Every student who is aspiring to join top-notch multi-national corporations after their graduation must go through various levels of interview. Among all the other rounds, most of the students face challenges when it comes to Group Discussion. Group Discussion, in short, referred to as GD, can become a nightmare to a lot of people. While a few students love to take part in these conversations, the majority of them have an aversion towards Group Discussions. Everyone can actively participate in the Group Discussion, but there are certain steps. In this article, we have elaborated on everything that you must be aware of all those group discussion topics that may be thrown at you during an interview.
What is Group Discussion?
A Group Discussion is a process or an interview round conducted by the organizations during the recruitment process. This round of interview is conducted by both the service and the product companies.
GD is not merely an interview process; it works as a framework. It helps the recruitment team to find the best candidate amongst the rest. With this interview round in place, the filtration process becomes easy, and the right candidate would be easily selected for the position. The candidates would be presented with group discussion topics to speak about. The candidates would be tested and selected based on a few selection criteria.
Most of the companies conduct this round immediately after the written test or the first level of screening. A few companies would sandwich GD round between the technical and the HR rounds.
The number of participants per GD can vary anywhere between 8-12. With these numbers, the moderators would be easily able to focus on the crowd and also gather the points made by every participant. Chaos increases with too many people. Sharing views and perspectives over particular group discussion topics can become monotonous when there are too many participants.
GD is one of those interviews rounds where the candidate would be tested on the following criteria
- Behavior and attitude
- Communication Skills
- Time Management
- Conflict Management
- Stress handling capacity
- Articulation skills
- Knowledge of the group discussion topics
- Interpersonal Communication Skills
- Body Language skills
A lot of dedication has to go into one life to develop all the above-mentioned skillsets. Therefore, when you closely take a look at GD, it's not just an interview but a 'FRAMEWORK' in itself. The students would go through a series of tests without their knowledge.
More about GD
Students need to develop all these skills. It is difficult but certainly not impossible. Let us quickly get to understand a few more things about GD before we dive into the group discussion examples.
- Group discussion is not debated; it is a healthy argument between a group of people with diverse thoughts
- The people who talk too much and the ones who keep quiet throughout the GD would have least chances of getting hired
- The group discussion topics for students can vary from Data-Driven to Abstract
- Everyone should participate in the GD and contribute towards the Group objective
- People with great communication skills may still not select if they lack behavioral skills
- Screaming in GD is forbidden
- One must never change their roles to moderator
- Speaking confidently is great, making it sound sarcastic or arrogant comments will quickly lead you to your defeat
- Let the others speak too; you need to be a great listener
- Spending time on reading is very important if you want to take part in GDS
- Listing down the group discussion topics for students would be helpful to clear this round if the interview
- Having positive fear about your performance in the GD will yield better results
These are some of the things that would help you to understand Group discussion in a much better manner. Now, let us also focus on the group discussion topics that are trending and how to tackle them. First of all, it is important to understand the kinds of topics that a student can get during and GD.
Classification of group discussion topics
There are two broad classifications of GD topics
In the Data-Driven topics, the candidate is required to gather complete facts and data on a topic that is given. These topics require Analytical, Reasoning, and data accumulation skills. Students cannot create things and present them the way they want to. These topics are completely driven by numbers, data, and logical thinking.
- Topics related to Politics
- Controversial topics
- Topics on Finance, Economics
- Science and technology
- Current Affairs
- Psychological and Social Related issues
- Environment-related topics
- Women Empowerment topics
In these kinds of topics, the students need to apply their creative thinking skills. These topics are vast, and there is no limitation when it comes to perspectives and thoughts. Abstract topics are vague, and they are to be handled using the Lateral and Creative thinking ability.
Some of the Abstract group discussion examples are as follows:
- Please explain the color red to a blind person
- Elucidate on letter ‘A’
- Dreams versus reality
- Passion and profession
- If I were the Prime Minister of my nation
Topics on various subjects can be given to the students by the companies to understand their knowledge and thought processes. These group discussion examples would give you a bird's eye view and knowledge of handling a GD.
Now, let us take a sneak peek on some of the topics that are trending currently under the sub-categories, as mentioned above.
