Group Discussion Tips:Easy to use in interview (2019 Update)

A group discussion can be conducted before or after a preliminary interview or evaluation process.There are a certain things we can look out for before we face a GD.

    Group Discussion Tips
  1. Reasons for conducting Group Discussion
  2. Group Discussion for Evaluation of Interpersonal Skills
  3. Group Discussion an important factor to hire
  4. Group Dynamics evaluation using Group Discussion
  5. Exhibit confidence
  6. Understand the GD topic
  7. Note down the points to speak
  8. Maintain etiquette in Group Discussion
  9. Help others with an opportunity
  10. Group Discussion is not a debate
  11. Do not interrupt others
  12. Stay calm
  13. Don't Show off
  14. Recap the Group Discussion experience

Reasons for conducting Group Discussion

Personality and appearance Groomed well, I manage the process with timely, pleasant behavior and behave creditably with the Interview Team. HR feels happy that I score pass mark with him and the Expert panel.

Responses to different situations enacted at the time of interview I communicated very well to the satisfaction of the panelists, gave them the expected responses and was not termed as ‘showing off’ and a down to earth executive

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Selection criteria I come out as a confident and creditable individual with communication skills and education background just needed for the position.

If you look at all the above evaluation criteria it takes into account the individual person and his achievements.In case we ask him to share his experience about various situations he encountered even then we are asking the person to give his take on the whole case without looking at the group dynamics.

Group Discussion for Evaluation of Interpersonal Skills

All of us generally enjoy interpersonal relationship of a high order when it comes to the general population,
  • Family member
  • Family friends
  • Friends
  • Vendors
  • General public
  • Government

These personalities do not pose a threat to my individuality and they understand and appreciate me for what I do. Probably, there is an element of consideration in all these interactions – ‘peace’. I do not mind bending low to or compromise even on my personal principles to buy ‘peace’. The interactor with me in all these situations also does not mind bending low or compromise with me to give me ‘peace’.

Researchers, Scientists, Teachers, Poets and such professionals can easily survive as individuals who need not have excellent interpersonal relationship. They thrive on individualism and sustain their loneliness and subject acumen to grow in their line of thought (personal goal I can say) and achieve what they want also. At the end of the day it counts for them that the success achieved is “individual” and may not have the second person for their success.

Group Discussion an important factor to hire

I have to understand, appreciate and foresee every move they make, word they speak and more so their capabilities in general.

The Job opportunity that is being discussed revolves around the above qualities – whether they exist in me and I can wield them at the right time to get or give ‘ peace’ to the environment. Here environment means the Organisation where I would work and its goals and purposes.

On one-on-one with Panel and me, they have identified my potential to be a good value addition to the Institution. They would now like me to prove to be a good “team member” also. To identify this potential in me and to make it clear in their recommendation for my appointment, they would expect me to go through a process known as “Group Discussion” in a simulated environment.

Once shortlisted, I am very happy with what I have done in the personal interview. My next test is get into a room of perfect strangers, interact with them and being observed and proved to be the ‘team man’ that I should be to be considered for employment

Group Dynamics evaluation using Group Discussion

One of the most important reasons of interviewers conducting interviews is to test the participants in aspect of group interaction.The reasons for emphasis in a group discussion is because of the entire corporate industry counting on the multi team interaction as a backbone for its success. We should ensure the following factors and personality traits are exhibited in a group discussion for them to favor all the right parameters in a group interaction.

Exhibit confidence

I will walk into the hall with an air a of confident person and take my assigned seat easily. While confidence will be my strength, I would not – dare not – pose as an arrogant person.

Will exchange pleasantries with my co-contestants and not treat them as enemies or those who are after my appointment. I will always keep in mind that the whole exercise is to assess my teaming capacity.

The basic idea we have of any interview is the competition that we would have face.We are usually used to people being very serious before an interview.The natural thing we would end up doing is we would all sit in our places not talking to each other.This is because we have already started treating them as our competition or people to replace us.

Remember the whole point of a group discussion.The GD is used to see how interact with a group of people and how productive we are in doing it.So we can go ahead and have small conversations with people.This way we have actually created a rapport among the contestants of the GD.This way once we start talking,we would actually find it easier to make eye contact and put our points forward.

Understand the GD topic

I will certainly understand the topic and the time allotted. In case of doubt in a topic, will get it clarified before the actual process. Will start formulating strategy with the knowledge and data that I have in me and make bullets in my mind or a note pad if the process allows that.

Most of the group discussion topics usually take some time to be understood.This is why most interviewers will give you some time to go over the topic and come up with points.The GD topics are most of the time open ended and left to the interpretation of the interviewers.

