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Group exercise as part of the short listing process....

(13 Posts)
mammasmadhouse Tue 01-Apr-14 18:05:58

I have been invited to attend a long listing interview which will involve a group exercise. The post is finance related, has anyone any experience of this type of thing...? Confidence is not one of my strong points so any help would be very much appreciated.

lessonsintightropes Tue 01-Apr-14 19:10:12

I set these for some roles. Basically, ours is an exercise (we do ours over lunch so no candidate needs to stay for more than half a day) where you are set a logical puzzle to solve as a group. Our one involves the last rocket ship leaving earth, 10 seats only, but 16 people waiting to get on - you have to work as a group to make a decision. Things we observe for are:

- ability to keep the group on track and to time
- ability to read and follow complex written instructions
- contribute well to discussion, not talking over others or interrupting but not too shy and shrinking violet either
- logical decision making
- ability to negotiate and persuade
- some humour is a plus as long as it's appropriate
- leadership (though not for all roles)

It sounds lot worse than it is to go through (having sat through several of these myself) - you forget quite quick about being observed and get stuck into the task at hand.

Hoppinggreen Wed 02-Apr-14 13:16:35

As above but remember the point is not to get the task done, it's how you interact with the others to get it done.
Don't be too quiet or too assertive
Explain to the group what you are doing
Ask for other peoples opinions
Praise others
Be professional at all times - you don't know when the observation really starts or stops.
I do mentoring sessions with Business study students at a local uni to help them get through tasks like this so feel free to ask me anything smile

Tex111 Wed 02-Apr-14 13:20:55

Read the title and had images of interviewees doing star jumps and competitive sit ups. Thought, "blimey, things have changed since I last went for an interview". No help at all but made me smile.

Best of luck!

mammasmadhouse Wed 02-Apr-14 19:51:43

Thanks all, what do you think I should wear, I was thinking along the lines of suit trousers, smart top ...?

Hoppinggreen how can I best prepare for this??

lessonsintightropes Wed 02-Apr-14 20:10:18

I would wear a jacket and skirt/trousers and a shirt or smart top. Good luck!

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 02-Apr-14 20:22:30

Aaaahhhh, Tex, that's exactly what I thought! shock closely followed by, my God, I'm never changing job ever again!

Hoppinggreen Thu 03-Apr-14 09:32:31

I don't think that you can really prepare unless you are given the details of the task beforehand - sorry.
As I said they key is to interact well with the other people in the team at ALL times. They don't know but we observe the students from the time they arrive in the building.
The tips you have been given above are good, think about what your strengths are in this situation - leader, facilitator etc and play to that.
You need to be comfortable in case you end up doing something physical, hopefully NOT star jumps but perhaps building something ?
I think that it's not possible to be too smart for an interview.
Good luck

RafflesWay Thu 03-Apr-14 11:14:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ASmidgeofMidge Thu 03-Apr-14 11:22:10

I've been through one before as part of the recruitment process for my current job. Public sector, so content/objectives differed to some degree, but would agree with lessons and hoppinggreen about what they're looking for generally speaking. Fwiw, we had to assume the roles of a board of (school) governors and decide how to deal with racist behaviour by a pupil.

I would wear the same as I would for an interview - formal dress.

whereisshe Thu 03-Apr-14 11:28:23

I had to do one of these for my current role. Good advice above re getting the task done not being the point, how you get it done is what matters.

I would add that I found suspension of disbelief to be a real challenge - it felt like a game to me so I didn't act as I would have in a real work situation. You need to (as much as possible) behave as you would if it were real life.

fascicle Thu 03-Apr-14 12:32:07

Some good advice already. You could also google re guidance on the process e.g.

targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/assessment-centres/275425-group-exercises-what-to-expect

tribpot Thu 03-Apr-14 12:42:33

some humour is a plus as long as it's appropriate

God, yes. All good advice but this really brought back hideous memories of a group exercise (a training course rather than a job interview) where one of the attendees thought it would be hilarious to show off his am-dram skills and play the role of an alcoholic call centre manager (complete with pretend DTs) who had punched a senior member of his previous organisation and was now wanting to work at ours. It was so hilariously awful, I really felt for the poor trainer trying to inquire of him afterwards "and do you really feel that this was appropriate to the exercise?".

I really do hate these group exercises because you always get one who thinks it has to be All About Them, but fortunately it is rare (except poss when casting reality TV shows?) that that is actually what the recruiter is looking for.

We had to build Lego on the last one of these that I did (again, training rather than recruitment). And design a travel brochure for visiting aliens.

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