What is Group discussion?
• A GD is a methodology used by an organization to
gauge whether the candidate has certain personality
traits and/or skills that it desires in its members.
• GD is a test of your ability to think, your analytical
capabilities and your ability to make your point in a
• In this methodology, the group of candidates is given a
topic or a situation, given a few minutes to think about
the same, and then asked to discuss the same among
themselves for 15-20 minutes.
• Suitable for the organization
– After testing your technical and conceptual skills in an
exam, to get to know you as a person and measure how
well you will fit in the institute or in an organization, a
person is put through the process of GD & Interview.
• Team work
– The Group discussion tests how you function as a part of a
– As a manager, you will always be working in teams, as a
member or as a leader.
– Therefore, how you interact in a team becomes an
important criterion for your selection.
– Managers have to work in a team and get best results out
• Company’s Perspective: Companies conduct
group discussion after the written test so as to
check on your –
– Interactive skills
– How good you are at communicating with other
– How you behave, participate and contribute in a
– How much importance do you give to the group
objective as well as your own.
– How well do you listen to viewpoints of others
– How open-minded are you in accepting views
contrary to your own.
Reasons for having a GD
• It helps you to understand a subject more deeply.
• It improves your ability to think critically.
• It helps in solving a particular problem.
• It helps the group to make a particular decision.
• It gives you the chance to hear other students'
• It improves your listening skills.
• It increases your confidence in speaking.
• It can change your attitudes.
A group discussion consists of:
• Communication Skills
• Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject
• Capability to co-ordinate and lead
• Exchange of thoughts
• Addressing the group as a whole
• Thorough preparation
Personality Traits the GD is trying to
measure may include:
– Ability to work in a team
– Communication skills
– Reasoning ability
– Leadership skills
Points to Remember
• Knowledge is strength. A candidate with good reading habits has
more chances of success. In other words, sound knowledge on
different topics like politics, finance, economy, science and
technology is helpful.
• Power to convince effectively is another quality that makes you
stand out among others.
• Clarity in speech and expression is yet another essential quality.
• If you are not sure about the topic of discussion, it is better not to
initiate. Lack of knowledge or wrong approach creates a bad
impression. Instead, you might adopt the wait and watch attitude.
Listen attentively to others, may be you would be able to come up
with a point or two later.
• A GD is a formal occasion where slang is to avoided.
Points to Remember
• A GD is not a debating stage. Participants should confine themselves to
expressing their viewpoints. In the second part of the discussion
candidates can exercise their choice in agreeing, disagreeing or remaining
• Language use should be simple, direct and straight forward.
• Don't interrupt a speaker when the session is on. Try to score by
increasing your size, not by cutting others short.
• Maintain rapport with fellow participants. Eye contact plays a major role.
Non-verbal gestures, such as listening intently or nodding while
appreciating someone's viewpoint speak of you positively.
• Communicate with each and every candidate present. While speaking
don't keep looking at a single member. Address the entire group in such a
way that everyone feels you are speaking to him or her.
+ve task Roles in GD
• Information seeker
• Information giver
• Procedure facilitator
• Opinion seeker
• Opinion giver
• Social Supporter
• Tension Reliever
• Initiation Techniques
• Body of the group discussion
• Summarization/ Conclusion
• Initiating a GD is a high profit-high loss strategy.
• When you initiate a GD, you not only grab the opportunity to speak, you
also grab the attention of the examiner and your fellow candidates.
• If you can make a favourable first impression with your content and
communication skills after you initiate a GD, it will help you sail through
• But if you initiate a GD and stammer/ stutter/ quote wrong facts and
figures, the damage might be irreparable.
• If you initiate a GD impeccably but don't speak much after that, it gives
the impression that you started the GD for the sake of starting it or getting
those initial kitty of points earmarked for an initiator!
• When you start a GD, you are responsible for putting it into the right
perspective or framework. So initiate one only if you have in-depth
knowledge about the topic at hand.
Body of the group discussion
• Different techniques to initiate a GD and
make a good first impression:
iv. Facts, figures and statistics
v. Short story
vi. General statement
Summarization / Conclusion
• Most GD do not really have conclusions. A conclusion is where the whole group
decides in favor or against the topic.
• But every GD is summarized. You can summaries what the group has discussed in
the GD in a nutshell.
Keep the following points in mind while summarizing a discussion:
– Avoid raising new points.
– Avoid stating only your viewpoint.
– Avoid dwelling only on one aspect of the GD.
– Keep it brief and concise.
– It must incorporate all the important points that came out during the GD.
– If the examiner asks you to summaries a GD, it means the GD has come to an
– Do not add anything once the GD has been summarized
• Emotional explosion (Anger)
• No eye contact
• Quality vs. Quantity (Maximum Talk)
• Poor communication skills
• Addressing only 1 or 2 persons
• disrupting when session is on
• Bad beginning
• Managing one's insecurities (Nervousness)
• The first aspect is one's power of expression.
• You should be precise and clear
• Listen and react
• You should be able to convey your thoughts
satisfactorily and convincingly before a
group of people.
Exchange of Thoughts
• GD is an exchange of thoughts and ideas among
• GD is held for selecting personnel in organizations
where there is a high level of competition
• GD purpose is to get an idea about candidate in a
short time & make assessment about
– The candidates skills on
• Team relationship
• Leadership skills
• Listening and expression skills
Improving GD Skills
– How do other students make critical comments?
– How do they ask questions?
– How do they disagree with or support arguments?
– What special phrases do they use to show politeness even when they
are voicing disagreement?
– How do they signal to interrupt, ask a question or make a point?
– Start practicing your discussion skills in an informal setting or with a
small group of people.
– Take every opportunity to take part in social/informal discussions.
• Speak pleasantly and politely to the group members.
• Respect the contribution of every speaker.
• Remember that a discussion is not an argument.
• Think about your contribution before you speak. How best
can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?
• Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don't introduce
• Be aware of your body language when you are speaking.
• Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.
• Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.
• Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.
• Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like
finger pointing and table thumping can appear
• Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow
quieter a chance to contribute.
• Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote.
• Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are
saying before you speak.