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College admission or Jobs Group discussion


When it comes to corporate interviews, Group Discussions are a crucial aspect of the selection process. Generally, there are two kinds of Group Discussions practiced by most institutes: Topic-based and Case Study-based. They are mostly used for selecting candidates for Supervisory/Managerial (or Officer) roles. Here, the candidates are divided into small groups, in which each group - usually with six to eight candidates - gets a subject and a time to finish the task. The presented topics are either general events or case studies. Each participant is required to give their views on the subject, while the Selectors observe the complete discussion. At the end of the process, the most straightforward candidate from the group is chosen.

Remember, a Group Discussion is the second last round in your selection process. It is usually unstructured, so not every step is planned. There are no time constraints on speaking, nor is there a fixed order for speaking. The candidates determine how the discussion plays out. The Selection Committee observes the dynamics of the group, especially monitoring who contributes the most. They also judge the knowledge of each candidate, as well as their Time Management skills; their potential Leadership skills; and their overall behaviour.

The Group Discussion helps to determine the following qualities of candidates:

  • Initiative - Initiative is the ability or drive to take action without being prompted.
  • Subject Knowledge/Right knowledge - Here, the Selectors determine the following:

The meaning of the subject to be discussed

Proper knowledge about the subject (with quality given more importance than quantity)

Proper public knowledge

Original ideas (and whether or not they can develop these ideas logically)

  • Time Management - Here, the stronger candidate is the person who expresses all their views within the given time, while also giving other candidates time to present their views
  • Communication skills - Having good Communication Skills generally means that one has the ability to present ideas clearly and concisely
  • Leadership skills - The candidate who starts the discussion; maintains discipline during the discussion; and summarises the discussion at the end usually possesses good leadership qualities
  • Conflict Management skills - Sometimes, two or more candidates have a heated discussion and might begin shouting at each other during a Group Discussion. The candidate with the ability to resolve this situation displays good Conflict Management skills
  • Ability to perform as part of a team - The Selectors also watch for candidates who have the capacity to think and act as part of a team
  • Group acceptance - Selectors watch for candidates who are accepted by the group, while rejecting candidates who might attempt to dominate their colleagues. They also reject those who take too much time, preventing others from talking. Similarly, those who repeatedly interrupt are dismissed.
  • Persuasiveness - Persuasiveness is the ability to influence others with your ideas, and to 'sell' your ideas to others. This requires sound reasoning, but can also be the purview of a charismatic candidate
  • Hospitable towards other views - The Selectors also search for candidates who have an open mind and who display a willingness to entertain the ideas of others

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