In most of the campus placement programs and in case of fresher interviews, Group Discussion is a very common feature. It is important that you prepare well for Group Discussion. If you do not do well in a Group Discussion you will not even be able to reach to a Personal Interview level even if you are the best candidate for the job.
What is Group Discussion?
Group Discussion in an interview process is an exercise wherein a set of people are given a topic to present their views on the topic and reach to a conclusion in favor of or against it. For example – If topic is “Should Betting be legalized in India”, then each of the participant in the group should take a side, whether yes or no and then support their view by giving a reasoning for the view.
Why A Group Discussion?
If there are a no. of people for the interviews (which generally is a case in Campus Placements) then Group discussion helps a company to segregate candidates for personal interview in small amount of time as it is very difficult for them to go through a no. of CV’s. Group discussion also highlights some traits of the individuals which are not visible in Personal Interview.
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What is the interviewer looking in a Group Discussion ?
Interviewer looks at following individual traits in a Personal Interview:
- Listening Ability – Whether an individual is listening to the ideas and views presented by other participants and then giving his/her views accordingly.
- Ability to think about a problem in a structured manner – Let’s understand this with an example. So if the topic is “Should betting be legalized in India” then first you should take a side whether yes or no, then you should give a few reasons why, how it would help and current problems it will solve. Then you should also think about the new possible problems that may crop up and possible solution for those problems.
- Ability to take a judgement – Whether an individual is able to understand the problem and take a judgement himself, yes or no. Judgement should be supported by good reasoning as well.
- Flexibility – So if the the topic is “Whether betting should be legalized in India and If an individual has taken a initial position of YES. After discussion, group reaches to a conclusion NO, then that individual should be able to accept NO if he has no more points to support his initial view.
- Leadership Skills – Whether an individual is able to take others along in a Group Discussion.
How to face Group Discussion ?
Let’s now discuss, how you should take on a Group Discussion.
- First thing you need to work on in a Group Discussion would be to relax. Most of the time it happens that you are too much worried about getting the job and that makes you nervous. This in turn hampers your thinking process and the result is a bad participation. You really don’t want to do that; best way to relax your mind is “BREATHE”. Take slow deep breaths and this will help you relax and think more about the topic of the Group Discussion.
- After the topic of the Group Discussion is disclosed, you will be given a minute to gather your thoughts. Use this time and think about the topic in a structured manner. Write down whatever comes to your mind and use that while participating.
- It is always good to start the discussion but do not try it if you do not understand the topic completely or you are nervous. In such a situation you should relax and first listen to the points presented by other participants. In the mean time you can frame your point and put it forward.
- In a Group Discussion, you will not get all the time in the world when every one is fighting just to speak something. So give concise points and give others a chance to speak.
- Do not ever try to snap in between and let other complete their point. However when you find someone who is just speaking himself and not giving a chance to others, then you can politely ask the person to let others speak as well.
- It is not necessary that you will always know about a topic, in such cases you should listen to what others are saying and then build your points on that.
- You should try to exhibit leadership skills such as, a) If any individual is speaking a lot and not giving chance to others, politely asking him let others speak. b) If any individual is not speaking at all, then you may ask him to give his views as well (only if you have already given your views). c) you may volunteer to organize points given by every one and writing them on a paper or board (if available).
You should try to participate in some mock Group Discussion in presence of an experienced instructor; this will help you in getting ready for actual Group Discussion.
How to prepare for Group Discussion topics
95% of the times, Group Discussion topics are on the current political and business issues. So your best bet would be to read a newspaper daily and be aware of current hot topics.
Also read Top Finance Interview Questions
Let me know if this has helped you and other points which you feel should be added here.