It is necessary that
you should be precise and clear. As a rule evaluators do not
look for the wordage produced. Your knowledge on a given
subject, your precision and clarity of thought are the
things that are evaluated. Irrelevant talks lead you
nowhere. You should speak as much as necessary, neither more
nor less. Group discussions are not debating stages.
Ability to listen is
also what evaluators judge. They look for your ability to
react on what other participants say. Hence, it is necessary
that you listen carefully to others and then react or
proceed to add some more points. Your behavior in the group
is also put to test to judge whether you are a loner or can
work in a group.
You should be able
to convey your thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly
before a group of people. Confidence and level headedness in
doing so is necessary. These add value to your presentation.
In case you are not good at it, you might gain by joining an
institute that offers specialized courses in public
speaking. For instance, British Council Division's English
Language Teaching Centre offers a wide range of courses like
conversation skills, business communication skills, business
writing, negotiation skills and presentation skills. Mostly
people attend these courses to improve their communication
skills. Students here are involved in activities which use
communication skills and teachers provide inputs, monitor
and facilitate the classes. The course at the Centre makes
you confident enough to speak before people without any
Knowledge and Ideas Regarding a Given
Knowledge of the subject under discussion and clarity of
ideas are important. Knowledge comes from consistent
reading on various topics ranging from science and
technology to politics. In-depth knowledge makes one
confident and enthusiastic and this in turn, makes one
sound convincing and confident.
Leadership and Coordinating
The basic aim of a group discussion is to judge a
candidate's leadership qualities. The examiner withdraws and
becomes a silent spectator once the discussion starts. A
candidate should display tactfulness, skill, understanding
and knowledge on varied topics, enterprise, forcefulness and
other leadership qualities to motivate and influence other
candidates who may be almost equally competent.
Exchange of Thoughts
A group discussion is an exchange of thoughts and ideas
among members of a group. These discussions are held for
selecting personnel in organisations where there is a high
level of competition. The number of participants in a group
can vary between 8 and 15. Mostly a topic or a situation is
given to group members who have to discuss it within 10 to
The purpose is to
get an idea about candidates in a short time and make
assessments about their skills, which normally cannot be
evaluated in an interview. These skills may be team
membership, leadership skills, listening and articulation
A note is made of
your contributions to the discussion, comprehension of the
main idea, the rapport you strike, patience, assertion,
accommodation, amenability, etc. Body language and eye
contact too are important points which are to be considered.
Addressing the Group as a Whole
In a group discussion it is not necessary to address
anyone by name. Even otherwise you may not know everyone's
names. It better to address the group as a whole.
Address the person
farthest from you. If he can hear you everyone else too can.
Needless to add, as for the interview, attend the group
discussion in formal dress. The language used should also be
formal, not the language used in normal conversations. This
is not to say you should use a high sounding, pedantic
language. Avoiding both, just use formal, plain and simple
language. Confidence and coolness while presenting your
viewpoint are of help. See that you do not keep repeating a
point. Do not use more words than necessary. Do not be
superfluous. Try to be specific. Do not exaggerate.
Start making preparations for interview and group
discussions right away, without waiting till the eleventh
hour, this is, if and when called for them. Then the time
left may not be adequate. It is important to concentrate on
subject knowledge and general awareness. Hence, the prime
need for thorough preparation. Remember, the competition is
It may so happen
that you are called for interviews and group discussions
from three or four organizations but are not selected by
any. The reason obviously lies in your not being
In a group
discussion you may be given a topic and asked to express
your views on it. Or in a case study GD, students have to
read a case study and suggest ways of tackling the problem.
For this you should have a good general knowledge, need to
be abreast with current affairs, should regularly read
newspapers and magazines. Your group behaviour and
communication skills are on test, i.e. how you convince the
others and how clearly you are able to express your points
of view. You should be articulate, generate ideas, not
sound boring, should allow others to speak, and adopt a
stand on a given subject. During the course of the GD this
stand can even be changed, giving the impression that you
are open to accommodate others' viewpoints.
Points to Remember
1. Knowledge is
strength. A candidate with good reading habits has more
chances of success. In other words, sound knowledge on
different topics like politics, finance, economy, science
and technology is helpful.
2. Power to convince
effectively is another quality that makes you stand out
3. Clarity in speech and expression is yet
another essential quality.
3. If you are not sure
about the topic of discussion, it is better not to initiate.
Lack of knowledge or wrong approach creates a bad
impression. Instead, you might adopt the wait and watch
attitude. Listen attentively to others, may be you would be
able to come up with a point or two later.
4. A GD is a formal occasion where slang is
5. A GD is not a
debating stage. Participants should confine themselves to
expressing their viewpoints. In the second part of the
discussion candidates can exercise their choice in agreeing,
disagreeing or remaining neutral.
6. Language use should be simple, direct and
7. Don't interrupt a
speaker when the session is on. Try to score by increasing
your size, not by cutting others short.
8. Maintain rapport
with fellow participants. Eye contact plays a major role.
Non-verbal gestures, such as listening intently or nodding
while appreciating someone's viewpoint speak of you
9. Communicate with
each and every candidate present. While speaking don't keep
looking at a single member. Address the entire group in such
a way that everyone feels you are speaking to him or her.