Meaning of Group Discussion (GD)
Group Discussion is an important tool in the selection process. It is mostly used for selecting candidates for management posts. Here, the candidates are divided into small groups. Each group contains six to eight candidates. Each group is given a topic for discussion. They are also given a time limit for discussing this topic. The topic may be a general or current topic. For e.g. "Leaders are born, not made". Each participant has to give his or her views about this topic. The selectors observe the full discussion. After the time limit is over, the best candidate from the group is selected. The same process is followed for other groups.
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Group discussion is mostly unstructured. That is, every single step is not planned in advance. Each candidate is not given a time limit for speaking. Similarly, the order of speaking, that is, who will speak first and who will speak last is not fixed in advance. The candidates have to decide how to conduct the group discussion. The selectors see how the group takes shape, and who contributes most to it. They also judge the knowledge of each candidate, time management, leadership quality, behaviour, etc.
Qualities Judged in a Group Discussion (GD)
Following important qualities are judged in a group discussion :-
Initiative is the ability to take action without being told. The candidate who starts the discussion has this quality.
2. Subject Knowledge
Here, the selectors find out the following points :-
- Whether the candidates have understood the meaning of the topic of discussion.
- Whether they have proper knowledge about the topic. Here quality is given more importance than quantity.
- Whether they have proper general knowledge.
- Whether they have original ideas and whether they can develop these ideas logically.
3. Time Management
Here the best candidate is the one who :-
- Expresses all his views within his own time limit.
- Gives other candidates time to express their views.
- Summarises everyone's views in a few minutes just before the discussion ends.
4. Communication Skills
Communication Skills are the ability to express ideas clearly and concisely.
5. Leadership Skills
The candidate who starts the discussion, fixes time limit for each candidate, maintains discipline during the discussion and summarises the discussion at the end has got leadership qualities.
6. Conflict Handling Skills
Sometimes, two or more candidates have a heated discussion and start shouting at each other during a group discussion. The candidate who steps in and cools them down has conflict handling skills.
7. Ability to work as a Team
The selectors also look for candidates who have the ability to work as a team member.
8. Group Acceptance
Selectors look for the candidate who is accepted by the others in the group. They reject candidates who try to dominate others. They also reject those who speak for a long time, not allowing other to speak. Similarly, those who interrupt other repeatedly are rejected.
Persuasiveness is the ability to influence others by your ideas. It is the ability to sell your ideas to others. This requires sound reasoning.
10. Open to other ideas
The selectors also look for candidates who have an open mind and accept good ideas from others.
Videos on a Group Discussion (GD)
Youtube Videos on Group Discussion or Oral Exam guiding on :-
- What happens in a good group discussion? Part I
- How to be an active listener in a group discussion? Part II
- How to improve a group discussion? Part III
- How to improve a group discussion? Part IV