The reason why the GD topics are open ended is for us to interpret the topic and approach it in our unique ways.Many candidates end up taking sides in a topic and try to pursue it till the end of the discussion.Remember this what we are not suppose to do.The above strategy would have worked very well in case of debate.We are trying to discuss a topic,so we give both the advantages and disadvantages

Various group discussion tips to clear GD easily

Note down the points to speak

Will assimilate the bullets and start narrating the issues in my own style with clear diction and speed measurable and understandable. Will ensure that it is not pure lecture and give valid data where needed and explanation where substantiation for my views needed.

Use the time given to understand the topic wisely.There is no harm in trying to think the topic through and writing down some points to be used during the GD.It is not necessary to write down the points in form of full sentence ,just write down the key points.In case,you know any facts that might be relevant to the topic should definitely be used in the discussion.

It is actually advised to use the points along with facts to substantiate the points that have made.This way the interviewer evaluating the GD knows that you are making relevant points and not making things up.It may not be hard facts.We can even use approximate percentages to make a point.

Example:Most of the people opting for a scheme by the governments are from urban and semi urban areas.Now let us rephrase it.More thatn 60% of the people who are opting for the scheme are from urban and semi urban areas.The second statement looks more credible because we are stating percentages for the split in population instead of saying most of the population.

Maintain etiquette in Group Discussion

Will ensure to maintain discipline and will not interfere when others put forth their views in the time allotted to them. Will only take notes and when the right opportunity comes, will negate or support their views.

The tendency of people to start arguing in a group discussion is very high due to the high level competition.This is what we are suppose to avoid.Make sure we are not arguing with people or interrupting people while they are talking.We may also not agree with anything and everything that people have to say.The best way to put forth the point is to say that we may not agree completely with the other person's point and gently slide in our opinion.

If we feel some of the points by other participants are really good then we can appreciate them and add on to what they have said and take it further.We should also make sure that we listen to all the participants carefully and get a clear point of view without interrupting them half way.It is best to wait for them to get done with their points and then later try to go over the points.

Help others with an opportunity

Once I have done my part, will look around. Check for any weak links – in terms of lack of confidence or communication abilities – will lend a helping hand in egging on that person to say something or say it correctly without being bossy and being intrusive. This point is additional – it will indicate to the observer that I can lead and perform beyond a team member.

The whole point of a group discussion is to work as a team.when we look at people around us and observe,we may see that not every one is very confident in put forward their points.In this scenario,we can ask people to give other people chance to put their idea forward.This will definitely get us brownie points.The whole gesture of doing this will exhibit the fact that we are committed to the cause of discussing the topic with all the members of the team and also the fact that we are exhibiting leadership qualities taking charge of the situation and helping people who are not able to express their views in the group discussion.

Group Discussion is not a debate

Will not overly negate for the sole purpose of scoring points but will ensure to put across to the other members that the views of the other speak is wrong and in which sense – without being rude or aggressive.

Remember that we don't have to pick sides in a discussion.We are supposed to take an abstract view of the topic and weigh the advantages and disadvantages.We don't have to agree with all the points given by others,but don't be in a hurry.We should patiently wait for the completion of the points delivered by the person and then gently put forth the contradicting views.

Do not interrupt others

Will not bulldoze my way into taking somebody’s allotted time. Will however ensure that if somebody has finished and their time is available, will grab the opportunity to add on, supplement and complement the other speakers and rephrase their views in my own style. This quality indicates that I do not while away time, take notes and reproduce them at the relevant time to the right forum.

Always be ready to grab the opportunity available.In most cases when people finish there will be a small gap in which we could try to deliver the points.

Stay calm

Throughout the exercise, will not indulge in fidget or bite my nails, drum on the table or stare at ceiling. Will give rapt attention to all the happenings and make acknowledging sounds where relevant.

In a GD,listening is equally important as speaking.Make sure that we are always paying attention to what others are trying to convey.Do not look elsewhere when someone is talking.Try to make eye contact withe the person who is talking.

Use your time effectively

I understand clearly that I am not doing any favor by not using time allotted to me and also not exhibiting any great valor by taking somebody else’s time to boast of my views.

Make sure that you speak for the right amount of time during the opportunity provided.People usually get carried away and keep talking for longer than required.

Don't Show off

I will ensure that to show off being in a group, to gain a point, will not crack jokes of gender nature, sexist remarks, political siding statements or affecting religious sentiments. Be as far as possible neutral, smile if somebody cracks a joke of above nature – not to burst out laughing but only a crease of smile in my lips.

The point is to sound confident during the interview and not arrogant.So make sure the comments that you make are politically correct.

Recap the Group Discussion experience

  • Recap what has happened during the Group Discussion

  • Self introspection of the process.

  • My personal impression – rate my performance

  • Where was very the GD very good?

  • Where did I get uncomfortable?

  • Is it because of basic weakness or situation? – analyze

  • Possible to correct it – will work on it immediately

  • If this exercise itself is a success, will relish, enjoy and keep it in good memory box

  • If this did not work well, will find the weakness, work on them and do well the next time.

Wishing you all to be the best interviewees in your own right!