Learn What is a Group Discussion and How to Crack a GD in an Interview with these simple GD tips, topics, rules and skills:
What is a Group Discussion?
A Group Discussion (GD) is a technique used by corporate companies, educational institutes, and other organizations to judge the communication skills of the participant.
Communication skill is a crucial factor than technical knowledge in any corporate environment.
Hence, many companies are now making group discussion as their first criteria for screening the candidates before the face-to-face interviews. There indeed is a reason for giving importance to GD.
This discussion in the interview process is used for mass screening. The GD selection criteria are based on the actual company requirements.
Communication and GD are two relevant soft skills that are a must for anyone looking for a job in the IT or other fields.
What You Will Learn:
As it is said that, the first impression is the best impression. The way you communicate professionally with your peers, heads and most importantly the customers is directly or indirectly an add-on to the quality of services that your company offers to the masses.
Hence, GD is a means of the strainer to strain the right candidate from a pool of applicants.
Why should a Group Discussion be the first criteria for selecting software testers?
Any software tester requires communication with different people like team members, managers and customers. Hence, interpersonal skill is very important for the tester.
Yesterday one of our readers mailed me about her problem. She is very good at work but when it comes to taking credit for her work, someone else is taking the credit.
Why is this happening? She is lagging in interpersonal skills. Lagging in communication. She might be proficient in many skills, but what if she isn't able to communicate her thoughts in front of her seniors or evaluators? She will just lose the credits of her own work!
Making a good impression while speaking in the meetings or interviews is the basic skill that every professional should possess.
Let's see how you can make an impression.
What skills are judged in GD?
- How good you are while communicating with others?
- How you behave and interact with a group?
- How open minded are you?
- Your listening skill.
- How you put forward your views?
- Your leadership and decision-making skills.
- Your analysis skill and subject knowledge.
- Your problem solving and critical thinking skill.
- Your attitude and confidence.
How to Start a Group Discussion?
When you have enough of knowledge on a particular topic, then it is natural that you will confidently speak about it.
Initiate: The first and foremost step to come in light among the group is to be knowledgeable enough to initiate the discussion.
It is not necessary to have a thorough knowledge on the topic with actual facts and figures but at least the basic information on the topic will be good enough to speak on it. In order to make your speech more interesting, you can start with a quote which is relevant to the topic or can start with a short and simple incident/story.
Lead: There could be a situation where you do not have enough information on the given topic. It’s wise to Wait, Watch and Listen to what the other candidates speak until you get a chance to glide into the discussion. Take charge and start your conversation forward.
Once you take charge of the discussion, make sure that you speak to the point without dragging the topic for the sake of it. Always remember that less is more. The more you add to the speech, the more you may get prone to making mistakes. Hence, being precise and leading the discussion impactfully is the key.
Just as initiating a group discussion helps to grab the attention of the GD evaluators. Similarly, summarization too is an opportunity to turn heads of the evaluators.
Putting together the whole discussion by highlighting the star points and concluding the results of the discussion is summarizing the discussion. The summary should be short and to the point and no new points should be added for further discussion. Make sure that the summary is not single sided but an amalgamation of the both sides of the discussion.
Group Discussion Tips
It is necessary to get noticed by the evaluators and for that you need to learn the ways to remain active throughout the session.
- Analysing the discussion and coming up with ideas or subtopics that are not mentioned by the other candidates is one way to stay connected in the discussion.
- Even if your knowledge related to the topic is not vast enough, you can talk on the same topic considering from a different point of view.
- There would be a case where the discussion may go haywire, take a lead and try to bring the discussion back to the route.
- The last thing to add is appreciating the point of view of the other candidates in an appealing way.
Example: I would like to add in by appreciating so and so’s point of view and I agree with his view.
The above statement may not be valuable but to some extent, it will display your quality of appreciating others point of view. Practicing by participating in mock GDs by involving your colleagues/college students can help you find your weak areas and indeed enable you to rectify before appearing for the actual GD.
Group Discussion Skills
There are certain skills that must be learned a candidate in order to crack a GD successfully.
#1) Interpersonal skills: It is a skill that helps to convert a normal conversation into an impactful conversation. When we say that ‘you should sound confident’, it not only involves the way you speak but your overall appearance as a whole.
