How to choose the best candidate? Selecting the right applicant for a job is not an easy task. The difficulty of recruiting staff is evaluating candidates in a short period of time and in a very different setting than their possible future job, and that is because the ability to conduct a good interview does not necessarily guarantee the ability to perform the work itself.
The eye of a good human resources (HR) technician is ready to read and extrapolate the results of an interview to reality. However, for selection processes where getting it right is essential, there are complements to the traditional interview, such as practical case-solving exercises and behavioral interviews, applied individually or in groups. In this Psychology-Online article, we will see what group work interviews are like , with examples and useful dynamics to evaluate those capacities and abilities that a particular job requires.
What is a group interview
Group job interviews are one of the evaluation methods for the selection of personnel complementary to individual interviews. A group interview is a test in which several candidates for one or more jobs participate with the aim of evaluating their behavior, their competencies and their abilities in a practical and social context.
Benefits of group interviews
Group interviews allow:
1. Evaluate more candidates: In group tests, many applicants can participate, so they are especially useful in massive selection processes.
2. Observe the participant in a more natural context: The use of games or challenges has long been a common practice in leading companies, they are used to encourage candidates to lose focus of the process itself, showing their true self .
3. Assess soft skills: These dynamics are especially interesting for assessing soft skills, non-cognitive skills that are essential to perform a job, but difficult to observe in a traditional individual interview.
4. Assess social skills: You don't really meet a person until you see them interacting with other people.
5. Show the value of the company: In addition to the value for evaluation, group dynamics are also a positive element in the "mutual selection process", where the candidate is shown a dynamic, fun, innovative and current company.
6. Discover skills in workers: These dynamics not only serve for an initial selection, but the same logic also applies to the evaluation of the leadership and problem-solving capacity of individuals who are internal candidates for a role change or promotion.
By taking advantage of a team building event, we were able to verify the team management capacity of a candidate for internal promotion. Obviously, there were many other indicators, but being able to work for an hour on his team was an opportunity to validate the previous reports first-hand and we discovered a small area that we needed to enhance before the change of responsibility .
What can we observe in group dynamics for job interviews
Through group dynamics, it is possible to evaluate:
- Assertiveness : communicative style necessary for any job that requires dealing with people.
- Problem solving : the ability to produce, evaluate and apply solutions, essential especially for managers.
- Creativity : the ability to produce novel solutions, useful for any job.
- Flexibility : ability to adapt to new situations, essential in changing work environments.
- Critical thinking : ability to reflect and draw own conclusions.
- Teamwork : adding the capacities of different people to achieve a better result. Working in a team means knowing how to identify and use the strengths of each team member to provide feedback. This skill is a must for virtually any work environment.
- Emotional intelligence : managing your own emotions and understanding the emotions of others allows you to forge good interpersonal relationships at work and be more productive. In this article you will find more information about emotional intelligence at work .
- Leadership : ability to organize and lead groups, vitally important in management positions.
- Ethics and values : the personal principles that govern conduct, essential in all jobs related to the health and education of the population.
- Proactivity : attitude directed to action and collaboration.
Depending on the type of skills and characteristics that we are interested in evaluating, we will choose a different format and theme for the group interview.
What format can the group dynamics have for job interviews
In recent years, we have seen new initiatives that are gaining weight: escape rooms, improvisation theater or more complex strategy games, but the idea remains the same: show the potential of the candidates in a spontaneous environment.
Group activities can range from playing tic-tac-toe to building a cardboard chair, to small video games or card games. The most common dynamics in group work interviews are the following:
This group dynamic consists of carrying out a conversation about a topic proposed by the evaluators, who observe the opinions and communication skills of the applicants.
For example, talk about the benefits of reading.
This group exercise consists of producing ideas about a topic or solutions for a problem. It is useful to assess creativity , innovation, concentration capacity, originality, authenticity and imagination, among others.
For example, propose different merchandising ideas for the company.
This group game consists of solving tests in a space set in a story. The objective is to decipher the enigmas before a certain time. An escape room is a controlled space, where you can observe and listen to the performance of one or more candidates acting without the presence of those who evaluate them.
For example, the escape game Rombate from The Rombo Code. With a capacity of up to 12 participants, it is an ideal escape room to assess the ability to face problems, strategy and time management.
The technicians who evaluate, normally, have already played the game and know it: it is not so much about hit or miss, but rather about the ability to generate ideas and engage the team with them, analyze the problem-solving processes and also how the players relate to each other: this is a very concrete opportunity to analyze soft skills that we can make the most of .
Refers to the importance of choosing an appropriate theme, for example, that is not scary. It is also important to avoid elements that unnecessarily harm the process, such as bad lighting, and prioritize intellectual and teamwork challenges . Not just any escape room will do , although almost anyone could adapt to fulfill this function. He also highlights that above all it is one more complement to the process, but that it provides a very funny point for the candidates that serves to reassure and that they can be relaxed.
Undoubtedly, the escape game as a group dynamic for job interviews is a very original option that allows assessing the real performance of an infinite number of capacities : attention, understanding, analysis, resolution, creativity, group work, communication, organization, logic, working memory, perseverance, imagination, work under pressure, self-regulation, security ... Professionals in the sector can advise you to choose the best escape room based on the capabilities you prefer to assess.
In this group job interview format, a dilemma is proposed against which each candidate must position, argue and defend the position, which can be real or randomly assigned. This test allows to assess the communication skills, the ability to influence and the persuasiveness that are so important in sales, especially.
For example, face-to-face work versus teleworking.
The objective of this group dynamic for job interviews is to reach an agreement. Interviewers can evaluate applicants' assertiveness, initiative, creativity, negotiation skills, diplomacy, self-control ...
For example, agree on the priority order of 15 objects for the survival of a group on a ship.
For this role-playing exercise , the evaluators propose a common task in the workplace and observe how each of the participants performs it.
For example, serving another participant as if he were a customer.
Role-playing exercise that consists of simulating the resolution of a serious unforeseen problem. Participants must show their ability to solve problems, the ability to make decisions, flexibility, critical thinking, group work, execution under pressure and confidence.
For example, raise situations such as that the business is suffering a robbery or that the office has lost electricity.