With more and more graduates thrown onto the mounting heap of unemployment each day, the queue of applicants for any interview in the country has elongated. As companies find it impossible to accommodate all the resources of this far-stretched queue, a cut short is often required. This is where Group Discussions dominate the field. In the present scenario, group discussions are considered as a way for mass elimination to filter the list of aspirants. And as a result of this, it is really important to put up a good show, as to outrun your companions in the discussion. It is a common trend to see people who are often good at the technical aspects, shown the way out because they find it difficult to cross the first hurdle. This may be because of many reasons ranging from bad communications skills to fear to pop-off in front of a group. Group discussions for interviews are not a stage to fight your way through and dominate. It is being looked upon by interviewers from many angles.
Table of Contents
Let your appearance talk
Dressing yourself up for the occasion makes a statement that you are here with a purpose. Your looks always do some talking. Look into the mirror imagining that you are already part of your Dream Company, and you are getting ready for an important meeting. This will not only make you noticed, in the group, but also will give you confidence.
Be present in time for the discussion and make sure that you maintain the right posture while being seated. Carry a notepad and a pen with you to pen down the important points that are to be thrown in and out during the discussion. You may sometimes fail to recollect the points in the heat of the moment if you do not note it down.
Know the topic
Make sure that you open all doors to the topic for the group discussion. Analyze the topic from all sides and note down all the points- both positive and negative, which comes to your mind. Have them listed on your notepad. If there is any doubt regarding the topic, make sure that you get it clarified before the discussion starts. It is not proper to do so once the discussion has begun. Including various statistics, references, events, opinions of famous people, and historical data related to the topic can be very crucial as this gives an impression that you are aware of the events that happen around you.
Be the first to get off the blocks
Initiating the discussion always gives you a slight edge. A right start can help you win the attention of evaluators for sure. But do not get disappointed if you are not the one to do so, because there is more to come. Make sure that you shoot the first arrow only if you have good knowledge on the topic. Most often people stumble at the start and getting back on the track will seem difficult at most times. Begin it in a neutral stand, rather than totally supporting or opposing the topic. It should be made in such a way that it lays the path for more interactions and opinions.
Be a good listener
This is one of the most essential traits for a good discussion. It is very important to listen patiently to what the other members who are part of the discussion have to say. An expression of interest on your face only sparks a positive opinion for the valuator. Lending your ears to the points that others shoot out, increases your knowledge on the topic and helps you to give a makeover for your points. It may also open up a door for you to put forth a suggestion on the opinion that the previous person has spoken about. Be sure that you note down all the important points that are put in by others of the group, so that you can use these later on in the discussion. Remember that this skill is very important from a company’s view, to listen to the good suggestions put up by your colleagues.
Be clear on your points
It is not about talking for a long time, but being clear about the topics and presenting it in such a way, that the people around you understands what your opinions are. Often people talk a lot and this takes them off the topic. What the evaluators will mainly look for is whether you are able to communicate what is inside you to the people of the group. This is the foremost essence that most companies look in fresh minds – to see if you are capable enough to communicate your ideas to your team. The search for this quality arises from the fact that in today’s corporate world, active communication between team members are the primary reason for the success of teams, which ultimately takes the company to greater heights. Support the points that you put in, with facts, related events in the past and present, statistics and words by famous people. Remember to maintain eye contact with the members, not the evaluators while you talk. The evaluator is not a part of the discussion team and so looking at his face while talking makes no sense.
Remember, it’s not an argument
It is always good to stick to the truth that you are not taking part in a debate, so as to emerge victorious among the group. The discussion should be done in such a way that everyone in the group gets a chance to express his/her views and these opinions are then taken to common grounds. Learn to appreciate others for their views. Make a statement like – “I totally agree to what you said” before you come up with your share. If you do not agree to what someone else said, do not interrupt by raising the sword, but in turn, wait for the person to finish, and then raise your objection.
Move to a conclusion
Always keep the topic in mind and be aware to not slip off the boundaries. The aim is not to stretch the discussion for a longer time, but to reach a common destination – one that is acceptable for all the folks of the discussion. Try to make the evaluator feel that you are striving for a conclusion fortified by gathering points from each member of the discussion.