The soft skills required include using voice modulation, pronunciation and tone in an appropriate manner. One can take proper training in soft skills or imbibe some tips of presenting oneself in the corporate world.
#2) Leadership Quality: Among the crowd of talented candidates there’s always a chance of getting overshadowed and compressed.
It could be the case where even if the other candidate is less knowledgeable or mediocre in academics but his one quality of putting forth his positives and ability to control the situation ( here discussion) will make him/her earn a brownie point.
#3) Listening Quality: A good listener is a good problem solver. A good listener helps to build the other qualities that are required in GD such as analytical skill, critical thinking, communication, decision making etc.
Listening not only helps to understand the topic from others point of view but also helps to think accordingly and reach the solution to the problem or discussion.
It is also a good gesture and a communication building block with the other candidates, as it gives a sense of respect for others views. Listening also makes one approachable and most importantly being listened to in return. In simple terms, if you want to be listened to by everyone then you should also listen to others.
#4) Convincing Power: The ability to convince others by means of your speech is a great skill that is useful for any company. The candidate should be able to impact the other candidates through his thought process and indeed one must learn this skill.
#5) Knowledgeable: In order to be active in a discussion session, one must have an overall knowledge from all the sectors of the world. One should be reading newspapers, various fictions, non-fiction books etc.
Latest updates in different fields such as current affairs, education, sports, travel, arts & science etc. Again it is not necessary to have all facts and figures of the topic but it is enough to speak with confidence on the given topic.
These are some of the skills to remember and incorporate with in order to face the discussion with ease and confidence.
Group Discussion Rules
There are certain essential pointers that are very important to get noticed and selected in a GD.
#1) Appearance: It is the first thing to be noticed by anyone but still people/candidates ignore this aspect of one’s personality. Always wear a formal attire and be well groomed.
#2) Eye Contact: Your confidence is seen in your eyes. Hence maintain eye contact with the evaluator while initiating the discussion. Later share eye contacts with your peers in a consistent manner. During the session avoid looking at the evaluator and concentrate on the peers.
Even when you are listening to the opposition candidate, make sure you are slightly turned towards the angle where the candidate is present and use gestures such as nodding in appreciation in between the presentation.
#3) Avoid Dominance: Always remember that it is a discussion and not a battle.
In the heat of the moment never lose your control of speech and decency. You are there to share your point of view and not to start an argument. Respect others views and do not try to dominate your views or point. Being patient and calm is the key.
#4) Avoid Interrupting: It is considered mannerless to interrupt someone while talking. Everyone has a say and one should respect and let your turn come for you to have your say. There could be a situation where you may need to cut short the speaker, if so then do it politely with due respect and apologize for doing so.
Example: ‘ I am sorry to intervene but considering the time limit, I may miss to put forth my point so I would like to say that…..’
#5) Clarity of Speech and Thoughts: Always maintain a medium speed and volume of your voice. Be prepared in the mind of your thoughts that you are about to present and be clear. Avoid fumbling and jumbling with your speech. Be confident and pardon if you make a mistake while speaking.
#6) Irrelevant talk: Avoid deviating from the main topic and be on the same track. Quality is important than Quantity. Be short and simple and refrain yourself from involving in irrelevant talks.
These are some of the important rules to be considered in the GD.
Types of GD
Based on the content of the discussion there are three types of GD.
#1) Topic-Based GD
This types of GD is based on certain topics which are practical and real.
Example: Socioeconomic topics, Education related like,
“How Plastic is affecting our Earth?”
“Is college degree necessary to become an Entrepreneur?”
These are further categorized based on their outlook:
a) Factual GD: These type of GDs are very informative and require a thorough knowledge of the subject. One should have actual facts and figures known before taking part in the discussion. E.g. Indian Economical growth since 1947.
b) Controversial GD: There are certain topics which lead to an argument and such topics are introduced in GDs to test the candidate’s way of handling the situation.
This topic is a kind of mock session representing a fierce situation in a company. Here the candidate is tested on parameters like patience, situation handling, anger control, critical thinking ability etc.
Example: Arranged Marriage Vs Love Marriage.
c) Abstract GD: There are some topics which are not based on physical presence but are conceptual topics or intellectual topics. Such topics test the thinking capability and the analytical thinking of the candidate.
