The Group Discussion interview
This is now the time to showcase yourself. So what is that interview panels look for in a candidate in Group Discussions? The following are the key traits that are being assessed in the Group Discussion:
Competence / General Knowledge / Subject Awareness
Thinking and Communication Ability
Leadership, Teamwork and Maturity
Topics for Group Discussion Interview
The topics are difficult because you are expected to be very aware of what is happening around you. The issues will be chosen from a list of topics that are very relevant. Remember, you are not expected to be an expert – but are expected to have a level of awareness that is above average.
Increasing your General Knowledge will come from watching news, reading magazines and being up-to-date on current happenings. Spend time discussing these topics with friends and family. If possible, create your own study group for discussing topics.
Preparation for Group Discussion Interviews will take some time, so it is suggested that you begin well in advance as this cannot be soaked in weeks.
Organize your thinking for a Group Discussion Interview
Pick any topic of current interest and use a framework so that it helps organize your thinking:
Organize the facts about the topic in your head
Think about 3 things that are positive about the topic
Think about 3 things that are negative about the topic
Think about what is your opinion about the topic, try to have a balanced view
Have a summary of your point of view ready
Practice makes perfect a Group Discussion Interview
Practice your discussion out loud, if possible record it and play it back to yourself. Video recording is best so that you can also analyze your body postures and other gestures. Then Analyze, Analyze, Analyze. Understand what you did well and what you did poorly.
If possible, practice with a discussion group and record it and play it back to yourself. If you are practicing with a discussion group – always take feedback from the group to see how and where you can improve.
What if you nothing about the Topic for a Group Discussion Interview
First and foremost do not panic. You have prepared well and this will help you.
First, listen very attentively to discussion for the first few minutes. Take a moment to assess the information and then form your own opinion on the topic. Your opinion does not need to be correct but it needs to be an opinion that is well formulated, logical and shows the panel how you think. Try to add value to discussion and not just sum up or reinforce what others have said.
Rules for Group Discussion
There are no fixed rules for Group Discussion Interviews. The following are some tips and guidelines to observe. Participation is a must. Now that must be obvious. Guidelines say that you should try to make 3 -4 relevant points. So aim for four relevant points.
You need to stand-out in the Group Interview. Do not shout. Try to come out as balanced and mature. You need to grab the chance to speak whenever you get it. Some points to remember:
Be assertive and make your points, while listening to others.
Come across as a team player and engaging everyone in the discussion.
Try to add value to the discussion, and not speak for the sake of speaking.
Look for breaks and lulls in the discussion to put your ideas across.
The Importance of Introductions in the Group Discussion
Listen very carefully to names and their introductions. You could have to remember the names of more than five to six people.
Listen very carefully to the agenda and the topic of the discussion. Also listen to the time allotted in the group discussion.
Try to position yourself so that you are able to make eye contact with all the members of the Group Discussion.
Displaying Teamwork and Leadership in a Group Discussion Interview
You should be aware of in your group discussion if you are displaying Teamwork and Leadership.
Listening to others
Relating your ideas to what others are saying, or are your points totally unrelated
Not being too aggressive in presenting your ideas
How you handle conflict in the discussion
Do you work towards a final solution for the group
Are you able to convince other group members about your train of thought
Are you able to influence others
Does the discussion focus around topics that you have raised.
Don’ts in a Group Discussion Interview
Never get drawn into an argument with any of the Group discussion members even if you disagree with them.
Don’t be overly cynical or opinionated but be prepared to state your arguments logically.
Look out for body language of the Group Discussion Members. Also watch out for signals that you may be sending by your body language (rolling your eyes , not being attentive when others are speaking) . Especially watch out if someone is turning away from you as this is a negative sign.
Do not ramble on and on, wrap up your point quickly.
Do not speak over someone else. Let them finish their point.
Do not try to stutter and stammer.