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Group Discussion is an important part of selection process where employers evaluate candidate’s potential to be a leader and also ability to work in teams. Groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyze and discuss within a given time limit, which may vary between twenty minutes and forty-five minutes.
They may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem. They may be given a topic and are asked to discuss same.
What is being tested?
You’ll have to be able to understand other person’s point of view while making your point and ensure that your team as a whole reaches a win-win situation. The group discussion is a test of your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people. The objective of a group discussion is to mainly check your team playing skills because as a manager, you will be working in organizations with people
Skills Tested during Group Discussion
·Persuasive Skills ·Communication Skills ·General awareness and knowledge ·Power to influence others ·Listening skills ·Ability to withstand pressure ·Interpersonal Skills ·Logical Thinking ·Leadership and team Skills
And other Skills ·Comprehension of main idea and ability to generate ideas ·The rapport you strike ·Patience ·Assertion ·Accommodation ·Responsiveness ·Body language
Remember having qualities is one thing and demonstrating these during discussion is another
Handy Points to remember ·Knowledge is strength. ·Addressing Group as a Whole. ·If you are not sure about topic of discussion, it is better not to initiate. ·A GD is not a debating stage. ·Language use should be simple, direct and straightforward. ·Maintain rapport with fellow participants. ·Use positive body language. ·Communicate with each and every candidate present. ·While speaking don't keep looking at a single member.
Tips for Group Discussion
·A Good level of general awareness will come in handy. ·The wider your reading interests, better prepared you will be. ·Take time to think of what you are going to say. ·Work out various strategies to help you enter discussion. ·Starting discussion is considered to be good however it isn't that important; what is important is that you speak for a period long enough for you to be able to communicate your viewpoint. ·Be patient; don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. ·Don't take discussion personally. ·Be responsive to ideas from other people and very receptive and open-minded but don't allow others to change your own viewpoint. ·Employers are looking for a range of different skills and although you may think that leadership is key, and want to demonstrate this in a discussion, you need to be careful that you don't dominate discussion as this may come across as aggressive. ·Quality and NOT QUANTITY: Often, participants think that success in-group discussions depend on their decibel levels. Ironically, it’s opposite. ·Rounding discussion off - when about 2-3 minutes are left, someone in group must take initiative and summarize all issues discussed. Let it be you.
Remember six C's of effective Communication ·Clarity ·Completeness ·Conciseness ·Confidence ·Correctness ·Courtesy.
Here are some of GD topics of leading Institutes ·Managerial skills learnt in classroom can never match those learnt from experience. ·Democracy is hampering India’s progress. ·MBA in India is highly overrated. ·Religion is a private affair and should be of no concern for state. ·Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is need of hour. ·Women's empowerment will lead to social development. (IIM Kozhikode, March'99) ·Computers result in unemployment. (FMS Delhi, March'99) Are we raising a generation of burnt out children? (IIMB, Mar 97) ·Advertising is all glitter and little truth. (MICA, Apr '97) ·Is bureaucracy a hindrance to economic reforms in India? (IIMC, July '97) ·Filmmakers are indulging in cinematic Fortitution in name of folk culture. (IIML, Mar'97X Are we raising a generation of burnt out children? (IIMB, Mar 97) ·Under Indian parliamentary democracy it is impossible to ensure balanced regional development. (IIMC, Mar ‘97) ·Corruption is main outcome of democracy in India. (IIML, Mar '97) In an over-regulated society corruption is inevitable. (MICA, Apr '97) ·For poorer sections of society, a state-controlled economy is better than a liberalized economy. (IIMC-PGDCM, March'97) ·With IT replacing middle level management, software jobs are more lucrative than MBAs (S.P Jain, March'99) ·Do you think accent holds you back? Would you prefer everyone speaking uniformly? (XIM Bhubaneswar, March'99) ·Men resent women power at work place (NMIMS, March'99) Youth in India are becoming greedy by day (MICA, March'99) ·MBAs should be taxed at higher rates in country (IIMB April'99) ·Efficiency and corruption go hand in hand.
After Interview ·Each job interview should be a learning process. Learn from your mistakes - don't repeat them. ·Carry out a post-interview analysis immediately after interview while it is still fresh in your mind. ·Review tough questions and make notes for your next interview on areas where you might handle difficult questions better. ·Motivate yourself to approach your next interview in a positive frame of mind. ·Use experience gained at each interview to improve your technique and overall presentation
Seven Mantras for Success
·Communication Skills ·Influencing Abilities ·Problem Solving ·Creative Thinking ·Social Skills] ·Managing Finances
Author has 28 years of experience in the field of Teaching and Management. He is M. Tech from IIT Kanpur and has worked in different capacities including Signal corps Indian Army, Regional Manager for a Telecom Company. Currently he is Associate Professor with ITM, Gurgaon that is rated as best Engineering colleges of North India.