How to Excel in Group Discussion
Group Discussions are conducted to ascertain whether a candidate has certain personality traits that an organization wishes to see in its members. The following article is a guide to excel in the Group Discussion.
A Group Discussion group consists of 3 to 4 panelists (jury members) to monitor the discussion and 10 to 12 candidates. The panelists will present the candidates with a topic, mostly based on current affairs or other events, to the group of candidates to discuss.
Each individual is given a maximum of 2 minutes to express his/her views on the topic in English or Hindi (English preferred). The panelists can question the participants during the discussion. The candidates will be handed a pen & paper to make notes during the discussion.
Group Discussion categories
Topic-based GD topics can be further categorized into three categories:
Require familiarity with day to day issues, trends over the years, facts & figures, etc. These test a candidate’s ability to analyze & gather information. A thorough understanding of the current affairs combined with good interpersonal skills is what is required.
Political/ Controversial Topics
Based on Politics. Try to convince others and at the same time know that others have opinions too. Gradually build your point and do not lose your temper. It’s a discussion, not a debate. So, one should speak cogently, whenever they do.
Abstract topics can be random. They test the candidate’s ability of lateral thinking, creativity and spontaneity. The scope in abstract topics are immense. Pay attention to what others are saying and try to build up on it.
How are the candidates evaluated?
The candidates are evaluated on the following:
- Knowledge about the topic
- Leadership skills: How well they manage the group discussion, how well they interact with the other candidates.
- Ability to handle pressure
- Command over their language
- Knowledge in current affairs, banking & financial awareness
- How well they express their opinion and listen to the others
- How well they conclude the topic
Tips to excel at the Group Discussion
Look presentable: Be presentable at the Group Discussion. Dress neatly in a formal attire, have a good body language and give the panelists a good first impression.
Exhibit your leadership abilities: One of the factors you will be evaluated on is your leadership skills. It’s a good idea to start a discussion, but it is not the most important thing. The most important thing is to participate in the discussion, listen to the others and manage the discussion well. Start the discussion if you have a fair knowledge about the topic, if not wait for others start it.
Start with a strong argument: When it’s your turn to express your views, start with a strong argument or quote of an expert from the industry to make an impact. It’s better if you include some data/statistics.
Be patient: Be calm and wait for your turn to speak and do not cut anyone while they’re speaking. Let others express their opinion. If someone presents the point you were planning to make, present the same point with a different perspective and wider viewpoint. Do not get into arguments. Etiquettes are important in Group Discussions.
Stick to the topic: Avoid getting carried away while presenting your facts. Stick to the topic & talk in context and stay relevant. Don’t beat around the bush too much, make your point and be concise. Avoid asking questions to other candidates. This might give them a chance to contradict you.
Be factual: Panelists are more impressed when you present your point with facts & statistics. Read newspapers every day and memorize facts & numbers and speak flawlessly.
Control your voice: Do not shout or raise your voice. Have the right pitch and be polite. Actions such as unfriendly gestures or raised voices are considered impolite.
Listen & interact with others: The panel pays special attention to how you listen and interact with your fellow candidates. Make sure you listen to others, and interact with them. It’s a good idea to make notes of other candidates’ points and incorporate them when you express your views. It shows the panelists you were attentively listening.
Conclude the discussion: Be the person to conclude the discussion. The ability to conclude a discussion gives you an edge over the other candidates.
Follow the instructions: Be punctual & follow all the rules and guidelines laid down by the panelists.