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Group Discussions

Why – Skills assessed during a Group Discussion

An employee in an organisation works with people and teams.  Many companies use Group Discussions (GD) in the selection process for management trainees or entry level managers.  Employers are looking for candidates who have potential to be executives and to lead a group of people, as also be a team player.  Furthermore, Group Discussions precede the face-to-face interview.    GD can be used to check many aspects of a potential employee :-

  • Thought process – clarity of thought, expression and aptness of language.
  • Persuasive Skills– The ability to analyse and persuade others to see the problem from multiple perspectives.
  • Communication and articulation skills – how good is the person at communicating with other people.
  • Interactive skills – how does a person interacts with other members a team. Emotional maturity and balance are essential for good interpersonal relationships.
  • Listening Skills – a willingness to accommodate others views.
  • Attitude, Personality, Confidence, Body Language,

How

During GDs a groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group.  For the purpose of discussions:-

  • They may be given a topic and are asked to discuss the same. Topics can be from a wide range of issues like current events, business news, sports or even abstract.
  • They may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem.
  • They may be given a specific situation to analyse and discuss.

Tips for the Group Discussions

Here are some tips in order to be successful in a group discussion

  • When speaking in a GD, your job is to articulate your point of view in a way that is easy for others to comprehend.
  • Take initiative and start the discussion.
  • Structure your thoughts; take a position; support your point with examples, facts, statistics etc.
  • Speak clearly & confidently; maintain eye contact with the member as you speak; there should be enthusiasm in your body language
  • Listen attentively to other members; take notes; quote them wherever relevant to continue your discussion.

Group Discussions Resources

Table Stakes Questions in Preparing for an Interview

There are a few basic questions that any Interviewer will expect the Candidate to be prepared for. These are
(i) Tell me about yourself
(ii) Why this job, this company
(iii) Why should we hire you.

The tact to handle the question “Tell me about yourself” is to encapsulate ‘why you want to take up a certain profession’ and ‘how you are suitable for it’ in the answer for ‘tell me about yourself’. Further, instead of summarising your resume, you should highlight aspects not written there. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes – what would you want to know about the candidate if you were them ?

You should highlight your personality and bring out your strengths and abilities that you can support by giving examples. Connect your skills to the job description. Mention your past experiences and proven successes. Briefly mention hobbies, intellectual development and community involvement.

Few examples for people with no work experience:

  • I am Rishab Singh and I come from Karnal. My desire is to pursue a career in Sales. I am a very extrovert person and can easily connect with new people. I am a very good listener and tend not to be judgmental. I have the knack of bringing people together and resolving conflicts through logical reasoning. I believe that these qualities of mine help me in making people appreciating my point of view, as well as developing lasting relationships.
  • My name is Harminder and I have a passion for commercial aspects of business. I graduated in B.Com and an now pursuing MBA Finance. I believe that a thorough financial analysis helps in making good business decisions therefore I have carried out several academic projects to hone this skill. (https://www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/jobseekers/your-career-finance-10-skills-really-count).

Look up the skills that are required for your desired specialisation. If you do not have them, work towards honing these skills.

If you have carried out an internship, that becomes a very important aspect of your interview, and of ‘tell me about yourself’. When a company hires a paid intern, they certainly are trying to achieve something. You must understand the ‘aim’ of the internship (i.e. the problem they are trying to solve). Then you must tell how you contributed towards solving this problem using the use the STAR approach i.e Situation, Task, Action and Result. Here are a few examples :-

  • I did my internship with ABC company. The company was facing problem with drop in sales due to inefficient sales channel. The company had drawn own a new channel arrangement and my task was to make our retailers join the new channel arrangement. Though the new arrangement was resisted by most of the retails, in my tenure of 2 months I was able to achieve a 93% switch-over to the new model.

Keep these points in mind as you tell them about yourself:

• Rehearse your answers. Make sure you’re prepared.
• Don’t waste a lot of time memorizing them.
• Once you’ve done that, you’re sure to deliver a satisfactory response to the tell me about yourself interview question.

Some more resources on the internet:

Career Advice

Interviews

Answer to “Sell Me This Pen”