How to handle group dynamics

Group dynamics, as we have already mentioned in our blog, are discussion-based interview techniques whose purpose is to debate a subject or resolve a problem in a group within a limited period of time.

By bringing group dynamics into selection processes, interviewers are able to assess the abilities and attitudes that candidates show in conflict resolution. Persuasion, diplomacy, empathy, and the ability to listen are the qualities that interviewers look for when choosing candidates for the next stage of the selection process.

It is important that you are aware that these dynamics do not have a solution, there is no winner or loser of the test… instead, interviewers will select those who have argued and defended their position best and have shown their ability to work in a team.

Although there is no one single form, since when organising a group situation the factors taken into account include the number of participants, their profile, the position which they are seeking etc., here are three possibilities:

Forum, round table and debate

This consists in the discussion of a specific subject. The interviewer introduces the subject to be debated and the candidates then take turns to speak, giving their opinions on it.  Afterwards, the discussion is opened up to all participants in the group.

In this test, interviewers will evaluate skills such as the ability to summarise and to argue. Never try to impose your opinion on the group; what is most highly valued is the ability to listen to others and to argue your case, taking into account the arguments put forward by the other candidates.

Brainstorming

The goal is to develop and use one’s imagination. The interviewer will choose the subject and explain the procedure and the basic rules to be followed.

During the test, don’t focus on discussing the feasibility of the ideas or censure or criticise them, since this could reduce the other candidates’ spontaneity. Your objective is to offer solutions to resolve the problem posed.

Once the time allotted for the proposal of ideas has concluded, these will then be analysed in a critical manner to see whether they are viable.

Once you have used the time existing for the proposal of ideas, these will be analysed critically according to their viability.

Panel

With this technique, a specific subject is not debated; instead, each of the candidates on the panel presents a different point of view with respect to the same subject. In general, the group is composed of between 4 and 6 persons and it will be the coordinator who presents the subject and then lets the different panel members speak.

When the time has finished for presentations, the participants will summarise their ideas and the coordinator will provide the final conclusions, after which questions will be taken from the rest of those attending.