Information on Undertaking Group Tasks

Information on Undertaking Group Tasks

Group assessment tasks

If you attend an assessment centre or similar recruitment event then you may be asked to complete a group task. This method of assessing candidates is often used in graduate recruitment programmes, or on other occasions when a company has a large number of vacancies to fill.

Examples of tasks that you could be asked to complete include analysing business case studies, discussing a business topic as a group, holding a mock workplace meeting or practical tasks such as constructing an object from bits of paper!

Employers use group assessment tasks to try and assess how candidates would perform in the workplace. Companies can ask probing questions in interviews about how the candidate has approached certain situations in the past, but there is never a perfect correlation between the ability to answer questions in an interview and the ability to perform well on the job.

Clearly, one of the main skills that an employer will be looking for when observing a group assessment is the ability to work well in a team. Although you will be competing against the other candidates for a limited number of roles, you still need to work co-operatively with your new ‘colleagues’ and work together towards a common goal.

Other skills that may be assessed through this type of task include leadership, communication and initiative.

If the task involves a discussion or debate, ensure you make some pertinent contributions, but make sure you don’t dominate the conversation. Speaking at length and denying the others the chance to have their say – or worse, interrupting and shouting them down – is unlikely to improve your chances of a job offer. Back up your arguments with evidence where possible.

The task you are asked to perform may require a team leader or project manager to be appointed. It is perhaps best not to volunteer to lead the task unless you are feeling very confident about what it involves. Being the leader is a high-risk strategy – you will have a greater opportunity to show the employer what you can do, but the chances of you making a bad impression are also much increased.

If you are the leader, remember that the best leaders delegate. Try and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and work out which tasks they would be best suited to. Always keep an eye on the time, as you will almost certainly have only a limited time in which to complete the project.

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