Quite a number of companies conduct GD as a part of their selection procedure in campus placements. “Group discussion” or a “GD” is a platform created by the companies to check whether the personality traits of an individual match the qualities they desire to have in its employees. Such traits may include a person's posture or the ability to deal with a specific situation by bringing in different perspectives and viewpoints. This also includes checking his ability to work in a team.
You are given a specific topic or a case study to be analyzed with 2-5 minutes. In this time period, you evaluate the topic and prepare the main points, which you use for the group discussion. The total duration of the GD may vary as per the requirements of the companies.
Why is a GD conducted?
The main focus of a GD is to judge your ability to deal and work with groups, your presence of mind and your articulation of thoughts. Being a part of the campus placement process, GD is a tool used by companies to evaluate prospective employees first hand and see how they perform when placed under stress. The watchful eyes of the recruiter constantly search for any signs of nervousness on behalf of the candidate and evaluate the poise of every candidate.
Evaluation parameters for a GD
The use of right posture, clear voice and ideal gestures is important as each of these has the potential to bring the spotlight on you during the discussion. In a GD, you are expected to express your viewpoint and highlight the supporting facts. At the same time, you are evaluated on the basis of your knowledge, personality, communication and most importantly, your leadership skills.
The following is a brief list of parameters that are specifically judged in a group discussion:
- Leadership skills:
Displaying initiative skills and giving a direction to the discussion shows the responsibility and leadership skills one possesses. To prove that you are a good leader, you should try to keep the discussion alive and to the point at all times.
Body language, appearance and eye-contact are three parameters that speak of your personality before you actually speak in a discussion. Your facial expressions and overall gestures are judged as these reflect on your personality, your confidence and anxiety levels.
Your ability to judge the situation and develop logical arguments is what distinguishes you from the others. Bringing relevant content to the table is of vital important and regular reading of the newspapers and other relevant magazines is what will help you prepare.
- Logical thinking:
To be able to analyze the given situation in a systematic and comprehensive manner is what constitutes logical thinking. In order to impress the panel with your thinking abilities, you should always try to stay within the bounds of the topic and not mention facts or information which is irrelevant.
- Communication skills:
The last aspect of evaluation focuses on your communication abilities, and you are judged on their ability to interact with other group members. The main focus is on your language fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and your ability to listen and understand other member’s viewpoints. Always remember that communication on the whole is a two-way process and it is important to be a good listener along with being a good speaker.
Strategies and Tips: Things to keep in mind
- Never indulge into person to person interactions, finger pointing and direct attacks on individuals. The motive of the Group Discussion is making sure that members discuss the topic effectively and do not indulge in one on one discussion.
- Make sure your quality of content is up to mark. Regular reading and being up to date help you with the content side of discussions.
- Be yourself and make your express yourself clearly. Do not allow yourself to be overshadowed by others.
- Make sure you a mental roadmap of how you want to participate in the discussion, and you are clear about your stand on the topic.
- Examples, statistics and figures are a two-way sword. If quoted correctly, they help you establish your knowledge superiority in the group. If you do not get them right, you can make a fool of yourself. Make sure you are correct with your facts.
- Try to introduce new points and streams of thoughts in the discussion, as these bring attention to you and showcase you in a positive light.