Group discussion is when a group of people comes together to discuss a certain topic. Many Recruiters use group discussion (GD) to test a candidate’s communication skills, leadership skills, test topic knowledge, etc. There are also two other types of GD that test the lateral thinking of a candidate. It is a short case study & Group exercise. Often the group discussion rounds are considered tough, but it is not tough if you follow certain steps.
The general discussion (GD) is a session in which the candidate’s abilities are evaluated, including leadership, communication, social and behavioral skills, courtesy, teamwork, listening skills, general awareness, self-assurance, and problem-solving abilities.
Usually, the Group Discussion comes after the entrance exam for a professional degree. Depending on the firms or organizations, the group discussion may be the first or the last step in the hiring process.
The location of the group conversation does not have to be at the table. Any seating arrangement is OK as long as everyone can see one another’s faces. It is not only a typical talk; it is also a discussion based on facts and knowledge.
What Are The Types Of Group Discussions?
Types of Group discussions are:
- Factual Group Discussions
- Opinion-Based Group Discussion
- Group conversations based on case studies
- Abstract Group Discussion
Factual group discussions: These discussions focus on the real world and test a candidate’s ability to digest information and analyse socioeconomic or everyday concerns.
Opinion-Based Group Discussion: Test how well candidates can articulate their beliefs and viewpoints. These group talks tend to focus more on views than facts.
Group conversations based on case studies: These discussions mimic real-world circumstances. The group is given the specifics of a fictitious scenario by the panellists, and then the group must work together to address it.
Abstract Group Discussion: These are abstract group discussions. In these, the interviewers check to see if a candidate can approach the subject at hand with originality and lateral thinking.
TIP: One strategy to keep engaged in the conversation is to analyse the subject and suggest ideas or subtopics that have not been raised by the other candidates.
Skills required to evaluate in group discussion
The panellists assess a candidate’s performance in a group discussion based on their proficiency in the following areas:
Subject Expertise: Your knowledge of the subject matter for the position is the first thing that employers assess. Employers, for instance, want you to have in-depth knowledge of their products and sales process if you seek a sales position.
Creativity/Originality: Innovative solutions and unconventional thinking are required for some jobs. The panellists may use group activities in these situations to evaluate your creativity and originality of ideas when working in a group.
Voice: Controlling your voice’s pitch, volume, and tone are all examples of communication abilities. In a typical group discussion, employers listen for a forceful approach, an authoritative voice, clarity in speech, and an audible tone.
Bodily language: Your body language conveys a lot about your behaviours and attitude at work.
Fluency: Speaking clearly is a necessary ability for positions in sales or customer service.
Initiative: Self-starting is a sign of good leadership abilities. The panellists will initially assess your attempts to initiate and establish the flow of the conversation.
Active hearing: For managerial or customer service roles, active listening is a crucial skill. In a typical group, everyone tries to emphasise their points to gain attention.
Group Discussion Process
The process of GD Round follows the below-mentioned steps –
Topic Announcement: The subject announcement is the initial step in any GD. The panellist will introduce the subject.
Preparation Time: This is a preparation period during which all applicants will be allowed 2 to 5 minutes to prepare their content.
Discussion Starts: At this point, one applicant, who may be any of the other participants, starts the conversation.
Discussion among participants: After the panellist asked participants to recap the entire discussion, they continued to speak.
Results: This is the last step in this process, where the discussion ratings for each candidate are announced depending on their performance.
Group Discussion Guidelines
The following is a list of the group discussion rules:
Do your homework on the subject: The easy fix is to make a list of all the crucial information while getting ready.
Prepare your content: Have faith in your content Having faith in your content would be beneficial. If you lack confidence, you can fumble through a sentence, which will give the wrong impression.
Do not start if unsure: If you are unsure of your topic, don’t start the conversation.
Avoid conflict: Certain candidates frequently become combative during group discussions. Don’t argue during the conversation.
Learn more about careers in different domains
Group Discussion Mistakes to Avoid
In a group discussion, avoid these Mistakes mentioned below
- If you don’t know much, stop following leads.
- Do not be reluctant to start the conversation.
- Try to take the lead if you are knowledgeable and assured about the subject.
- Don’t steal anyone else’s thoughts or remarks.
- While speaking, make eye contact with all participants.
- You should keep in mind that there are several candidates in a discussion when you start one.
- Do not lose faith in the conversation as a whole.
- The group conversation doesn’t last for very long. It just lasts a brief period of time.
- Avoid speaking slowly.
- In a group conversation, you should always speak up so that everyone can hear and understand you.
- Instead of just chatting during a discussion, try to contribute.
Group Discussion In Interviews
Having Rich Content with Good knowledge: Subject knowledge means being aware of the latest happenings in and around the world.
- Subject knowledge is the prerequisite when you are preparing for the group discussion because then you have the power to take the discussion in any direction you want, and having the subject knowledge, you can contribute more to the discussion.
- The rich and right content is required during the group discussion rounds. You can do this by preparing on a variety of topics. Also, if you can remember some important points, it would be a plus point. Also, having a grasp on the topic will make you a winner in group discussion rounds.
