Top 8 Group Discussion Tips You Should Use in Your Next Interview

The Group Discussion, commonly referred to as GD, is a crucial elimination round in an interview process that candidates need to be a part of after clearing their aptitude test or the written exam.

A vital component in any screening process, GD involves the participation of a group of people who are asked to debate and discuss different aspects of a topic given by the interviewers.

Regardless of whether you are looking at getting into a top-notch college or applying for a job, the group discussion round is something that you will have to face in order to get one step closer to realizing your dream.

Although many candidates freeze at the thought of how they will present themselves in a group discussion, in reality, the group discussion round is not as dreaded as it seems if you master the tried and tested tricks that help crack GDs.

In this article, we share with you some practical tips and strategies that will set you up for success in group discussions. But before we get into that, let's help you understand why the GD round is so essential.

The group discussion round is critical because it allows interviewers to analyze candidates on a variety of parameters, including their level of confidence, teamwork qualities, communication, leadership, analytical, and logical skills.

So, now that you know what GD is and why it is important from an interviewer's perspective check out the top eight group discussion tips below that you should definitely apply in your next interview.

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Awareness of Topics Relating to Your Background Is Crucial

Experts advise that you research popular topics related to your field before taking part in a group discussion. While it is not possible to keep track of all topics under the sun, you should nevertheless have a clear understanding of matters that are closely linked to your educational or professional background.

Besides having fair knowledge of the core subjects in your domain, you must also be well-versed in some common group discussion topics that relate to today's social and economic environment, emerging technologies, or current affairs. 

Here are a few group discussion topics that you should consider reviewing:

  • The impact of Coronavirus on the world economy
  • Do you think virtual learning can be an effective tool in the post-COVID landscape?
  • Is WFH (Work from Home) the new norm?
  • What are your views on cryptocurrency?
  • Social Media: A curse or a blessing for society?
  • Women are better managers. Do you agree or disagree?

From the ongoing global pandemic to well-known case studies, controversial to general topics, the subject matter of group discussions can be diverse. In addition to preparing for topics that pertain to your profile, if you research some common GD topics, such as the ones mentioned above, you can face the group discussion round with confidence.

Keep in mind that having basic knowledge about the subject of discussion is important, but what's even more important is how you convey your understanding of the subject to the interviewers and other members of the group discussion. Therefore, prior to appearing for your GD, make sure you work on your presentation skills.

Take the Lead

The right time to initiate a conversation is paramount in a group discussion. Some people believe that speaking first helps grab the attention of the interviewer, but that is not always the case because it can backfire as well. 

You can speak first if you have valuable information or statistics that are relevant to the topic, but otherwise, it is advisable to speak during intervals in between conversations. 

If you are uncertain or confused about the subject of the discussion, listen to other participants, and then rephrase your response accordingly.

There Is No Place for Aggression in Group Discussions

During the course of a group discussion, be aware of what you say and how you say it. You will find many participants in a group discussion with views that differ from your own. You must respect their opinions and communicate your perspective assertively, not aggressively. 

Remember, at no time should you get angry and yell. Controlling your emotions and staying calm will make you look more confident. 

Below are some phrases you can use to express your opinion in a gracious manner.

If you do not agree with someone, you can say - "I respect your viewpoint, but I disagree. I hold a completely different opinion."

When you agree with someone, you can use the phrase - "I am in agreement with you; I also have the same point of view."

Other than the above two scenarios, you could be in situations where you partially disagree with someone. In such situations, say something like - "I agree with you to some extent, but I do not fully support your position."

If you need to intervene at some point, do so by saying - "I am sorry, I would like to interrupt you there".

To contribute to an ongoing discussion, you may say - "Apart from that, I wish to add ..."

The use of appropriate phrases, such as those mentioned above, illustrates your willingness to accept other viewpoints while you stand by yours.

Remember that the purpose of group discussions is to evaluate a candidate's personality, behavior, and interpersonal skills. Thus, it is important to remain positive and confident throughout the GD session.

Communicate Effectively

What matters in a group discussion is how well you present your views and how convincing your arguments are to the interviewers and other group members. It is crucial to speak with absolute clarity, not only to get your point across but also to leave a positive impression through your speech. 

To improve your vocal clarity, check out some simple exercises on YouTube that will enable you to deliver a clearer speech. 

Another point to keep in mind is to not sit back after making your opening comment. Make an entry into the discussion whenever you think it is appropriate to do so, using the phrases in the previous section.

Listen Carefully, Do Not Just Hear

Listening skills are vital in a group discussion. Listening not just helps understand the topic of discussion, but it is also an indication of how respectful you are.

 Listen carefully when others are speaking, and then frame your response. Also, nod your head and make brief eye contact with the speakers. This shows that you are actively taking part in the discussion. 

All good speakers are great listeners, and to be successful in group discussions, you must likewise develop superb listening skills.

Work On Your Body Language

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication. It is gaining more and more prominence in recent times as it plays a critical role in defining an individual's personality, level of confidence, and leadership qualities. 

Be aware that everything you do, from entering the room to the way you speak, sit, and react, will be monitored. So dress professionally, sit up straight, keep your cool, and never appear tense. 

YouTube has many videos on body language. Watch some of these videos to perfect the art of manipulating your audience with body language.

Avoid Deviating From the Topic

To avoid straying from the topic, try to limit your attention to the content of your speech rather than its length. If the discussion drifts off-topic, make an effort to bring the discussion back on track. Attempting to keep the group on the subject will demonstrate your leadership skills to the interviewers.

Be the First to Summarize the Discussion

Summarizing the whole group discussion and highlighting the most important points will enable you to capture the attention of the interviewers. Keep your summary relevant and short. In addition, make sure to present an impartial summary, not a biased one.

Researching different topics for group discussions, improving your communication skills, and having mock GDs with your friends and family will increase your chances of being selected, but to seal the deal, consider getting yourself certified from an industry-recognized institution, such as Simplilearn.

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