How to prepare for Group Exercise?

How to prepare for Group Exercise?

How to prepare for Group Exercise?
Kabita Bajgain

Group activity is prevalent in numerous assessment centres and will likely be encountered frequently as you navigate the professional world. Employers are keen on observing your interpersonal interactions, whether you engage in a collective discussion, collaborate on a team case study, participate in role-playing, or tackle a team-based 'design and build' challenge.

They aim to see you exhibit essential competencies relevant to your desired role, such as effective presentation and communication skills, leadership ability, time management, relationship building, influence, and negotiation skills. They're interested in assessing your capability to collaborate productively with others, and they'll be impressed by individuals who enthusiastically engage in the task and seem to enjoy participating genuinely.

Tips to Crack Group Discussion

 

You can take several steps to prepare to excel in a group activity during the assessment. Here are some tips that will contribute to a successful performance on the day:

Manage Time Effectively:

Managing time is often a challenge for groups, but this is an area where you can make a significant impact. Assign a team member the responsibility of monitoring the available time and ensuring timely completion of different aspects of the task. Remember that the assessors might introduce unexpected changes or reduce the time allotted midway through the exercise. Be adaptable and willing to renegotiate the plan with the group if needed. If you're in charge of time-keeping, provide regular updates and ask your colleagues to confirm their preferred priorities for the remaining time.

Active Participation:

Your contributions can only be evaluated if you actively engage. Your involvement can encompass sharing your ideas, confirming your understanding of others' input, acknowledging their suggestions, and potentially building upon them. Additionally, summarising the progress made so far concisely is crucial. If you tend to speak softly, make a conscious effort to speak louder than usual to ensure the assessors notice your contributions.

Collaborate with Team Members:

Remember, you're not competing against other candidates. The assessors evaluate you based on specific criteria rather than making direct comparisons among candidates. It's often the case that several participants from the assessment centre may be offered positions. Demonstrate your ability to collaborate effectively with fellow participants and showcase your willingness to compromise for the collective benefit instead of rigidly adhering to your ideas.

Acknowledge Others' Contributions:

Display attentive listening and understanding of your teammates' remarks, even if you have differing opinions. Avoid interrupting or outright dismissing their points. Employ phrases like "You're making a valid point," "I understand your perspective," and "There's merit in that approach" to acknowledge their input. To express agreement and add your viewpoint, consider phrases like "You're right," "I completely agree," "Your point is correct," and "Another advantage of this approach could be..."

Encourage Quieter Members:

Be attuned to the dynamics within the group and take the initiative to encourage individuals who have yet to speak or appear less confident in contributing.

Avoid Dominating:

If you naturally take on a leadership role, remember that effective leadership involves valuing every team member's input. Prioritise recognising and incorporating their valuable ideas.

Maintain a Positive Attitude:

Ensure your body language exudes positivity, with an open posture and gestures that don't appear defensive, like crossed arms. Even if circumstances don't unfold as anticipated, maintain a positive demeanour throughout the task. Sustain high levels of energy and enthusiasm, avoiding any hint of boredom or disinterest.

Conduct Research:

Pay attention to the importance of conducting research, just as you would for any other interview. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the organisation, its products, stakeholders, competitors, and industry trends. If the group activity is closely aligned with the organisation's business, you'll already have a foundation to build upon. Seek clarification on the exercise's expectations and inquire about any specific preparations required.

Think Business-Minded:

It's advantageous to grasp fundamental business concepts for specific roles to help analyse the task. Consider revenue, profit margins, competitors, customers, fixed and variable costs, market share, growth, marketing, and market size.

Practice:

Seize any available opportunities to collaborate within teams on academic projects and engage in extracurricular activities. Take advantage of mock assessment centres and workshops focused on group exercises to gain practice and enhance your skills.

By implementing these strategies, you'll be better equipped to excel in group exercises and leave a positive impression during assessment centre activities.

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FAQs

What is a group exercise in an assessment centre, and why is it important?

Understand the significance of group exercises in assessment centres and how they gauge your interpersonal skills and teamwork abilities.

How can I effectively manage time during a group exercise?

Learn practical strategies for managing time in a group activity, including assigning a time monitor and adapting to unexpected changes.

How can I ensure assessors notice my active participation?

Discover tips for actively contributing to group discussions and exercises, especially if you tend to speak softly or struggle to engage.

What's the best way to collaborate with fellow participants during a group exercise?

Gain insights into fostering effective collaboration and compromising for the collective good, along with the understanding that competition isn't the primary focus.

How should I acknowledge and respond to differing viewpoints within the group?

Learn how to respond to others' ideas respectfully and constructively, employing phrases that acknowledge their input while still expressing your perspective.

How can I exhibit a positive attitude and body language during a group task?

Find out how to maintain a positive demeanour and open posture throughout the exercise, even in challenging situations.

What steps can I take to prepare for a group exercise in an assessment centre?

Explore comprehensive preparation tips, including researching the organisation, understanding relevant business concepts, and practising teamwork through academic projects and extracurricular activities.

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