How to ace a Group Discussion

A group discussion that is conducted with the purpose of selecting a candidate for a job, course, etc, is precisely a friendly conversation that proceeds in an informal manner, but within the bounds of decency and decorum and, of course, time limit, if any. It takes place with the participation of each and every member comprising the group.

Group discussion is not manipulating or managing others with words. If you impose your ideas on others, people may think that you cannot excel in a team and do not have team spirit. You have to listen to others with all the patience required. You have to give lot of examples while convincing others to understand your point of view. Group discussion plays vital role during job interviews. Success in group discussions will help you build rapport with others as well as paves way to grab a job of your choice.

Below Q & A session was answered by Amit Bansal, CEO – PurpleLeap

enter asked, What is the kind of language that we need to use..?? is it good to use sophisticated vocabulary..

Amit Bansal answers, Language should suit the group. If you want to show off a new difficult word, use it but also in the same breath explain what it means while speaking… for example: “things are incorrigible, I mean things are hopeless”


nelson asked, How to overcome nervousness during GD ,, while everybody besides me are trying to give their best shot ?
Amit Bansal answers, Additionally write down questions which you want to ask the group…


nelson asked, How to overcome nervousness during GD ,, while everybody besides me are trying to give their best shot ?
Amit Bansal answers, Some ways: Prepare well, Observe your own breathing, make brief notes,


Vivana asked, Hi Amit, What kind of topics should one be prepared for in a GD? I’m somebody who is normally shy and don’t come out well in these rounds and most companies have now made it almost mandatory to have GD’s. How can I do well? Even though I have a point to say, I usually end up being the spectator in the group.
Amit Bansal answers, More than thinking about speaking, if you can focus adding value to the discussion. This focus will decrease the pressure to interrupt and increase your chanes to make a valid observation. So to sum up observe what people are speakign about and then make a point…


mayor asked, Hi Amit what should i do in a GD if i am not getting a chance to express myself ?
Amit Bansal answers, You can create oppurtunities: Here is one of many: Nod and make eye contact of the person who is speakign at the moment and use gestures to create urgency, usually this will give you chance to make a re-entry…


Deepak asked, What kind of preparation is required for attending a group discussion.
Amit Bansal answers, Know the Dos and Donts. Prepare points on the Freq GD topics. Prepare a fact sheet which might get used to support your points…


enter asked, is it good to make notes of ones comment when in a GD.. just to show our keeness in the entire event..
Amit Bansal answers, Brief. Your head should be down longer than a few secs or else you will not get a chance to connect with your group


Sommu asked, Hi Amit how to clear group discussions?
Amit Bansal answers, Prepare by reading about it and rehearse.


VIKASH asked, IF ALLOWED TO START A GD THEN ONE SHOULD FIRST START OF BY DESCRIBING THE TOPIC OR START BY ARTICULATING HIS VIEWS WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THE TOPIC
Amit Bansal answers, Do both: describe the topic by articulating your views about and end with a question to define the scope of the GD


nelson asked, What does a GD prove ,, how does it help the company to get a right employee ?
Amit Bansal answers, Simple, whether you are tolerant to other people’s views, whether you can perform well in team, whether you can comm well within a team and whether you can handle your ideas getting rejected.


aanand asked, What to do if you feel sidelined?
Amit Bansal answers, It can happen quite often as a GD from a job point of view is very competitive…you will have to ask yourself “what value can I add at this point of the conversation?” then adopt the various GD strategies being discussed


doctorbunty asked, if there is a disconnect then the guy would follow right practices and techniques and still wont get noticed or picked up?
Amit Bansal answers, I would say that your line of inquiry is correct, the candidate also has to play the balancing act between getting noticed and getting the group to a solution,


VIKASH asked, SOMETIMES IN A GD A PERSON MAY BE LOUD AND WOULD NOT ALLOW ANYBODY ELSE TO TAKEOVER.SHOULD ONE BE MORE LOUDER OR TO LISTEN PATIENTLY AND WAIT FOR HIM TO FINISH. IF ONE WAITS THEN THE PROCESS MIGHT JUST END WITH THAT PERSON ONLY SPEAKING AFTER HAVING HIS OPPURTUNITY
Amit Bansal answers, Try different methods. For example: Write down on a sheet your main point in a large font and stand up show it around…worth trying if you are getting the behavior you are describing…


doctorbunty asked, Hi Amit, tell me to what extend are you sure that the interviewer and the guy in GD are on the same level of understanding the nittygritty of GD right practices?
Amit Bansal answers, Having said that it also becomes important that the candidate assumes the interviewer is aware of the best practices…”better safe than sorry”


doctorbunty asked, Hi Amit, tell me to what extend are you sure that the interviewer and the guy in GD are on the same level of understanding the nittygritty of GD right practices?
Amit Bansal answers, May not be on the same plane…if you are asking from the content angle then the interviewer may not be on the same plane…the interviewer is probably looking for behavioral clues along with subject knowledge…


Atif asked, Is it important to maintain Eye contact while explaining the scenario??
Amit Bansal answers, yes, vital point…


devesh asked, Hi Amit, In the last three GD’s that I have been to for interviews, I have observed that once the GD on the way, there will be three or four people in the group who will be on top of their voices screaming to each other like there is no tomorrow. This sometimes puts me off and I don’t even feel like participating in the discussion post that. Is there any way to contribute positively to a group discussion without being loud?
Amit Bansal answers, Try different methods. For example: Write down on a sheet your main point in a large font and stand up show it around…worth trying if you are getting the behavior you are describing…


Atkin asked, Amit, Can you explain how they can judge your leadership and decision makings skills in a GD?
Amit Bansal answers, Leadership and Decision Making can be looked together. No need to separate them. It will be through: 1) initiative, 2) Listening skills, 3) whether you are taking the group along with you, 4) the way you articulate 5) Getting to group come to common plane, 6) Arriving at a consensus, 7) deciding on action points…


