Preparing for Group Discussion - 5 Quick Tips in 5 Minutes



While a person’s academic measures like CGPA/pointers/marks may help in getting shorlisted for the entrance test and even in qualifying the same for an interview call, for many companies the final selection depends largely on the communication skills and the way one presents themselves.

Hence, how students should prepare for success should be based on the understanding of what the moderators of group discussions or interviewers are looking for.

In a Group Discussion, a group of students is assigned a topic that may range from Politics to a recent technology for a discussion of about 15–20 minutes. The purpose is to find a student that has the combination of knowledge, confidence and good communication skills. Knowledge is judged by the understanding of the topic assigned and its also a measure of level of awareness of the world around. The ways to prepare for the same is to read more, developing a keen interest in current affairs and in seeking opportunities to discuss these in peer groups. While having a good knowledge give you good content to talk about, having the confidence to talk in groups help you convey your points in the righ manner at the right time.

What you talk about matters as much as how you talk

  • Moderators seek a variety of skills in the students. Some of them are analytical skills, communication skills, team skills, ability to handle stress, decision-making skills, presentation style etc. The panel wishes to see whether the candidate is able to think clearly about a situation, dig into his treasure of knowledge and apply it usefully in the short time to make a point the the group discussion.
  • The only way to prepare yourself to think analytically is to think of they ‘why’ and ‘how’ of every situation. Whenever you encounter an issue while reading, try to form and opinion about it. Try to discuss it in a group of friends. If you feel you find it hard to develop an opinion, try reading editorial sections about that topic in newspapers. You may also try reading opinion based articles on the internet about the issue. The most common topics in a group discussion usually revolve about the well known issues like Reservation system in India, Women Empowerment etc. Try to present a view that is well balanced and do not say anything that may hurt sentiments of anyone.

Be a good listener

  • A group discussion is not a debate. You have been given an issue and you are asked to present your view about it. It is a measure of your ability to work and discuss in a group in workplaces. If you keep talking without giving others a chance to express their opinion, you will just come across as an uncooperative person and that may reduce your chances of selection. Give others a chance to talk. Say phrases like “I completely agree with your point but I want to add..” or “In support of what you just said I would say..”
  • If you act like a good team player other people in the group discussion will also relate to you. Even when you want to disagree with what someone has put forward do it with grace. Do not go on talking. Make your point with a few crisp statements rather than beating around the bush. Moderators look for the candidate’s keenness and ability to listen to others – mature managers are very good listeners because every time you listen, you learn.

Be open-minded

Having opinion about an issue is one thing, Being fixated to that opinion is another thing. This will make you appear as someone who can not think beyond his comfort zone. When others present a point that you are not comfortable with. Think about it and learn from it rather than opposing it straightaway. In certain cases, when you feel necessary to go against them, do not be too assertive. Place your viewpoint as another way of thinking the same situation. Speak loudly and clearly and be very sure of what you are speaking.

Read: Campus Interview, Placement and College Projects.

Take the initiative

Try to be the first one to start. If others are anxious, being the first one will give you an added advantage as it will present you as a confident person who is not afraid to speak his mind. However, make sure you have a certain points to make and that you do not speak for too long. The idea is speak three to four times in a discussion based on the total duration of the same and making a point every time.

Do not get distracted

Make sure you are always listening. Even when the other people are talking, your concentration should be on the group discussion only. This will present you as an attentive listener which is a very good quality. While you listen, you will be able to find new points to present based on what other people are talking about. Give due importance to other persons views. However, stick to the point you have made. Try to support it with more view points. Do not allow yourself to be diverted by other peoples points

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Satyam Sinha answered| Aug 7, 2015

Nice Tips but i read it in 2 minutes !! instead of 5 minuets. How much time did you take?