Group discussion is a method where a number of candidates are given a topic to discuss among themselves, for a specified time period. GD has been accepted by various organizations to find out the personality traits including skills that an employee must possess.
The characteristics appraised in a GD include:-
- Creativity of ideas
- Ability to express opinions explicitly by supporting one’s view substantiated with logic
- Communication skills
- Leadership skill with reasoning ability
- Listening skill
- Concentrating on the given topic and relevant issues
GD helps to judge a candidates ability and suitability for the job. Team work is a vital issue in our professional world. GD examines how a candidate will act as a part of a team in different situations. After testing the candidates’ technical and conceptual skill, renowned organizations conduct GD to check whether the candidates possess the characteristics as mentioned earlier. During the GD the candidates also has to embrace important ideas of national and international importance, has to give weightage to the group’s as well as own objectives, they also has to attentively listen to others take on the matter, they have to be much open-minded, so that they are able to accept views opposite to their own. Other perspective which make up a GD besides verbal communication include non-verbal behavior, collaboration, decision making ability, familiarization to regulations. Many business schools accept GD for screening the candidates in the interview board. This is their first criteria for selection.
Other skills tested apart from those mentioned above are self confidence, attitude, experimenting skill, problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Dos and Don’ts of Group Discussion
- Maintaining formal dress code: A formal dress code reveals that one is a serious job seeker and it will also give self-confidence to perform best.
- Initiate the GD: Initiating the GD is important only when one gets an opportunity to do so. It processes the leadership skills. Only if one is able to comprehend the GD topic and has same topic knowledge then only it is advisable to initiate the GD. It should be done in a very natural way. One should not be commanding or dominating to the other participants.
- Eye contact while speaking: While speaking, the communicator must keep an eye contact with every team member. Eye contact with evaluator should be avoided. It shows the speaker’s self-confidence.
- Ideas should be clear and sensible: Thoughts should be relevant and sensible. Speak politely and clearly using simple and understandable words.
- Discussion should be on track: Team members have to take the initiative to finish the GD within the given time. Everyone has to come to a common conclusion. So if the group is distracting from the topic, politely and confidently take the initiative to bring the discussion on track.