Preparing for Group Discussions

The reason why group discussions are increasingly used included in interview processes today is because they serve as the best way to test a candidate’s behavioral skills including his communicative abilities, inter personal camaraderie etc. The interviewer or the moderator also gets a glimpse of the candidate’s precision in terms of his knowledge, his ability to mingle in a team, his managerial skills etc.

Now coming up with and making your point amidst a group of strangers is no mean task. You should really brace yourself for due preparations for the same. Go through the tips for preparing for a group discussion and try to implement them in order to nail it!

As already mentioned above, the entire rationale behind the inclusion of GD is to estimate a candidate’s sense of precision, his knowledge about the current affairs and his ability to mingle with and stand out from others in the team at the same time. You can start off your preparations by keeping these few factors in view.

In the Group Discussion you probably would be asked to argue on a current topic that has been making the rounds and is potent enough to spark a debate. So make sure you are updated with the latest news via newspapers, new channels, Social Media and Social Networking sites. A special mention should be made of the social media here. If you are a regular here, you would be able to find a lot of current issues being discussed with members chipping in with valuable responses in single threads. You can take aid of these discussions to get an idea about ways to build up your own arguments.

You will be required to speak in a group of strangers and your communications skills would be under the radar. So make sure that you are honing your skills duly by standing in front of the mirror and reading out parts of a book or an editorial or newspaper at length (say about for 15-20 minutes at a stretch). This will help you to identify possible flaws in speech and eliminate the same.

Please make sure that you are keeping track of the latest happenings around and forming informed opinions about the same. If possible write down your points of argument about each topic thereby helping yourself in constructing your points of view. Practice these arguments in front of the mirror.  Watch your expressions and tone while practicing. Make sure you’re not appearing or sounding too rude or loud while putting across your opinions. Avoid verbosity. Remember it’s not a fight only a debate. Try to create an impression not attract undue attention.

After a few days of initial preparations, start taking part in group discussions with friends and like-minded people. Make sure it happens on a regular basis. Try to put forward your points and listen to what others have to say. Integrate their opinions to your knowledge base as well.

Refrain from using vacant gestures at the interview. Focus more on relevant and precise “words” and not on desperate attempts to make an impression.

With around 8-10 people in the group, a single participant gets an average of 2 minutes to speak. Make sure you are prepared sufficiently to make an impression in those few minutes only.

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