Group Discussion – How to conduct and be a leader

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Companies use group discussion as a tool for rejecting candidates whom they consider as misfits in their organization. The moderator conducting the group discussions observes the body language and content of the candidates and decides whether the candidate is suitable to proceed to the second round of selection process–interview. Hence, the round on Group discussion becomes the preliminary round of the selection procedure. The article tries to give insights about the expectation of the organisations that visit the campus for recruitment.

The objective of the Group Discussion is manifold. It checks the following abilities of the candidate:

a) To take initiatives to begin a GD, at the same time, ability to allow your co-participants to speak.

b) Leadership, at the same time ability, to work as a team member

c) Ability to organize thoughts

d) Ability to reason and listen attentively

Points to remember:

  1. When the topic is announced by the moderator , take time to think and note down the points. Never begin any topic by saying “I agree with the topic” or “I disagree with the topic”. First greet everyone and then begin. The idea of conducting group discussions is to get the candidates to deliberate on the topic and come to a logical conclusions. Unlike a debate where each party takes a rigid stand and sticks to it throughout the debate, GD allows the candidates to explore the topic in depth; discuss the pros and cons and then conclude the topic. Hence contrary to the traditional belief of candidates that one must not change the stand in a GD, moderator observes and appreciates the ability of the candidates to discuss both sides of the issue before arriving at a conclusion.
  2. If you initiate the discussion, then introduce the topic– background of the topic, or a slogan, an adage etc. Do not take up time of others allow others to speak as well. Initiate the GD only if you are sure about the contents of the topic. If you start off on a wrong footing and other follow you will be awarded negative points. If you are unable to initiate the GD, do not worry, take the cue from the initiator and join the discussion by saying “I would like to add to the point” or “I beg to differ on the point mentioned by my friend” etc. Please note: Do Not interrupt abruptly or sound rude by being dismissive about other people’s opinion or point fingers at others while talking.
  3. Do not dominate the discussions. if you find any co-participant unusually quiet encourage him to speak by saying “ why don’t we ask our friend here what he/she thinks about the issue”.
  4. Don’t take rigid positions about any issue try to listen to other people’s point of view and don’t get emotional/digress from the topic or pass personal remarks about other participants or communities/religion.
  5. While arguing your points provide facts and statistical data. Avoid using words with unclear meanings.
  6. Do not have one-one/peer communication with co-participants during the GD, the entire group has to be involved. Keep note of the time and stop the discussions well in time to conclude.

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