Group Interview Activities (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Activities during group interviews can show hiring managers how participants can work together as a team. They allow a hiring manager to see how candidates interact with each other and how they could fit into their organisation. Understanding how group activities work and what to expect are necessary if you get an invitation to take part in a group interview. In this article, we explain what group interview activities are, provide a list of group activities with examples and offer some tips to consider for your interview.

What are group interview activities?

Organisations use group interview activities when a company is evaluating more than one candidate, either for the same position or similar roles. Group exercises can relate to the job role or focus on assessing soft skills, such as teamwork or communication. They help assess multiple skills and compare candidates quickly, which can be beneficial for a start-up business or an established company that's launching a new division and is looking to hire staff immediately.

Related: How to Succeed at a Group Interview

Examples of group interview activities

The following are some examples of activities that may be useful if you're participating in a group interview:

Answering general interview questions

One way of conducting a group interview is for the hiring manager to ask each candidate individual questions. With this approach, a hiring manager or hiring panel can assess each individual's response in comparison to each other in real time. Group interview questions can be challenging for candidates, particularly if you're the last person to answer a question, to ensure you can offer a unique insight or response. If you get an invitation to attend a group interview, it's important to research some common interview questions and come prepared with your own examples and perspective.

Related: 6 Example Group Interview Questions and Answers

Completing a practical task

Asking participants to undertake a practical task allows a hiring manager to establish how candidates work together to solve a specific issue. A hiring manager may look at how each candidate applies their logic. They can also look at the process you took to get there and your collaboration and teamwork with others. Assess all the information before taking action. Share your ideas with teammates, listen to them and be open to new and differing perspectives. The task may involve facing new issues throughout the activity to assess your problem-solving skill, so being prepared to tackle new challenges can help.

Example: Your challenge is building a paper aeroplane with a team and seeing which plane can travel the longest distance. During the exercise, the hiring manager splits the teams into smaller groups, so it's necessary for some teams to start the task again with no added time. Hiring managers assess your communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving and adaptability.

Related: 5 Steps to Become a Better Ally at Work

Reviewing a case study

During a case study activity, a hiring manager can outline a specific scenario, providing all the relevant information, including background, situation and problem. The primary purpose is for a hiring manager to observe how you work with others towards a common goal. Focus on providing a solution and discussing how you decided as a group. A hiring manager is looking at how you treat your teammates. It's also necessary to find a balance between being collaborative and seeing an opportunity to show your capabilities. Solving the problem can be easier if you've researched the company before the interview.

Example: The sales team has been underperforming over the past three years and research suggests it's because of product quality. Your task is to identify three reasons for the decline in sales and work as a team to develop a strategy for addressing the issue.

Related: How to Develop a Strategy in 10 Steps: A Definitive Guide

Participating in a role-play

Role-playing exercises can allow a hiring manager to evaluate soft skills, including leadership, problem-solving, communication, critical thinking and how you perform under pressure. Role-plays typically comprise putting candidates in a specific scenario that resembles a workplace situation. For example, this may involve managing a team as they address an issue or work with an unsatisfied customer to resolve a complaint. When taking part in a role-play group exercise, it's important to concentrate on the task and calmly evaluate the situation. Hiring managers can assess your overall demeanour, confidence and approach to the case study.

Example: You play as a team leader in a call centre, managing the other candidates whose role is as customer support staff. The hiring manager plays the role of an unsatisfied customer. Your task is to assess the situation, discuss ways of responding with your teammates and satisfy the customer.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions and Examples

Performing a group presentation

A hiring manager may ask you to perform a group presentation if you're applying for a role where presentation is a typical task, such as finance, sales or customer-facing jobs. A hiring manager usually provides the context and asks you to collaborate to create a presentation for a particular audience. Group presentations usually include built-in times for you to prepare and complete tasks with the other members. This activity can allow a hiring manager to see how well you maintain your composure, your presentation and public speaking ability, confidence and persuasion skills.

Example: You're applying for a sales consultant position and the group presentation task involves working with other candidates to create and present a pitch for a potential new customer. The hiring manager provides you with all the information about the company, product and potential customer.

Related: How to Make a Presentation (With Detailed Steps and Tips)

Interviewing during lunch

If the job you're applying for is in customer service, a hiring manager may ask you to interview during lunch to assess your interpersonal skills. An organisation can evaluate your personality, how you interact with others and whether you're a good fit for its business. Candidates may feel more comfortable and relaxed during lunch and other informal social situations. A hiring manager may ask you some more informal questions to get to know you better. In addition, they may assess how you interact with other candidates and staff, such as wait staff.

Example: Before a more formal group activity, the organisation may offer to provide lunch as a group to get to know one another better. While this is useful for understanding your competitors and getting to know their strengths and weaknesses to help you during the interview, it's also an opportunity for a hiring manager to assess you as part of their recruitment process.

Playing a game

A hiring manager may ask you to participate in a game as part of a group interview activity. Taking part in this type of challenge can help a hiring manager understand your problem-solving or creativity skills. For example, you may play a rock, paper, scissors game so a hiring manager can assess your reflexes and ability to respond under pressure.

Example: A hiring manager may set up a scavenger hunt where you participate in teams to find all items in the fastest time possible. This task can allow you to showcase your problem-solving and strategic thinking skills under pressure, along with how you work with other candidates as a team during the challenge.

Related: How to Show Creativity at Work (With Tips and Skills)

Group interview tips

If you secure a group interview, the following are some tips to consider:

Research the organisation

Like any interview, it's helpful to do your research about the organisation. First, check its website and read customer reviews to better understand its target audience, products, mission and values. Then, if you know the name of the person or people interviewing you, see if you can find some information about them from the website or via a professional network profile. Learning about the organisation and interviewers can help you prepare for various scenarios and quickly build rapport with the interview panel.

Related: Preparing for an Interview: How to Do It and Why It Matters

Be respectful

Some group interviews can ask open questions to all candidates. When a hiring manager asks open questions, you can respect other candidates by letting them answer first or taking turns. It's also important to allow other candidates to finish before you respond. In a group setting, it's necessary to ensure your responses are friendly and confident.

Related: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Team Player

Active listening

Listening to everyone's ideas during a group activity or interview can help you develop your answers. When the interview panel asked a question, referring back to another person's response can be beneficial to show you're listening. Being open to new perspectives and offering flexibility can also make a positive impression on a hiring manager.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples

Greet other participants

When waiting for your interview, try to introduce yourself to each candidate. Greeting everyone can help to show your professionalism and allow you to learn more about each candidate. In addition, finding out about everyone can be helpful during group interview tasks and assist you in understanding people's strengths.

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