Tips for a Successful Group Discussion

Talk to any MBA aspirant or a job seeker, he can very well tell the importance of a Group Discussion also called GD. In the current scenario, group discussion has become an important selection criteria for the students aspiring to get into a good B School and all leading organizations have started depending on this process for the recruitment of new employees.

What is Group Discussion ?

A group discussion is simply a method instrumental in judging the team spirit, leadership qualities, out of the box thinking, and other managerial qualities in an individual. In a layman’s language, a group discussion is a discussion involving a group of around seven to eight participants.

How HR conducts the interview ?

The commonly asked questions to a job aspirant are:

  • Tell me something about yourself ?
  • Throw some light on your strengths and weaknesses
  • Why do you think our organization should hire you ?
  • Salary negotiations and joining date

All the above questions do tell us a lot about the individual’s intelligence, thought process, characteristics, family background, educational qualifications etc but fail to highlight some other important aspects of the individual’s personality essential to survive well in an organization.

Do you think an individual can work alone and produce results in an organization ?

The answer is No. Every individual works in a team and has to rely on his fellow workers for his easy working and better output. He has to be a good team player to make his mark in the ever challenging corporate world.

Through group discussions, the interviewer can evaluate how well an individual can perform in a team. He can very easily find out how well an individual can perform in teams, how good a leader he is and also his creative skills and intelligence quotient.

Every individual must learn the successful tips of group discussion to fair well in the interviews as well as the screening process of educational institutes.

Here are Some Tips for a Successful Group Discussion

  • The first and the foremost tip for an individual to perform well in a GD is to learn the art of participation. Don’t expect others to force you to speak. Take the initiative, participate in the discussion and share your ideas with others. Never shout in a group discussion and always wait for your turn to speak. Remember it’s a discussion, not a fighting ground. Be polite but firm.

  • Try to take the initiative. Don’t wait for the others to start the discussion. Always volunteer yourself and start the discussions in an extremely confident manner. Introduce yourself and your team members and then start with the topic but one thing to remember here is that one must initiate the Group Discussion only when he or she is well versed with the topic. Don’t take the risk if you yourself are not very clear about your thoughts.

  • A leader is the one who actually gives the group discussion a direction and guides other team members when they seem to be lost or confused. Like a true leader, an individual must try his level best to refrain from personal favours. Don’t only ask your acquaintance to speak, give equal opportunity to other participants as well. As the leader of the group, he must ensure that the discussion does not end up in fighting and reaches a conclusion.

  • One must speak only if he is well prepared with the topic. Don’t just speak for the sake of points or marks; speak only when you are absolutely sure about what you are speaking. Never depend on guess works in group discussions as it sometimes can seriously go against you. Avoid using slangs or crack jokes in between the discussions as it is considered highly unprofessional.

  • Never be rigid in group discussions. Always keep in mind that the other person is also as learned as you. Always listen to what he is saying and then only respond. Be a good and a patient listener. Don’t just simply draw conclusions as there is always a room for discussions. Debate logically and sensibly and try to take everyone along with you.

  • Read a lot and always keep your eyes and ears open. Always begin your day with the newspaper and know what is happening around you. An individual must be aware of the current events to succeed well in a group discussion.

  • Be alert always. A participant usually gets around 15 minutes to think about the topic. You need to think fast and cover as much as you can. Always take care of your words. The content has to be sensible, crisp and well supported with examples or real life situations. Don’t adopt a laidback attitude or yawn in between group discussions.

  • Take care of your dressing as well. Don’t wear flashy clothes while going for a group discussion or interview. Female candidates should also avoid cakey makeup or flaunt heavy jewellery. The clattering sounds of bangles sometimes act as a disturbing element in formal discussions. Be in professional attire and avoid loud colours.

  • An individual must keep in his mind that group discussion is meant for bringing out the managerial skills of an individual. The organizer of the group discussion will never appreciate you or give you the credit if you shout or fight in group discussions. Be calm, composed, confident and neutral to create an impression in the discussion and win over others.

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