Prepare for Group Exercises at the Assessment Centre

Do you have a group exercise coming up at your assessment centre? Group exercises are a central and crucial element at the assessment centre so give yourself the best chance of success now. This new-for-2024 PrepPack™ will give you a real understanding of how to perform at your optimum level during your group exercise.  

Group Exercises
  • 2 group exercise practice tests
  • Role-play practice test
  • Interview pdf
  • Videos, tips & study guides

The leading recruiters often use the group exercise as a fundamental tool in the sifting process of job applicants. The exercise is designed to identify specific selection criteria, according to the job description candidates are applying for.

What Is the Group Exercise?

Throughout the duration of the group exercise, candidates face challenging and complex tasks within the framework of a group of 8-16 people.

Group members may be candidates for the same position as you or for other positions.

There is a wide spectrum of behaviours that are demonstrated by applicants during a group exercise in an assessment centre, ranging from loud and dominant people to shy and introvert.

The group dynamic reveals each participant's individual behaviour thereby enabling the recruiters to predict how each applicant is likely to behave and progress in the work environment in general and how they are likely to react in specific situations.

What Is the Purpose of the Group Exercise?

The group exercise's purpose is to predict and assess:

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Social skills and social confidence
  • Ability to work under stress and pressure
  • Ability to take initiative and influence others
  • Communication skills: manners, nature, generosity, aggression, dominance, listening skills, independent mindedness and more.
  • The degree of compatibility between your social skills and the skills required for the job opening.

Tips to Deal with the Difficulties in the Group Exercise

Many applicants have a genuine difficulty showing an adequate level of involvement in the group exercise in the assessment centre and demonstrating their skills in an optimal manner.

Some tend to be overly dominant and loud fearing that otherwise they may not be heard and valued. Others are introvert and quiet, fearing that their contribution may not be significant enough in comparison to others'.

The following situations and dilemmas often rise during the group exercise. They can become surmountable with the appropriate guidance:

  • Aggressive peers in the group.
  • How to maintain a balance between not too little and not too much participation.
  • How to present yourself in a decisive and non-hesitant manner.
  • How to maintain a progression that is suitable for the position at hand.
  • How to feel comfortable and secure in a group.
  • Preparation for the group exercise in the assessment centre will provide you with the tools to exhibit appropriate behaviour, suitable for the type of position you are applying for. 

Learn More About What You May Face on the Assessment Day

If you are applying for a job in engineering and are invited to partake in an assessment centre, it is possible that you will face a similar evaluation process to the one described below.

What Does This Assessment Centre Include?

This assessment centre takes half a day. During this time, you will face a group exercise and interviews. Keep in mind that this type of assessment centre is highly technical and requires that you have a significant amount of knowledge in the related field.

The Group Exercise

On this type of group assessment, you will be assessed based on your technical capabilities and contributions to the shared task, more than on your communication and interpersonal skills. During the group exercise, candidates are put into teams and given a detailed blueprint on how to assemble interlocking plates. Each group will then have to decide what part of the interlocking plate design each member will put together. Afterwards, each member will have to individually learn how to assemble their section, so that the whole team can perform this exercise quickly and effectively in under 1 minute.

The Interview Process

There are 4 separate interviews, each of which assesses for highly technical engineering knowledge and aptitude. In this engineering interview stage, your interviewers will be more interested in your knowledge and proficiency in the field, rather than your personality or behavioural traits. Your interviewers may ask how you would complete complex, theoretical engineering tasks based on your previous experience and knowledge in the engineering field.

Sample interview questions may include:

“What is this component, what happened to it and how do you think it failed?”

“What modifications would you make to the design of this component to prevent the failure you just mentioned?”

This PrepPack™ is a great and innovative way to prepare you for your upcoming group exercise. Although it isn't a live simulation, it gives you a practical way of learning the skills you need and selecting the best option in a given situation. If you need to participate in more than just the group exercise, try the assessment centre preparation pack.