Group discussion, as a selection technique, is mainly designed to test the behavioural and influential skills of a candidate in a group. The other areas which are tested in a GD are communication skills, knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject, the capability to coordinate and lead, etc. Lower familiarity with the random GD topic and no preparation time makes the job easier for the assessor while making things difficult for the candidates.
A typical group discussion generally has 6-10 participants (the GTO group) and lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. It means that each candidate gets 2-3 minutes to talk; the rest of the time is spent listening.
Recommended Candidates Tips To Prepare For GD:
Reading a book or an editorial aloud for around 15 minutes daily will enhance fluency, the tone of voice and articulation. If possible, try speaking in front of a mirror to tackle nervousness.
Do Discussions in Daily Life:
Start having discussions with your friends and family. It will be more informal where you can assess yourself and organize your thoughts.
Present Facts to the Group:
A good point with some facts and numbers will make everybody listen to what you have to say. This generally helps in presenting your points in the discussion after you’ve already spoken.
Knowing current affairs is a must:
Since the group discussion topic is always a recent controversial topic, if a candidate updated with current affairs, content is not an issue. If not, start reading newspapers and watch the news.
Listening is a crucial part of group discussion. It indicates your teamwork and cooperation with the group. The best strategy is to speak for 30-40 seconds and then let others speak. Then after 4-5 minutes, again speak for about a minute with facts and number and listen to others. After that, keep on giving 1-2 points after every 1 or 2 minutes.
With the typical fauji environment, it is common for candidates to hurl abuses while chit chatting among each other. But not in GD where you must use formal language. Address other participants with respect. Do not make a lot of gestures while you are not speaking. Avoid using extreme words and extreme statements.
Do not prick others:
There are candidates who tend to poke people sitting next to them by elbows or hands – consciously or subconsciously. Do not be that person. Also, do not point to a specific participant while talking. Do not get personal; try to be objective in your arguments. This is not a debate, but a discussion. There is a difference.
This is the most important point. Do not go on agreeing with all the people every time. Disagree with the candidates who are supporting other reasons. Remember, you have to support your own reason with correct facts and figures. If you are disagreeing with someone else do it civilly. Disagree with the point and not with the person.
Talk with figures:
It is really hard to remember all the figures and numbers to support a point. At the same time, you cannot fully avoid the numbers. In that case, if you are 90% familiar with the topic, there is a good chance that a guess on a figure would work. For e.g., if you state a fact that most of the youth are addicted to mobile phones nowadays, there is a good chance if you say that “87% of the youth between 12-25 in 95% of urban India is addicted to smartphone” will work. Remember, these are totally random numbers but there are very high chances that these are true.
In the GD, a candidate should be able to convey his/her thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly to the group. Knowledge of the given subject, power of expression and clarity of thought are the things that are evaluated. Always remember, GD is always on a controversial topic so that you have enough points to speak on it.
Do you have any more tips to give the fellow aspirants? Write them down in the comments.