Group Discussion

What is group discussion?

  • “Group” means a number of people that are located, gathered, or classed together or a number of people that work together or share certain beliefs.
  • “Discussion” means the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
  • As a whole, set of  individuals participate in a discussion to exchange ideas on a specific topic.

Why GD is conducted in a recruitment process?

  • In the recruitment process, the GD is conducted to judge a candidate personality traits (Personality traits reflect people’s characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Personality traits imply consistency and stability) and group skills.
  • GD is conducted as a part of the short listing process for recruitment in a company.

What are the qualities and skills, the examiner observe in a candidate during GD?

The examiner will observe a candidates communication skills, Leadership qualities, cooperation skills, analytical skills, subject knowledge, flexibility, creativity, initiation, awareness, attitude and confidence.

  • Communication skills:
    The features of good communication skills are good speaker (verbally and non-verbally (gestures)) and listener (Quality of a leader)
  • Leadership qualities:
    The features are:
    A  person who involves in guiding the discussion in correct direction.
    A person who encourage others to speak their views.
    Appreciating others when they share a good point.
    When you support other member statement, re-phrase it and give credit to the person.
    If you contradict a statement, politely justify with proper reasons.
    Never lose your temper or insult anyone.
    Pleasant face expressions and body language is also key to success.
  • Analytical Skills:
    The features are:
    Be sure of the topic and make valid statements related to topic. Invalid or wrong statements create poor impression.
    Accept the valid statements, opinions and suggestions from others.
    At the end, one has to summarize and conclude the discussion by considering all the inputs of the members on a positive note.
  • Subject Knowledge:
    Do some research on current trending topics specific to your country and the world.
    Keep an eye on general GD topics and previous GD topics of the company.
    With the subject information at hand, one can speak naturally with valid statements, which aids communication skills. Gain advantage by providing facts and numbers of the topic.
    Don’t stick to one point through out the discussion (stubborn participant). Accept the statements from others and try to build up new points.
    If you are not aware of the topic, try to listen the opinions from others and prepare new valid statements.
    Gain advantage by initiating the topic. But make sure, you speak meaningful statements with more information at hand.
  • Attitude and Confidence:
    Above all, attitude is the key. Have a pleasant smile and be polite through out the discussion.
    Avoid domination on fellow members.
    Avoid anger and mannerisms. Maintain positive body language.
    Don’t try to interrupt when others speak. Be a good listener too.
    Your behavior through out the discussion decides the confidence level.

What are the group discussion etiquette and preparation?

  • Dress formally and arrive on time. Focus on body language.
  • Carry pen and note pad. (Shows your preparation and sincerity)
  • When topic is given, write important points. Also note down other members points also.
  • Organize the statements properly before you speak.
  • Maintain a friendly tone. Avoid shouting and expressing anger.
  • Maintain positive body language. Avoid mannerisms like Table thumping, pointing fingers, looking here and there, etc…

Few more Tips:

  • If someone directly opposing, contradicting your statements, or willingly targets you, just relax and stay calm. This indirectly shows your conflict handling skills and maturity levels. which is a big asset in GD.
  • If the point of argument is valid, put it in a polite way by using statements like “I think you have an important point there that I did not think of”.
  • If the point of argument is not valid, put it in a polite way by using statements like “let’s seek the opinion of other participants” and turn to others, seeking their opinion with statements like “we seem to have different views here…what do you feel?”
  • If someone targets you directly as a person, just ignore it and continue with the discussion with others.This also shows your maturity.
  • Sometimes, “Losing” an argument is not bad. Even though you convince others about your point, sometimes you may give other person “win” it by saying “I know that you may disagree, but my point is…, however, we need not keep debating this, maybe we need to proceed”.  Sometimes, it may demonstrate your flexibility and maturity.

After knowing the tips, sit with your friends and try a demo GD to get some practice. Take a video of the discussion and assess your performance.