For some people, having a focus group discussion asa part of recruiting process can lead to bad result and most of the people who fail on this phase end up blaming the subjectivity of the recruiters. This happens because they do not have a good understanding about what the recruiters want to find and appraise from the participants, and it’s definitely not the ability to talk a lot or being stand out by domineering others.
I can’t post anything specific about focus group discussion for recruiting because up to this date when I publish this post, I haven’t experienced running a focus group discussion in any of recruiting process I have conducted before. So I’d rather posting something based on what I have read on books and manuals, I think its better to share my experience as a participant in focus group discussion and I hope it can help someone else who might need it.
I have participated several times in focus group discussions as a candidate before, and the good thing is, I passed all of them, although some might be from a help of very good luck. There are many kinds and forms of focus group discussion for recruiting process, and it can be very different from one another. What I want to share here is only my first experience as a participant in focus group discussion, because that experience reassemble most complaints I have heard before, the least talking guy pass the test.
The discussion was very simple, the group consisted of 5 participants, we were given a case study and each of the participant had to set a priority list of 7 given solutions. Then all of the participants gathered and discussed to make one priority list as the group solution. Each of the participant had their scoring cards, the more similar their personal priority list with the group priority list, the bigger score they got. So as expected, each participant battled in, debating and persuading one another in order to get better score than the others.
After the discussion was over, we were all called back to wait in their lounge. 30 minutes later, their HR officer came up and called some name that passed the phase. It was a shock because from two people who passed that phase, one was a person who talked quite a lot and got the decent score and another was me, the person who talked least and got the lowest score.
I was very curious why I was selected, because the others who failed did well too and they had no less background. So on the next phase, an interview with HR supervisor, I dared myself to ask her why they chose me, not the highest scored person. She smiled and replied:
lets be fair, both of you were the best participants back there, and the only two that we believed qualified to be part of this organization. Both of you showed how to present opinions, how to give arguments in a proper manner, defended your argument well, and respect others.
You identified problems and tried to prevent unnecessary conflict. Both of you set your team goal above your individual goal, and willingly lost some credits just to make your team achieved the goal. The others might be good, but not as a team.
That explanation was very clear for me. Although I did not take the job there, her feedback was very helpful and I passed all the other focus group discussion ever since.