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Group Discussions


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Group Discussions

  1. 1. GROUP DISCUSSIONS Part of the interview process
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION <ul><li>GDs are an important and novel part of the interview process. </li></ul><ul><li>After the first interview, GDs are the second round of interviews actually, and will be monitored closely to further eliminate unsuitable candidates. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a GD? <ul><li>We know that an interview is a one-on-one discussion. The GD is many-on-many discussion. </li></ul><ul><li>Many candidates, from 5-15 normally, are put in a conference room together, and given a topic off-hand on which they are supposed to give their view-points and keep the discussion going until a final conclusion is reached. </li></ul><ul><li>Time given will be around 20-30 minutes. The whole session is observed and monitored by company personnel ( HR and technical managers). </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the group discussion is moderated (for example, in news programs on television) and sometimes it is non-moderated (e.g. in jury deliberations, in interview GDs, in class team projects, etc). </li></ul>
  4. 4. THE MODERATED G.D. <ul><li>The advantage of a moderated group discussion is that the participant knows what to talk about and when to talk about it - obviously, when prompted by the moderator. </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge to the participant is to know the subject matter thoroughly and be articulate in responding to questions and arguments. One must become a good listener and be able to support or rebut the arguments from others in the group. </li></ul>
  5. 5. PREPARATION FOR A M.G.D. <ul><li>Thus, preparation for the participant involves learning the subject matter, anticipating as many questions and arguments as possible. Acquiring content knowledge is a necessary step but not a sufficient step. You have to practice applying the knowledge to various real and imaginary situations/scenarios. It is the combination of acquisition and application of knowledge that is paramount. </li></ul>
  6. 6. NON-MODERATED G.D. <ul><li>Group Discussions, that are not moderated, pose additional challenges. In additional to subject knowledge, one also has to be careful about what to say, how to say and when to say it. </li></ul><ul><li>In such a discussion, just as in jury deliberations, a quasi-leader (that is, moderator) often emerges as the discussion progresses. So what are the appropriate rules of engagement in a group discussion? Since only one person may emerge as the group leader, and that too only after the discussion progresses, here are some guidelines that may be helpful to all participants </li></ul>
  7. 7. How to behave in any G.D. <ul><li>Be cool </li></ul><ul><li>Be poised </li></ul><ul><li>Listen, think, then talk the right thing at the right time. </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite and confident. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak respectfully and in proper English. </li></ul><ul><li>Say what you have to say then shut up. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no need to waffle just for the sake of saying something. Talk to the point, then explain and illustrate. </li></ul>
  8. 8. GUIDELINES FOR N.M.G.D. <ul><li>Stay focused on the topic . You share the responsibility to make the group as productive as possible. Do not go off on tangents, and if someone else does, try to bring the discussion back on track. </li></ul>
  9. 9. TALKING v/s NOISE-MAKING <ul><li>Talk only when you have something useful to say . Avoid the waste of &quot;air time.&quot; Just because one talks a lot does not mean one contributes a lot. Strike a careful balance between the quantity and quality of talk. Your speaking contribution should either move the discussion forward or change the direction of the discussion. </li></ul>
  10. 10. SHARPEN YOUR EARS <ul><li>Listen, Listen, Listen . Do not get caught up with what great things you can say. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize other people's contribution, before you expect them to recognize yours. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuity of discussion, and thus progress, can be achieved only when participants &quot;build on&quot; other's contributions. </li></ul><ul><li>It does not mean you have to accept what others say - challenge that by all means, if necessary - but listen first. And agree that you can disagree! </li></ul>
  11. 11. NO FISHMARKET PLEASE! <ul><li>One at a time, please ! Only one person should talk at any time, while all others listen carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid falling in love with your own voice and not giving others time to talk. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not the quantity which matters, but the quality. </li></ul>
  12. 12. NO CHINESE WHISPERS <ul><li>Side meetings an absolute no-no . </li></ul><ul><li>Do not talk to others, out loud or whispering softly, when someone is talking to the group. If you have questions or comments, ask the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at others in the group when you talk. </li></ul><ul><li>Make eye contact with the moderators and your peers. Use confident body language. </li></ul>
  13. 13. BE POLITE,YET CONFIDENT <ul><li>No matter how right you think you are, others' ideas at least deserve due consideration. </li></ul><ul><li>Never utter phrases such as: &quot;You are wrong!&quot; &quot;That is so stupid!&quot; &quot;Dumbest thing I have ever heard!&quot; - even when you are 100% sure that they are absolute nonsense! </li></ul><ul><li>Present an alternative way of looking at the situation and let the group support the right path forward. </li></ul>
  14. 14. GET THE MAIN ROLE <ul><li>Strive to become the group leader, BUT within reason . Sure, being unofficially recognized by your peers in the group shows your leadership qualities. Only one person can become that. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically, the group consensus emerges over time. One does not need to be labeled a leader explicitly to acquire and discharge the expected role. Most often, the group, through its behavior, implicitly grants the role without verbally articulating it. </li></ul>
  15. 15. LEAD, DON’T DOMINATE! <ul><li>Leader, DON'T push it . Remember, the group had elected you, whether implicitly or explicitly, the leader/moderator. The group expects you to be fair to all participants while making progress. Involve everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>Give everybody a fair chance to speak. Do not let anyone dominate the air time. Draw out people who are quiet. Make it a dynamic group. </li></ul>
  16. 16. CONCLUDE THE G.D. <ul><li>Conclude : At the end of the allotted time, it’s important that as a group, you do reach a conclusion, which will be conveyed to the moderators. </li></ul><ul><li>Since you would be in an assessment environment, you will be observed for not only what you contribute but also on how and when you contribute. </li></ul>
  17. 17. EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW… <ul><li>Group discussions are typically on a topic or on a scenario. You may not know the topic or scenario until the discussion is actually set to begin. Acquire content knowledge for all potential areas. As mentioned earlier, it is the application of the acquired knowledge that would prove useful. </li></ul><ul><li>The secret of shining in GDs: Practice, Practice, Practice! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Review Exercise 1 <ul><li>Form teams of 4-5 people and have a NMGD on the following topic: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Companies in India have no ethics nor social corporate responsibility”. Discuss. </li></ul>