to in the job. In a way, group exercises give an opportunity to the recruiters to watch the candidates in action. Take a look at the various forms of group exercises that are often set up to assess the competency of the candidates –

  • Group case study exercise – In such exercises, the group is provided with a case study brief (often related to real-life business situation) to present its findings within a set period of time. Such challenges intend to assess individual as well as group performance of the candidates in real life scenarios.
  • Group discussion – Group discussions involve a session of discussion within the members of the group on topics of current interest. It is as vital to listen as it is to speak during a group discussion to come up with better ideas and get an idea of the bigger picture. Group discussions are one of the most common ways of assessing the analytical and communication skills of candidates.
  • Leaderless task – At times, organizations also come up with tasks in which there is no designated leader to challenge the group to collectively reach towards a solution.
  • Leadership task / Role play exercise – In order to assess leadership skills of the candidates, organizations set up tasks that will require you to chair a meeting or act as a leader of the group.

Group Exercise practice tips

Many candidates worry about the whole idea of group exercises and get daunted by facing it. However, by following some simple tips and focusing on some key areas one can easily get through them –

  • Work on your body language – Make sure that you maintain a good body language throughout the exercise. Maintain eye contact during discussions and demonstrate your active participation through nods and gestures that display your agreement. Ensure early on that you are sitting comfortably to proceed smoothly through the entire session.
  • Contribute – You need to be actively involved in the group discussions and tasks to earn points. Make sure that you genuinely contribute to the entire conversation and are not isolated.
  • Time management – During group exercises you can even volunteer to keep regular checks on the utilization of time as it might work for your benefit if everything goes well in time.
  • Work as a team – Always make sure that your opinions are oriented towards the benefit of the entire group and not just your individual self. Additionally if you give chance to speak to other members who are not getting a chance to speak up, you will be recognized for your team spirit by the assessors. The whole idea is to treat your competitors as colleagues.
  • Do not dominate – There is a thin line between assertion and aggression. Try not to cross it. See to it that you contribute to the group exercise without dominating.
  • Be clear & confident – Always speak clearly in terms of what dimension you wish to target in the discussion and do it with confidence. A confident personality will automatically win you a great numbers during the whole assessment.

Why are Group Exercises important?

Group exercises play an equally important role in the evaluation of the candidate’s competency as well as for his/her future role in any industry. Take a look at the following points to get an idea of the significance of group exercises –

Prepares you to work as a team

Group exercises involve tasks that let you work on your team spirit and collaboration. By being a part of group exercises, you get a chance to highlight your abilities to work in a team. Hence it is always a good idea to see your competitors as colleagues during any group exercise. This is in order to work in the best interest of the team.

Sharpens your analytical skills

 Working on facts and data during group exercises to get into the root of the issues gives you a great chance to improve your analytical skills for future use.

A chance to stand out and outshine other candidates

 A group setting for assessment gives you an opportunity to make a powerful impact upon the assessors by performing well and outshining your competitors.