Group discussions seemingly the new recruitment tactic for companies

Several recruiting agencies and HR departments resort to group interactions to test a candidate's skill in such situations as opposed to the old individual interview technique
Group discussions are crucial in showcasing out individual leadership skills and qualities (representative image) | IBS India Blog
Group discussions are crucial in showcasing out individual leadership skills and qualities (representative image) | IBS India Blog

The performance of a candidate in a group discussion, popularly known as GD, is now a key feature in the selection process for placements. It is very common nowadays for recruiting agencies or HR agencies to resort to a group discussion as a strategy to select a candidate for any given position. It gives them a good chance to evaluate the performance of a candidate with respect to their innate skills of human relations.

The strength of a candidate, when put in a group situation of around seven to ten people, will come to the fore and serve as a very good indicator of what sort of personality they are. Most organisations require not only qualified persons, but more importantly persons with the right attitude, appropriate to the needs of their organisation. It is in this scenario that the importance of a group discussion has to be viewed as a platform for expressing the right attitude and projecting a better account of the personality of a candidate.

The aspects that the selection panel will look for in a group discussion may largely be on the lines of judging the candidate on team spirit, leadership qualities, communication style, listening and observation skills, coherent expression of views and points related to the topic, managerial qualities, and finally, personal confidence.

I have witnessed many young graduates get inexplicably anxious and animated when called for a group discussion. They take it as a chance to show their dominance over the other participants and they feel that they will be given additional points if they keep shouting and talking most of the time. Frankly, it is not true. It is the other way around. The participants are keenly observed for their performance in a team. If they are able to exhibit their leadership qualities to get the entire team to participate and contribute to the topic with their own personal opinions and thoughts, and most importantly summarise the key points that emerge from the group within the given time, then they would stand a good chance of being selected.

The candidates must remember that a group discussion is essentially a great chance for them to showcase their concern for team spirit and leadership qualities. I have also noticed that candidates who hail from regional backgrounds have a low level of confidence to face the city-based students in a group discussion. This is an equal opportunity selection methodology, where there are no prefixed conditions based on any factor. It is for the team to emerge and give an account of their individual and group performance.

Here are some valuable tips that would help you to perform well in a group discussion:

1. Learn the art of participation.

2. Volunteer to take the lead and respect all participants in the group.

3. Never shout in a group discussion and wait for your turn to speak, if the others are speaking.

4. Do not get into ‘fight mode’ as it is only a discussion; be polite yet firm.

5. Speak well and with clarity on the topic.

6. Debate logically and sensibly and take the entire group with you as comfortably as you can.

7. Never hurt the sentiments of anyone in the group.

8. Keep your ears open and then respond appropriately.

9. Beware of your body language in a group discussion and radiate confidence.

10. A calm and pleasing attitude will project the positive side of your personality.

The group discussion is a valuable opportunity for the candidate to express their intelligence and communication skills, apart from leadership and managerial qualities. It is necessary that the candidates know the background and rationale of participating in a group discussion and be enthusiastic to perform well.

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