FAQs - Group Discussion

Learn the answers to the questions that frequently arise in your mind !!

1.What is a GD?
GD is a discussion by a group of people which involves an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Group Discussions are largely used by institutes where there is a high level of competition.

2. What is Evaluated?
GD is a means to assess one’s overall personality.

The qualities judged are:
Mental Agility
Spontaneity of Decision
Interpersonal Skills
Power of Assimilation
Clear & Logical Exposition
Moral Integrity

An Examiner can easily make an assessment of candidates on above parameters in a GD. All that one observes in a GD can be categorised into two broad areas: the Content and the Process. The content is all about the ‘matter’ (or the ‘what’) spoken in the GD. Whereas, the process refers to the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ of the GD. Both are equally important and need adequate attention at all stages. A high quality contribution with no regard to the ‘process’ is as suicidal as one which is high on packaging with little content.

3. How does a GD Take Place?
A Group of 6-15 candidates are made to sit in a circular or a semi-circular (U Shaped) fashion so that they can see each other and take part in the discussion easily
Roll Numbers may be allotted to participants for easy recognition. Before the GD, the examiner (observer) announces the topic for discussion and informs candidates about the time-limit. He may also draw attention towards the etiquette, rules and regulation, procedure to be followed. He also clears any doubts/queries. The individuals of the group might be given some initial time to put down their thoughts on the topic. The examiner observes the proceedings of the discussion from a distance without directly interfering into it. He examines the performance of each candidate without any prejudice or favour.

4. Are the topics decided on the basis of the academic background of the participants?
No, The grouping of members and the topics is done by the institute’s admission team. Topics basis academic background are rarely asked

5. Can a definite stand be taken?
If you have complete conviction on your stand TAKE IT (esp. in case of ethical topics) – Its important to be true and fair first to yourself and then to others.
But, at the same time appreciate others point of view and evaluate their judgment without bias. Taking one side of the topic initially and then moving to another or oscillating between the two sides during the GD shows signs of indecisiveness. Remember, Managers are Effective Decision Makers.

In most groups, you would find close to a 50:50 situation for and against a topic. Even if you are a minority take the stand. Even, in the MBA selection process, you are a minority – ‘one out of 200’!

6. What is the right time to enter to ensure I am heard?
If the order is preset by the examiner then you will have your chance as per your turn

The opportunities to enter are
First Members
Last Members
Middle Members

The best time to enter is in the first so that you maintain uniqueness of your points, but at the risk of losing out on others points which you could build on. If you find it uncomfortable to be the first to take the plunge listen out others and then enter along with the middle/last members. Frankly, there is no right or wrong time to enter or not. Just make sure that you speak out your points in the initial round of discussion

7. How necessary is it to use examples for illustrating an idea?
Using an example simplifies the understanding of your point to the group. Substantiation is like putting a seal of authenticity to your statement. Try and use relevant facts/figures wherever possible. Use an example or two for a point that you wish to project

8. What is summarization?
Converting the entire discussion into 4 or 5 points without any bias to fully represent the thoughts of the group. In some cases, everyone might be asked to summarize so you must form a habit of summarizing.

9. What should you do if one member is very stubborn and aggressive?
Don’t get into a argument with the member – “Don’t let his virus INFECT you”. Objectively and calmly present your point of view vis-à-vis his. You could ask other group members to comment (to break the deadlock) and take the discussion forward

10.How do you participate when the noise level is high?
Every group has a High – when most people are talking – This is when you should listen and your mind should think and evaluate the plethora of others thoughts
You can interject when the group is on a low (you will be able to observe it if you are alert) – Then present your evaluation of others thoughts and perhaps take the discussion on to a more positive platform, This would show a clear structure in your thinking. Sometimes you can bring the group to a refocus, when the group digresses from the topics.

These are all positive traits of a manager and naturally gives you plus points.

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    #1 B.KARTHIKEYAN on 10.14.07 at 8:16 pm

    I can’t understand the sixth point.How many times a candidate can express his ideas?

    #2 sonam shrivastava on 10.14.08 at 4:49 pm

    Please give the list and matter on the most happening and probable current issues and topics on which a GD could be conducted.It would be very helpful for the aspirants.Thank you…

    #3 Anitha on 04.24.09 at 7:25 pm

    this website is really useful for beginners…
    thanks a lot..it would b more appealing if some video files are included in this website..

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