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Updated by 62144596 on May 29, 2014
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9 Most Common Group Discussion Doubts

These are the most common Group Discussion doubts that students have. Remember, all the answers to the common questions come from our primary objective of getting the interview by showing the evaluator that we can speak logically, precisely, articulately and confidently before the group and have many, if not all, the skills/behavior they are looking for.

Add your group discussion doubt below.

1

How would I address others?

How would I address others?

Address others by using the general term ‘friend’. If it’s a campus GD, and you know everyone, then you may add their name after ‘friend’ e.g. “As my friend Kevin said…”

1

Should I speak only for one side?

Should I speak only for one side?

As we already mentioned, a GD is not a debate. So a big NO. It is not at all necessary to speak for a particular side. In fact, if you are a emotionally mature critical thinker, you would have realized by now through your life experiences that every issue has at least two and often multiple sides. You can make persuasive points for as many sides as possible at appropriate times. In fact, it is a very good idea to begin with saying that this issue has two sides, say one, and then say the other one also beginning with the phrase “on the other hand”…

2

What do I do/When do I enter if the discussion is noisy?

What do I do/When do I enter if the discussion is noisy?

Group discussion generally go through highs and lows, like tides and ebbs. During an ebb, when there is a slight lull in the discussion, you can try to enter the group.
Also, there are times when a person begins to meander, unnecessarily stretching a point, making the group impatient. If you see such thing happening, it could be possible to cut in gently saying thing similar to “thanks! That was a great point you made and we have got the idea. There is something else…” However, this intrusion needs to be done very skillfully without starting an argument.
If there are few aggressive and noisy members and they are not letting others speak and time is passing by and nothing else helps, just butt in by becoming aggressive yourself. In other words, you need to get heard no matter what.

3

Should I address the recruiters?

Should I address the recruiters?

No, please don’t address the recruiters; it’s a group discussion, so please address your group members – all of them. At the same time, you should be clearly heard by the recruiters

4

What do I do if my English is not good?

What do I do if my English is not good?

There is no straightforward answer to this. Many times companies conduct GD especially for the purpose of seeing if you can communicate in the English language reasonably well. In such cases, the only way to success is to improve your English to the required extent before the GD happens.
However, in certain other cases, communication is not the only thing being looked at. What is also being seen is assertiveness, general awareness, critical thinking and sheer confidence to be able to speak the point in a stressful situation before a large group. In such cases, even if you do not have good English, having good content/points will give you enough confidence /attitude to make the point in whatever English you have. Many times, a well thought-out and different point makes a very positive impression upon the evaluator even if spoken in not so good English.
In any case, if you have a point, make sure you speak it in the group discussion, good English or no good English.

5

What if someone else has said what I wanted to say?

What if someone else has said what I wanted to say?

Three things
A Read enough so that you just don’t have one or two common points to say that someone else is also likely to pick
B Try to get your point across as early as possible before someone else says it
C If you listen carefully and have good analytical skills, then you may be able to draw a link between a point someone else is saying and what you wanted to say. So while you may not say your original point, you may be able to make a new one by such linking and say it to build upon the point that you found the link with

6

Is it good to start a discussion?

Is it good to start a discussion?

Yes, it is good to start a discussion… with an if attached to it - if you can do so convincingly and effectively because you have good stuff to say. At the same time, it is NOT good to start a discussion just for the sake of doing so, and then meandering or stopping because you had nothing to say. In the second case, take your time, listen carefully to others, create your own points by using information given by others and your critical faculty, and then speak later when you have created something good to say.

7

Should everyone be given time to speak?

Should everyone be given time to speak?

The entire reason why companies hold a GD is to find out which people are communicative, competitive and assertive (in addition to knowledgeable) enough to be able to put forward their point in a possibly noisy and stressful situation. So if a person is not speaking at all for whatever reason, it is not upto you to draw them forward. That is, it is not advisable to cold-call a silent person to speak.
However if you see someone who is trying to make a reasonable point being shouted down by other people with aggression or loud volume and thus forced to stay silent unfairly, you can take the lead role in inviting them to express their opinion by using your persuasive/authoritative persona (and thus also showing leadership/group skills). You can also help them (and yourself) further by building upon their point if you can

8

How much should I speak?

How much should I speak?

Obviously, there is no fixed answer for this. You need to speak enough to show the evaluator what you have come to show and be among the top3-4 people so they select you for the next round.
In general we have seen, considering a group of 10 people doing a GD for 12 – 15 min, speaking logically, precisely, articulately and confidently for 2 ½ to 3 min (3-4 times for 45 sec- 1 min) is enough to get you through. However, remember that it all depends on the given situation. If 4-5 people are equally good in your group, then you may need to compete harder to get noticed. In contrast, if no one has anything to speak, speaking even two times sensibly may get you noticed. Especially, in a GD where your other group members are silent, it is good to speak continuously even for a long time (if you can do that) just to keep the flow going.