As in the last blog, I told you about different types of aptitude and written questions. In this blog I will tell you about second most tricky part of any selection process- Group discussion round. Exams like CAT, off campus recruitment of MNCs have group discussion rounds before the interview round. In this round again, only some people are being selected on the basis of what they speak and how they speak it. This round tests your public speaking skills, presence of mind and also your general knowledge. There will be an invigilator and a group of 10-20 people. A topic is given on spot with 10 minutes for preparing your words. Sometimes this preparation time shortens up to 3 minutes. So you need to be well prepared at that instant of time. Whatever you speak about the topic should be fluent and clear. Here the task is to catch invigilator’s attention in a positive way and then you will be shortlisted for further rounds.
Group discussion tests a person’s team working skills and also the executives get to know every candidate at personal level. If you will speak up then only you will be noticed. At times there will be two groups formed during a group discussion taking form of a black and white discussion. At this time you need to take responsibility of what you say without dodging out from your side. Preparing for a group discussion is like preparing yourself to become a good public speaker. This preparation takes months of time and regular practice. The power of words is infinite, It’s a blessing of god to humans through which many of us became a good leader and exerted a great influence in society. Ideas are of no use if they remain unexpressed. The one who knows how to put across an idea properly and interestingly catches the attention and gets shortlisted in any field.
Become a good public speaker
As the topic given in a group discussion can be anything or from any field therefore an excerpt knowledge of various things is necessary. It is not at all relevant that if you are opting for a campus selection then it’s group discussion rounds will have topics only related to engineering. It can be anything, so you need to be prepared. For this start eclectic reading, which means that you should read and acknowledge yourself about different agendas in the world. If there is a popular political event being held in your country then read about it. If any big news spreads up the whole world like fire no matter how useless it seems to you. It can probably be chosen as a topic for interesting and productive discussion. For example– Angelina jolie and brad pitt’s break up, what if this topic comes up in your group discussion and all you are left with is a blank reaction saying “what to say?”.
Some of the latest group discussion topics are-
- A room without books is like a body without soul
- Technology creates income disparity
- Should Pakistani artists be thrown out of India?
- Winning is what matters, whatever may be the cost
I suggest you all to start practicing your speech as in a group discussion, not only it matters as to what you speak but how and when you speak it. Right choice of words with the right body posture is a must. Your actions should not create any offended feeling between the group when you are participating in a group discussion. what you speak, should be sensible, expressive, enthusiastic, helping to move the discussion further and convincing. A good speaker must have these qualities-
- Quick wittiness
- Useful intention
- Confidence in self
Whatever you say should be true. A good speaker is also a good listener, so be observant and listen to your team members before popping up with your idea in between a speech. While sitting in a group discussion your body posture should be descent. Girls should not fold their legs neither boys should maintain a maharaja rusty dude look on their face while attending a group discussion.
Read about literature, politics, sports. You don’t have to get in depth but just read enough to say on that subject.
Some of the do’s and don’t of group discussion are-
- As soon as you get the topic, prepare at least 5 points for it in a paper like short notes.
- Discuss with your group members about who will start the discussion and if there is going to be an opposing side in the group too.
- Be attentive to what others say, maintain a good body posture and don’t look dull or uninterested in the conversation.
- Try to start the discussion if you get a chance, because this will naturally set you apart from others in your group, plan a strategy to do so.
- If you are initiating the discussion then first introduce yourself shortly, introduce the topic and then put your point forward.
- Speak at least three points about the topic and do not repeat anyone’s sentence in these points, keep your points distinct.
- Do not interrupt someone while they speaking, yes you need to speak up to grab the attention when you are not getting a chance. For this you need to observe the group and speak up as soon as the other person stops.
- Be respectful towards your team members and address them through words like as my fellow mate says or call the person by name if you know him/her.
- Do not get aggressive or shout during a discussion. Yes you want to prove your point but this will create a negative image of you in front of invigilator.
- Be fluent while speaking and don’t use big fancy words which will just bounce off your team members. This will also create a bad impression of yours.
Let me share an experience of my life related to group discussion. I was volunteering for a job fare held at my college in 2015 where 108+ companies visited within three days and selected desired graduates and freshers for placements. I was in charge of this room where group discussions were held for a company. There was this guy who was one among the group. He was well dressed, sat straight and looked really attentive. The moment he started speaking was the moment he got canceled from the list. He delivered his speech in a speed of bullet brain saying all the big words and half of what he said was not even understood by either his group or the HR. At first the HR looked attentively to listen to him but in less than half a minute he got bored and I could see that look on his face. Also the guy kept speaking rubbish and irrelevant words in fast tone just to acquire the given time of the discussion and not let others speak. This thing really made his group members upset and they all gave him an angry look. Please look you don’t make a mess like this while you attend your group discussion round.
Also try to practice your speech in front of mirror and discuss topics with your friends. This was all about group discussions. Also read my blogs on interview attire for women and interview attire for men.
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