Harshad asked, Hi Amit How to prepare for any topic in gd in the given 2 minutes before the gd starts?
Amit Bansal answers, On spot preparation is like Impromptu speaking…Here you have to ask yourself the following questions: “What do I think?” “Why do I think that”? “What evidence do I have”, then you can start your answer with the evidence. That is the way to go about doing on-spot answering in a GD…


Spurthi asked, My career center lecturer asked me to be assertive but not aggressive in GD round. But how can you be assertive, if you are not aggressive? Any tips?
Amit Bansal answers, You need to be assertive in your tone, ideas, and not aggressive with people. If you are aggressive with people they may take it personally and will stop listening to you during the GD. In addition the group will also isolate you because of your behavior. That is if you are aggressive.


Spurthi asked, My career center lecturer asked me to be assertive but not aggressive in GD round. But how can you be assertive, if you are not aggressive? Any tips?
Amit Bansal answers, You need to be assertive in your tone, ideas, and not aggressive with people. If you are aggressive with people they may take it personally and will stop listening to you during the GD. In addition the group will also isolate you because of your behavior. That is if you are aggressive.


Anand asked, If you don’t have anything to contribute on the topic, or if someone else has already told your point, then what do you do? Is repeating the same point ok?
Amit Bansal answers, Repeating the same point is not advisable. you will need to perspective to your points. In fact the way to look at GDs is that you should be making not more than 3 main points, but you should be giving many perspectives to the 3 points so that people can understand and remember your points…


nelson asked, Hi Amit , my question is how to prepare for a topic just on the spot, can we have a alternative of speaking about a topic of our choice in GD ?
Amit Bansal answers, On spot preparation is like Impromptu speaking…Here you have to ask yourself the following questions: “What do I think?” “Why do I think that”? “What evidence do I have”, then you can start your answer with the evidence. That is the way to go about doing on-spot answering in a GD…


Amit Bansal says, Here is what you can do if you think you are unsure of how much you know about a topic: Ask relevant questions to the group/individual. For example: if the topic is India’s poulation, then you could ask: “Do we believe that India’s poulation would stabilise or would it keep growing?” or “What are the key things responsible for India’s large population?”


enter asked, Hi Amit.. what if one is not aware of the subject of GD. I mean it is not necessary that one knows about everything that is happening around… Should we just keep quite or inform about ones limited knowledge base…
Amit Bansal answers, Well that depends on how much you know or rather you do not know about the topic. For example if you are clueless about the topic then it is good to listen and note the points. But if you know and you are not feeling confident then you can always participate in the GD by asking relevant questions to the group/individual. The objective of the question is to help the group think better and go forward…


richard asked, is it good to start GD?
Amit Bansal answers, Yes, see my previous reply to the start question


Venky asked, Hi Amit, do they give marks for speaking first in a GD?
Amit Bansal answers, Yes. More than first it is for taking initiative. Additionally it becomes important to make a good start. Here I mean to try and define the ‘scope’ of the GD.


richard asked, in either cases…what to say if some one starts giving a speech adn u awnt to speak for urself or the team ?
Amit Bansal answers, If the speech is too long, you may want to intervene, but not abruptly, instead use a question or a summary of his/her speech and you can continue. But remember you should a solid point to make after you intervene or else there is a good chance that some one will continue with the speech


Amit Bansal says, One common misconception is that students think that GD is a debate. GD and debate are not one and the same thing


Ruth asked, Hi Amit, What is it that people look for in the GD round? Do they look at how aggressive you are? is it about how long you can hold the conversation? what is it that recruiters judge you on in the GD round?
Amit Bansal answers, More than agression it is passion, subject knowledge, comm, skills, ability to work with the group… see some more points which I have posted.


Ruth asked, Hi Amit, What is it that people look for in the GD round? Do they look at how aggressive you are? is it about how long you can hold the conversation? what is it that recruiters judge you on in the GD round?
Amit Bansal answers, More on the second point of yours, but you have to keep in mind the way you are holding on to your conversation. If you are doing it but putting others down then you will not score points. In fact you may lose some points.


amuda asked, HI Amit, what are the key points one should keep in mind while going for the GD round?
Amit Bansal answers, have just posted some points


Amit Bansal says, Top GD Skills and Approaches 1. Your analysis skill and subject knowledge. 2. Your open mindedness 3. Your communication with others. 4. How you behave & interact with the group. 5. Your listening abilities 6. The way you put forward your views. 7. Your leadership & decision making skills. 8. Problem solving and critical thinking skill.


Diana asked, In case i was criticized for my opinion, how do i comment back coz i do not want to criticize back or be rude while in a group discussion?
Amit Bansal answers, Your principles are right, it is not right to comment back or criticize, the best way to gain your hold back on the discussion is to counter the point with an example. Giving evidence in a GD is one of the best ways to stay on top.


richard asked, what exactly to say when u want to cut some ones’s point?
Amit Bansal answers, The important thing to ask yourself here is that why are you cutting someone off. Is it because you want to make yourself heard? Or is it because you feel you are helping the group to move forward?


mamu asked, dear amit, please enlighten me about six basic rules to follow during a job GD interview
Amit Bansal answers, The first rule is that GD is not a debate, once you keep that in mind then the other principles will come into play…So it is better to think in terms of principles than rules…


Divya asked, Hi Amit, I wanted to know how do i speak in case i have a disagreement with someones statement during the discussion
Amit Bansal answers, First step is to try and understand the root cause…i mean you have to understand why the disagreement is taking place…

Chat Date: July 25, 2012

Source: http://www.rediff.com

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