- If you are a reader that loves to read on a variety of topics, there’s no need for last-minute preparation on a certain topic. You can also read magazines that can be beneficial to you but make sure you choose magazines that have rich content rather than magazines that are full of advertisements.
- Being a leader: Group discussion allows you to lead the discussion. When the moderator announces a certain topic, try to grasp ideas on that topic or some important points within a few seconds so that you can start a group discussion with a positive attitude and be a leader.
- It is not necessary that you should speak first if you are not able to grasp an idea soon. You can wait for someone to speak and then add on to it by taking the previous speaker’s name by agreeing or denying the speaker’s views. Giving such remarks (i.e., taking the name of the previous speaker) will make a good impact.
- Beginning the discussion first is an opportunity to make a good impact, but if you are not able to present your views, it creates a negative impact, so make sure that whatever views you try to present are heard and understood well by the other people contributing to the group discussion.
- Try to be relevant to the topic: Whenever you try to present your views, make sure that your views and points match or are related to the topic of the discussion.
- Don’t try to follow the ideas of other speakers. Rather, try to express your ideas as this will create a risk of elimination.
- You can describe your points by using facts and figures as this shows that you have studied the topic or know about the topic well.
- Be a Good listener: Always try to be a good listener and learner during the group discussion rounds, as listening skills are essential during the group discussion rounds.
- Always speaking your views doesn’t make you better try to give other people a chance to speak and express their views.
- Listen carefully to what others are saying, as this will help you, later on, to summarize the discussion or add value to your content and communication.
- Whenever the speaker is having eye contact with you, make sure that you smile or nod your head as it shows that you are listening carefully and are an active participant in the discussion.
- Communication skills: You may have rich content and good subject knowledge, but if you are not able to communicate well, everything is useless.
- You can try to improve your communication skills by having a good vocabulary and a good command of English. You can rehearse before the GD round. Taking up a English speaking course free will help you do so.
- You can use phrases like “I think that…..”; “if I can recall correctly, you said that …..” if you are not sure about a certain point. You can also use words like probably and approximately.
- Body language: It is one of the most important tools for group discussion. The panellist observes everything from the way you sit to your hand movements.
- The body gestures speak a lot about you. In the GD rounds, try not to lean on the chair and sit straight. Try not to knock on the table with your fingers or pen as it creates a distraction to the one speaking.
- Don’t take aggressive moves: You should be firm on your ideas. That is what is expected in a GD. Though you are trying to be audible to make an impact but try not to shout, be aggressive, or not allow any other person to speak.
- No crisscross of ideas: Of course, the topic that’s been given is debatable. You may like to speak on both sides, like with and against the topic but be careful that you don’t crisscross your thoughts as it may have an impact on a person who is having no stand for his thoughts.
- Try not to be a part of the fish market: Being a panellist in a group discussion, your ability to lead and play in the team is measured. There may be a time when everyone is speaking, and no one is being heard at that point in time. It would be a good move to be quiet and gather your thoughts and then try to explain your point by raising your voice initially.
Group Discussion Tips
- Try to make eye contact with everyone in the group discussion when they are speaking, or you are speaking as it shows your alertness.
- Try not to interrupt when others are talking as the recruiters are looking for a candidate who has team spirit
- It may happen that the other person has stolen the point that you may have noted down or planned to speak in GD. Do not panic. Take a deep breath and come back with the news like nothing happened, as the panelists can see how you react to such circumstances.
- If you are unaware of the topic, let the group mates speak first, take a clue and try to make your points. Or else you can rephrase what your group mates want to offer or try to reiterate their points, or in the worst case, you can summarize the discussion.
- If you are aware of the topic, try to jot down the points and be the first to start the discussion. In this way, you can head towards a meaningful point of your choice.
- You can participate in a mock GD. This will help to open the thought process to diverse topics, and a plus point, you can know about the strengths and shortcomings. You can also practice in front of the mirror. It also does a miracle.
- Most of the topics of GD are picked from the newspapers to make sure you are fully aware of what’s going on around the world. If you don’t read newspapers and magazines, you can browse on different websites that will give you an overview of the latest happenings.
- You have noticed that your friend just makes 2 points whereas you presented 5 points, but he was the winner; remember the quantity doesn’t, but quality does. Make points that are relevant to the topic or are related. Don’t try to go out of the box.
Phases of group discussion
Initial phase – you may be Anxious and nervous in this phase. This general understanding of the candidates has been noticed. If you tried to be clear with your facts, and have the relevant knowledge needed for the topic, you will be able to catch the attention of the team members and the panelists. But if you do it because you want to do it. It will impact negatively.
Conflict – When the conflict started to increase, the group members try to challenge each other with their analytical data and facts. You may find some members may be supporting the views expressed, and some may be against them. In this phase, try to be calm and emphatic. There may be passive participants who try to make them involved in the group discussion. You can also use your creativity in this phase.
Teamwork – In this phase, the conflicts are easy and quick to solve, and the team members communicate openly as members come to a calm and collaborative mindset.
Performance- In this phase, the evaluation of skills is done based on decision-making, problem-solving, and teamwork. When everyone has presented their views, here comes the role of collaboration.
Conclusion– It is the final phase. All the points have been noted, and they try to reach a solution.
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