What Are Group Dynamics?

The phone rings. You answer and are told that you have been chosen as a candidate for the selection process of a vacancy in a company and that you have to participate in a group-dynamics exercise. As soon as you hang up the phone, you are seized by doubts: What is a group-dynamics exercise? What do they expect from me? Who will be there? In this article we will answer these questions and offer you advice on this interview technique.

What is a group-dynamics exercise? This is an interview technique which consists of a discussion of a group of 5-10 candidates who are observed by one or more recruiters. For a limited period of time, candidates must discuss an issue or solve a problem as a group.

Is there only one type of group-dynamics exercise? The answer is no. The recruiter can propose the most appropriate format for getting to know the candidates based on, for example, the position that is to be filled. The most common types of group dynamics are: round-table discussions, debates and brainstorming.

What is the objective? When recruiters opt for this technique, they are not looking for winners and losers. Instead, they want to see the skills and attitudes that you display with the rest of the group: negotiating skills, initiative, empathy, etc. In short, your qualities.

Which candidates are chosen to move on to the next stage of the interview? Group-dynamics exercises are not a question of finding the correct answer to get into the next stage of the process. It’s the recruiters who assess each candidate individually based on: their arguments, the defence of their position and team work, as well as their attitude towards their peers.

If you want to feel confident in your next group interview, follow our advice:

  1. Be yourself. Defend your ideas with arguments in a polite way.
  2. Empathize with the rest of your peers; be diplomatic. Remember that you will be penalized for aggressiveness and self-centeredness.
  3. Participate but do not talk too much. Not talking is just as bad as talking too much. Try to strike a balance between the two.
  4. Show your skills and qualities. Do not miss your chance to demonstrate the knowledge that you have in a particular area, language levels or your work experience. But look for the right time to do so; do not force it.
  5. Watch your body language. Remember that the recruiters take into account not only what you say, but also your body language and gestures.