#2) Case-Based GD:
This type of GD is based on case studies which portray a real-life situation. The group is provided with a case study beforehand and is given a few minutes of time to prepare for it. In this type of GD, the group has to solve the case study to give a solution.
In the process of solving the case study the qualities such as problem-solving, analysis, thinking out of the box is getting tested.
#3) Article-Based GD:
Similar to case-based GDS, in an article based GD, the candidates are provided with an article which could be based on any field like politics, sports, technology or any topic for that matter.
The candidates are given time to prepare for the discussion. This GD helps to analyze how the candidate responds to the unknown field/ fact and how confident he/she is in presenting his/her point of view.
Based on the types of Discussions let us see an example of a Group Discussion Topic:
“Integrity is an integral part of human life”
Let’s discuss this topic!
Participant 1: Hello my dear friends. My name is Rajiv and I am here to speak in favor of the topic ‘Integrity’. “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but it is in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
Integrity is definitely required to complete our human life. We may achieve many things in life by taking a few short-cuts bypassing integrity but in long run, those achievements will not stay with us.
Participant 2: Hello everyone, my name is Sahil and I am here to speak against the topic ‘Integrity’.
I beg to differ with Rajiv. We all know that our politicians are not following integrity to the desired level, but we can see them holding strong positions. They are also taking valuable decisions for our country and successfully doing it for a long time too.
Participant 3: Hello, my name is Surbhi and I agree with Rajiv’s statements and would like to add further that Humanity and integrity go hand in hand. Being true to oneself is being true to God. It is very simple, don’t break Human rights in every path of your life. Integrity will follow you naturally.
Participant 4: I feel in today’s selfish world, we have to compromise somewhere or the other with humanity as well as integrity for our existence. So if we want to exist we have to be harsh and we need to break the rules.
The discussion may continue further…
(Summarization of topic) Participant 3: After a lot of discussion on the topic ‘Integrity is an integral part of life’, I would like to conclude that in the journey of our life we may not value the importance of integrity all the time. But when we look deep down within ourselves to introspect, we will realize the value of integrity. Thus integrity is definitely an integral part of our life.
This is a mock example of a Group Discussion for your reference.
Do's and Don'ts
Enlisted below are the various Do's and Dont's in GD.
#1) Keep Eye Contact while Speaking: Do not look at the evaluators only. Keep eye contact with every team member while speaking.
#2) Initiate the GD: Initiating the GD is a big plus. But keep in mind – Initiate the discussion only when you understood the GD topic clearly and have some knowledge on the topic. Speaking without proper subject knowledge will leave a bad impression.
#3) Allow others to Speak: Do not interrupt anyone in-between while speaking. Even if you don’t agree with his/her thoughts, do not snatch their chance to speak. Instead, make some notes and clear the points when it's your turn.
#4) Speak Clearly: Speak politely and clearly. Use simple and understandable words while speaking. Don’t be too aggressive if you are disagreeing with someone. Express your feelings calmly and politely.
#5) Make sure to Bring the Discussion on Track: If by any means the group is distracted or deviated from the topic or goal then simply take initiative to bring the discussion on the track. Make all the group members aware that you all need to come to some conclusion at the end of the discussion. So stick to the topic.
#6) Positive Attitude: Be confident. Do not try to dominate anyone. Keep positive body language. Show interest in the discussion.
#7) Speak Sensibly: Do not speak just to increase your speaking time. Don't worry even if you speak less. Your thoughts should be sensible and relevant instead of an irrelevant speech.
#8 ) Listen Carefully to Others: Speak less and listen more! Pay attention while others are speaking. This will make coherent discussion and thereby you will get involved in the group positively. You will surely make people agree with you.
#9) No need to go into much details: Some basic subject analysis would be sufficient. No need to mention the exact figures while giving any reference. You have limited time only, so be precise and convey your thoughts in a short and simple language.
#10) Formal Dressing: Do not take it casually. No fancy and funny dressing. You should be comfortable while speaking in a group. Positive gesture and body language will make your work easy.
Following the above 10 simple rules will help you to easily crack the GD.
PPT and a Video on GD
Let's have some bonus tips for successful GD.
Here is an embedded Powerpoint presentation on GD.
Thanks to “SoftLogic Technologies” for providing this presentation to our readers.
We hope these detailed Group Discussion tips would be helpful for you to crack any GD interview.
Get ready confidently and success will be yours.
We wish you all the best !!