An increasing number of employers are using group tasks and discussions to assess candidates for vacancies. Not only do these activities allow employers to assess several candidates at once, but they also reveal how well candidates can work in a team.
If you are invited to take part in a group task or group discussion, then the following tips could help you to stand out from the crowd.
Arriving early gives you a chance to become familiar with the task environment, which could help you feel more comfortable during the interview activity.
You may even get a chance to chat to the assessors, which could be your opportunity to make a good impression. On the other hand, arriving late is likely to result in you being remembered for a negative reason.
Prepare Your Introduction
Most group discussions and tasks involve introducing yourself to your fellow candidates.
Think carefully about how you will introduce yourself before the interview, so you don’t end up saying “um…. ah…. I don’t know what to say”. Your introduction should be short, clear and to the point.
Use Confident Body Language
During the discussion, sit up straight and avoid fiddling with your clothing or hands.
This makes you appear alert, attentive and confident. Make eye contact to the people you speak to and remember to smile occasionally.
Pay Attention and Ask Questions
Listen carefully to any instructions that you are given at the beginning of the task.
You need to make sure you understand what you are being asked to do. If anything is unclear, do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Politely pointing out aspects of the instructions that don’t make sense shows that you can take the initiative.
Take the Lead, But Be Inclusive
Leadership is an important skill in many roles. A group task is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate your ability to lead others.
However, it’s important to remember that good leadership doesn’t mean talking over other people and dominating the discussion to make sure that only your ideas are heard. Voice your opinions, but also encourage others to give their input.
If you are a naturally quiet person, then standing out in group discussions and tasks can be tough. Remember, you have to participate to stand a chance of getting the job.
Try not to worry about saying the wrong thing or appearing stupid, as contributing to the task is always better than staying silent and letting the other candidates do all the work.
Group tasks and discussions throw up many opportunities for conflict. You might find some of the other candidates very irritating, particularly if they talk over people or refuse to listen to your ideas.
No matter what happens during a group interview, stay calm and don’t display anger toward the other candidates. Demonstrate your professionalism by politely stating your difference of opinion and refusing to be drawn into an ugly argument.
If you need help preparing for a group discussion or task, get in touch with Interview Skills Consulting. We can help you to stand out in a group situation and make a positive impression on a potential employer.