Group discussion

GD Preparation-GD Preparation

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GD Preparation

You may have experienced or prepared yourself for an interview where you may be a king of your own like answering a tests, attending one on one interview or even being a part of an interview where you have a panel of 2 -3 interviewers interviewing you.

A very different and a commonly adapted form of selection i.e. Group Discussion, is one methodology which needs preparation, practice not alone but with a group of people. GD being one of the selection processes gives an insight of a person performing in real life situation along with team members. GD majorly brings out an understanding of one’s ability referring to working in a team. Team work is an integral part of any organization; hence GD too plays an important role.

GD has become a useful tool for selection along with personal interviews, technical or aptitude tests etc. A GD is an activity where:

* 8 – 10 candidates participate and discuss within a given limit of time
* The time may vary between 20 – 40 minutes
* You may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem
* They may be given a topic and are asked to discuss the same

Bond with the number of people and time, you need to showcase the best of your abilities. While GD reflects the inherent qualities of an individual, appearing for it unprepared may not augur well for you. Here are some tips to prepare you for a Group Discussion:

1. Reading:
This is the first and the most crucial step in preparation. This is a never ending process and the more you read, the better you are in your thoughts. While you may read anything to everything, you must ensure that you are in good touch with current affairs, the debates and hot topics of discussion and also with the latest in the IT and ITES industry. Chances are the topics would be around these. Read both for the thoughts as well as for data. Also read multiple view points on the same topic and then create your point of view with rationale. Also create answers for counter arguments for your point of view. The electronic media also will be of good use here.

2. Mocks: Create an informal GD group and meet regularly to discuss and exchange feedback. This is the best way to prepare. This would give you a good idea about your thoughts and how well can you convince. Remember, it is important that you are able to express your thoughts well. The better you perform in these mocks the better would be you chances to perform on the final day. Also try to interact and participate in other GD groups. This will develop in you a skill to discuss with unknown people as well.

3. Dressing: Always dress in formals. Wearing a good combination of a dark and light outfit is a good idea. Ensure your clothes are well ironed. Footwear is polished, neat & tidy. For men, if you wear a black belt ensure you are in black footwear. Avoid too much of jewellery during interviews or group discussions.

4. During the Group Discussion:

What do the panelists assess: Some of the qualities assessed in a GD are:

* Leadership Skills -
Ability to take leadership roles and be able to lead, inspire and carry the team along to help them achieve the group's objectives.

* Communication Skills -
Candidates will be assessed in terms of clarity of thought, expression and aptness of language. One key aspect is listening. It indicates a willingness to accommodate others views.

* Interpersonal Skills - People skills are an important aspect of any job. They are reflected in the ability to interact with other members of the group in a brief situation. Emotional maturity and balance promotes good interpersonal relationships. The person has to be more people centric and less self-centered.

* Persuasive Skills - The ability to analyze and persuade others to see the problem from multiple perspectives.

GD is a test of your ability to think, your analytical capabilities and your ability to make your point in a team-based environment. These are some of the sub-skills that also get assessed with the skills mentioned above:

* Clarity of thought

* Group working skills (especially during a group task of case study discussion)

* Conflict handling

* Listening and probing skills

* Knowledge about the subject and individual point of view

* Ability to create a consensus

* Openness and flexibility towards new ideas

* Data based approach to decision making

While, it is not possible to reflect all these qualities in a short time, you would do well if you are able to show a couple or more qualities and avoid giving negative evidence on others.