- Mostly all Organizations and Institutions have started taking Group Discussions as a first step of scrutiny for personal interviews. MBA aspirants and job seekers very well understand how vital are GD’s to them. Group discussions help such premier institutes and companies to screen people on actual job requirements and basic things like communication skills. Once judged the filtered-out layer goes up to face the next set of interview rounds while the remaining mass is eliminated! It’s up to you to get yourself recognized in a crowd or face a wipeout! Good news is that we have summed up these excellent tips to not only help you excel in a group discussion but come out with flying colors!
What is a Group Discussion?
Imagine a room with you and 8 to 12 other participants, together discussing on a topic thrown from a panel or an interviewer! Everyone trying to prove their points on that common subject and keeping it ahead of others while the clock ticks away! That is exactly what a Group Discussion is! A chance for you to be vocal and present your viewpoint in the open while understanding and listening to other participants pointers as well! All this while the hiring team looks out for your team spirit, creative side, communication skills, and leadership qualities!
Why is Group Discussion Essential?
GD’s are important for judging the candidate on various grounds and enables the employers to select people who match their requirements and the company criteria! An organization runs successfully because of the contribution of several employees. Being an extraordinary team player, having a creative bent of mind and effective communication skills will empower you to create an impact in the corporate world and will enable you to be selected in the group discussion round.
What do you Gain from Group Discussions?
Group Discussions are not only of use to the employers but will benefit you in lot many ways too! Some of your gains are jotted down below:
- The Introvert you can leave all the shyness away and present your point of view amongst other participants.
- Group discussions are the first step to formally presenting yourself to your interviewers and impressing them with your varied skillsets.
- A topic which abruptly lands up in your hands will give your mind an opportunity to think and then speak up.
- The topics thrown at you will need a logical and analytical approach while explaining and hence you learn to process such socioeconomic information rationally.
- When your point of view meets that of others it expands, in turn, enhancing your knowledge on the subject and reflects on your thought process.
- You can evaluate your own strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats while facing the group discussion.
The Tricks of the Trade
Now that you know what Group Discussions are and how beneficial these are for the interviewer as well as the interviewee, your mind must be focusing on the Do’s and Don’ts! Able to speak up on the topic logically can make you survive the round. But what is it that will lead you to the victorious path? Doing what will give you all the ears? How exactly can you conduct yourself gracefully in a group of participants who are madly trying to prove their points? Time to strategize your survival technique so that you shine at the end of the round. The suggestions below will help you in preparing for a group discussion and marvel your performance.
- Take Initiative
Try and participate yourself in the discussion and don’t try someone to force you to speak or ask your thoughts on the topic. Don’t be waiting for others to share their ideas first but initiate speaking on the same yourself. Remember if you’d start the discussion first it will earn you extra points. Share your ideas freely and be firm but polite and stick to your view point. However, don’t risk it if you aren’t well versed with the topic.
- First Impression
When the ball rolls to your side of the court throw it with some force so that, it should grab both the ears and eye balls of your hiring personnel and fellow candidates. First impressions are always the last impression and if you can communicate well quoting perfect figures and correct content to your listeners, you can be certain to have nailed it for you! However, if you stammer or appear tensed and more so state something inappropriately, the damage to your image would be inevitable!
- Body Language and Personal Grooming
To make an impact on the hiring personnel being well groomed and having a good body language are a must. Speak while oozing confidence looking at all people present in the room one by one. Make eye contact with each person. Use your hands while speaking to display a positive attitude. Dress well and formally. Avoid dressing casually or yawning in between the session. A positive body language and an alert mind can boost your performance in the GD.
- The Initiating Technique
Initiating the GD is an art which can be mastered with some practice. Quoting your favorite lines from a famous movie, trying to define a topic, asking an impactful question or presenting facts and figures are all acceptable ways of beginning the group discussion. Not only will it draw the listeners attention immediately but will also put forth your pointer effectively leaving a lasting impression on the hiring personnel.
- Speak When You Know Well
You will be tried and tested for your knowledge on the topic once you initiate and will have to take the lead to put the discussion into the right direction. Thus, speak only when you are well prepared or know in and out of the topic! Be prepared always with your points and if possible jot it down with a pen and paper if allowed. Like a true leader guide the other members to speak up and give a fair opportunity to all the team members while ensuring that the discussion meets a valid and agreeable conclusion.
- Be Assertive
Don’t be too rigid and refrain from being aggressive at all times. Instead be assertive. Politely but firmly put across your points supporting it with facts, figures and your knowledge on the topic! Debate sensibly avoiding arguments. Fisting a hole in your desk even if provoked is highly unprofessional and wouldn’t be recommended at all! Remember a true leader moves ahead along with his team in a win-win situation. Hence, try gaining support from all other participants and discuss healthily!
- Keep it Crisp
You don’t want to be remembered as the candidate who spoke a lot. Keep it sweet and simple. Be precise and to the point. Exaggerating on a topic will not lead you anywhere instead it will waste others time and soon people will lose interest in your statement. An impactful declaration with crisp facts and figures will make it happen for you. Going into too many details can result in you giving away a wrong statement which can hamper your performance!
- Active Listening
A discussion demands all of the participants to speak up. Allowing others to speak without interrupting them and listening to their points is necessary for a healthy dialogue. Allowing everyone to contribute and paying attention to what they say will contribute positively in your direction. You will also see the participants hearing you out and supporting you in your statements. This will show you as an efficient co-worker and collaborator within a group. After all, a group discussion is to do with a group and not an individual!
- You are not the Google Search Engine
You are humane and not an encyclopedia! Even if you are aware of most of the topics, there might be a subject-matter or two on which you know nothing! Relax if this is the case. You wouldn’t be able to initiate in this case but don’t have to keep mum either! Wait till 4 to 5 members have spoken on the topic. Kindle your listening skills and grasp everything that they just mentioned. Use the information procured as your point. Try and conclude at the same point!
- Be yourself
Being yourself will always keep you safe. Be as natural as you are and don’t try to portray being another character or person. Speak what you believe and don’t just speak for the sake of making an impression! Be spontaneous and speak uncluttered with a free mind. The more you would like to alter facts about yourself, the more easily you can land yourself in a soup!
The tips listed above will make you crack a group discussion round for sure. So, charge ahead with the guidance provided to master your GD! Good Luck!