Unlike a one-on -one interview, a group discussion is where a group of 8-10 candidates are given a topic or a case study to analyze and discuss in front of a group of about 3-5 panelists.
Usually, the GD lasts for 15-20 minutes. This is where the panelists test the candidates’ interactive skills and how they can lead and conclude the discussion. The skills assessed by the panelists include leadership, communication, interpersonal and persuasive skills.
This sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well, not if you’ve got the tools to ace your GD.
Group discussion tips to stand out in your upcoming group discussion.
- Preparation: Like every other interview, you have to do your research and prepare your answers. Topics could range from business to even sports. It could be current events as well. So, you need to read more and increase your general knowledge. Stay up to date at all times about the latest news and trends. For a mock GD, seek help from your family members and friends. Their participation will make it feel more realistic and the more you practice, the more confident you will be when the time comes.
- Body language: We’ve said it time and time again – first impression lasts. Your body language defines you as a person and the panelists will definitely be studying yours. So, sit straight enough to be comfortable and not too stiff. Make eye contact with the other participants. Do not fidget or talk too animatedly. Nod to let the participants know that you are hearing them. This will show that you are participating and that you are present. Do not play with your hair or any other objects such as pens or pencils.
- Be polite and respectful: No employer wants to hire someone who does not have a good team spirit and the best way to avoid that is to study how well the candidate is getting along with the other participants. They want to see how well you treat your fellow candidates and if you have what it takes to be a leader. So, always be respectful to other opinions and views and don’t be too rash to disregard them. Try to come to a conclusion where all parties are satisfied. Be polite and kind when you speak to others. A good character is always important in a leader.
- Don’t be afraid to start the conversation: Once you are given the topic, take a piece of paper to list out important points to cover. Usually, you’ll be given 3-4 minutes to prepare. Try to be the first one to speak up because this will make the discussion a smooth sail for you as you will be able to set the direction of discussion and you are the one taking the initiative to lead. This will show the panelists that you have strong leadership qualities.
- Stick to the points: It’s understandable that sometimes our nervousness gets the best of us and we either become speechless or talk gibberish. There is no room for that here. You have to be confident and stick to the point you are talking about. If you are too nervous, let others speak first and you follow their lead. Also, while making your point, use statistics and studies to back up your case. Remember, it’s quality over quantity. So, don’t just speak up when you don’t have anything to contribute.
- Dress code: The best clothes to wear for a Group Discussion are formals. This means suits, preferably dark tones. Shoes should be smart shoes for men and kitten heels for women. Do not show up wearing bright-colored or graphic shirts. No one wants to be ‘the woman in the neon green shirt’, so don’t be that person. Also, do not wear chunky jewelry.
- Be objective: Engage in the discussion but do not be too involved to the point that you start arguing with other candidates’ stances. Keep in mind that you need to be a team player. Agree with the points that others make first and then move to yours. Be open-minded and do not dominate the conversation because the panelists will think that you are aggressive.
- End on a good note: Again, like every other interview, end the discussion on a good note with all your fellow candidates. Make sure that everyone has come to the terms you are all in agreement with. Take the initiative to summarize the discussion if you haven’t contributed much during the discussion.
The above-mentioned group discussion tips will hopefully help you find your dream job even if it is through a group discussion.
We will leave you here with our best wishes.