There are certain things that you should never do in a group discussion or avoid in a GD.Group discussion may look like a good platform to put your views forward but you should be careful as to realize what is the real point of a GD?so the point is to be a team player not to show who can express and dominate the GD. There are many such things to avoid in a GD
The familiar surroundings with family and friends gives me confidence but with a stranger or even so with group of strangers, I feel numb and constricted. I am lost for words and mumble.
Initially the butterfly in your stomach will refuse to leave and stays with you throughout the process.
The seat that you choose may give some confidence to you but if it is allotted by others or per force you have to take the empty seat, you become pale and sweaty and uncomfortable.
Failing to take care of the following “A”s will be a doom start for your career aspirations!
The problem with the whole initial lack of confidence due to the lack of familiarity.In most cases,we are anxious or we lack confidence because of the unknown element present in the process.We may have doubts about what the topic would be.We would be worried about the amount of time that would be allocated to prepare for the discussion and the various kinds of topics that would be allocated to us.
The best way to gain confidence is to go through the entire process in your mind.We can revise and go through the various gd topics.This way we will be prepared for the kind of topics that may come up during the gd.It never hurts to prepare too much.We can even go ahead mentally go through the process to visualize it.We can also participate in mock group discussion.A mock gd will definitely give you an experience of the happenings.Try to attend as many GDs as possible to gain confidence in the process.
In this form of group discussion the topic is given to everyone at the same time.The topic may be announced in a common hall or it may be given in a written format as a part of the interview question paper.Now after the topics are announced all the participants are given 2-5 minutes to prepare on the topic.Once we are prepared with the topic it is better for us to write down the points on a piece of paper.Now after the allocated time is over the interviewer will give each and every one of the participants an opportunity to put forth their points.In most cases,the points are given by participants in an orderly fashion and the interviewer will evaluate the points given by individuals.In this type of gd there is no concept of we agreeing or disagreeing with other's opinions.
In this type of a group discussion the topic is revealed to all the participants of a gd.All the participants are given a reasonable time to prepare for the topic.Once the gd starts,all the participants will start putting forth their points for discussion.All the participants will start giving their opinion once the gd starts.The flow of the gd is decided by the participants and the interviewer will usually not interfere in the interview process.This is actually a better way of conducting a gd because the participants can put forth their view and listen to the pros and cons of their points,if required they can even elaborate on it as well.
Now off to the arena – where you have to perform or perish
The major parameter for evaluation in a gd is the communication skills that the candidates have.Most candidates will miss out in communication due to the lack of confidence.There are a lot of factors that effect the communication during the discussion.Make sure to maintain a confident body language while putting forth your points in front of the interviewer.We should maintain eye contact not only with the person after whom we speak but with all the other participants as the point of the discussion is for all of us to discuss and come to an effective solution.We should also listen to every one speak during the discussion.We have this tendency to not listen after we have finished speaking.This actually gives a very bad impression on us.We can also take notes if some points are significant and can be used in the future course of the discussion.
It is not sufficient just to speak.We should make sure that we are having a structured thought process.We told you in the beginning to come up with points and write them down.Make sure we write them down in an order.We should first analyze the flow of the group discussion.The factual points that are used to build the concept should be used in the beginning.The points that are elaborating the case are concepts that should be used in the middle of the discussion.In most discussions,the middle portion of elaborating the topic is what takes maximum chunk of the time.Most participants come up with their points during this phase.The discussion should be done and would eventually lead to the conclusion.In most cases the conclusion is forced by the interviewer.We keep talking and never consider ending it.Interviewer would usually tell us to wrap it up.
You lack confidence – otherwise you would have picked up contents from the other speakers and articulated in your own style. Even in your allotted time, you are not able to muster four words or sentences.
You just pass on your turn to your neighbour or say “sorry” or “I mean” or “what I wanted to say or mention is...” or only throaty sounds and no words come out
There are a lot of things that you can say about a topics.It is fact that no one knows everything about everything.The way to go about a gd on topic that is totally unrelated is that we first list or write down the points that we clearly know.We should be able articulate whatever we know clearly rather than trying to come up with factually inaccurate points.Make sure you stay calm during the discussion process.Let us assume,there is a topic that we have no clue about.We should patiently wait and listen to what others have to say.This will give us a good understanding of the basics concepts about the topic.Now,using the points people have made ,we can come up with some points for or against the topic.We do not have to repeat the points.Use the points give by others as facts and try to come up with interpretations.
Since the points do not come and no new ideas strike you, you find it difficult even to sit inside the room with others. You wait for the bell to go as if in a class room with unfriendly colleagues.
One of the most important parts of a group discussion is the clarity of thought we have while making the points.strong>We could get clarity only if we have understood the topics clearly.Always try to understand the topic and write down all the points related to it.Majority of the people think that a GD is about talking,while actually it is not.Most interviewers want us to convey our thoughts in the clearest form possible.It would not matter if we speak for half the gd process and lack clarity in what we speak.Make every point we make count.It is ok to speak for less time but with very high clarity.Clarity is what matters the most.
Here people compromise to be with you – they pity you but cannot take it sportively to take you along, motivate you and allow you to perform better. They may lose their chance.
You cannot expect empathy – in case it involves losing their seat to allow you to gain confidence
Empathy will be outside of the GD area – they may even be apologetic not being able to help you
All said and done,people in the discussion are competing for a job offer from a top organization.Please do not expect people to give you an opportunity or empathize with your inability to talk with confidence.Nobody is going to give up their opportunity to give you a chance.Similarly,even we should do the same.We should make use of every opportunity coming our way to put forth the best of points that come to our mind.Make sure we are not very aggressive in making the points.Being too aggressive gives us the image of a bad team player which may create a negative image in front of the interviewer.
Topic given is the one that you have prepared extensively and even won laurels in your previous college competitions or previous interviews.
With this scenario, if you try to bulldoze your way in, forcefully put forth your views and show nonchalant attitude, you score less since ,doze of overconfidence is a “no no” in majority Organizations.
Knowing so much, never ever venture into cross talk – even when the other participant tries to prove your point wrong. Wait for the rebuttal or summation opportunity rather than butting in to get into an argument. The Panel will take you as non-tolerant – more so as a weak “listener”
Your turn is over. The other person begins and raises a point which you are 100% sure is wrong, do not get into the defense mode. Note down the point and raise it in rebuttal or at the summation time. Disturbing somebody's flow is taken as over-zealous or irritating type.
Never fidget or bite your nails – or stare at the ceiling. All these do not add up to a good team man – shows your lack of interest or uncomfortable you are in this kind of environment.
You are not doing any favour by not using time allotted to you. You are also not at liberty to take up more time than others to prove a point. Beware!
With the comfort of being in a group, to gain a point do 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 your lips.
All your points will have to be opposing or supporting the issues / concerns raised. Not one action or word or body language to create disharmony or causing individual discomfort.
Do not stare at or stare down people around you. Allow the sweep as good tactic rather than focusing on one individual (generally the smiling or perceived weak link for you)