- COVID – 19 Outbreak and the measures that can be taken by the Government to eradicate the pandemic.
- Is Donald Trump the right leader for the United States of America?
- Is WHO to blame for the spread of a Coronavirus outbreak?
Topics on Finance, Economics
- How can Youngsters contribute to the rise in the Economy?
Science and technology
- Is Cryptocurrency the future?
- Suicidal tendencies in youngsters due to Lockdown
- Zero Budget Natural Farming
Women Empowerment topics
Is New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate Laurel Ardern an inspiration to the women of the modern world?
Social Related issues
Racism is still prevailing, measures to curb such things!
All the above-mentioned topics are trending, and there are a lot of chances for the organization to come up with these topics. Possessing knowledge about these topics are mandatory. Most of the students would be zapped the very moment they are given a topic, and that could be due to several reasons, and they are:
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of Communication
- Unable to link the thoughts
- Lacks presence of mind
- Lack of interest in the topic
- May not be in the right mindset
- Does not know what to speak
These are just a few but main reasons out of many others. These issues can be easily tackled by following some simple steps. Now, let us take a look at the few steps that would help you to prepare yourselves well for a Group Discussion
Steps to prepare you for a GD
You must perform thorough research. There are a lot of online sources from where the topics can be churned out. GD topics on all categories can be listed down, pick the ones that you are comfortable initially, and start working on gathering valid points. Jot down all the points, irrespective of for or against.
Read through the notes completely and think it over. Making notes and working on the topics are part of the preparation phase. Once you are through with this, you can start practicing.
The next step of GD is to practice. Rehearsals are going to give you a lot of confidence. The practice session is going to prepare you for the real GD. You may not get the hang of being around the crowd yet, the courage to deal with any kinds of topics can be developed when you practice.
Pick up various topics and start talking in front of the mirror or by shooting videos. When you do these things, it becomes easy for you to understand your body language skills. By listening to your audio, pronunciation mistakes can be rectified. You would be able to easily work on the other elements of communication as well.
If you live with your friends or with your family, pull them casually into the discussion and turn them into your audience. Like this, you would be able to gain the confidence to speak about any given topic.
Well, this is the final phase. On the day of GD, you need to present yourselves properly. Apart from being prepared thoroughly on the topics, you must also possess certain other qualities.
Other elements that must be considered when you are participating in a GD are:
When you are taking part in a group discussion, it is important to dress up appropriately! Your mind gets influenced positively when you are dressed elegantly. Also, GD is one of those rounds where the interviewer would also be looking at your image management skills. When you are dressed in the right manner, you would be able to present yourselves well with great confidence.
Never get personal with the other participants
There are different kinds of topics that would be given. Some might be controversial as well. But as a participant maintaining the decorum is important. Getting personal can put off the interviewers, and you would be rejected outright.
Refrain from using offensive language
You must never use offensive or slang during the discussion. These things can happen when you become emotional towards the topic or when you are not used to business communication.
Focus on grammar
When you are speaking, you must ensure to focus on grammar. Too many grammatical errors will kill the essence of GD. You must know how to frame sentences, if not complex ones; the basic ones should be constructed without any errors. Along with the topic of discussion, it is also important to focus on these aspects as well.
Do not develop a fake accent
Instead of focusing on the topic and the points that are to be told, a few students would be concentrating on developing their accents. Well, a natural accent would always be welcomed by all. But, when you try to put up a fake accent, it becomes quite difficult for others to understand.
Digression from the topic is unacceptable
Remember to stick to the main topic at all times. At times, some topics can be interrelated, but you must not jump into the other topic conveniently. No matter whatever you are speaking, always weave your sentences keeping the main topic as the nucleus.
As already mentioned, non-verbal communication is also equally important while taking part in the GD. Some students would lose their focus and start making inappropriate and rude gestures. When these things are exhibited during the GD, you are most likely going to attract unwanted attention from the moderators.
Be a good listener
Even though you cannot relate to the topic or you are taken over by nervousness, stay active. Just because you aren’t speaking, you must not stop listening to the other participants. At times, you would be able to suddenly gather all the thoughts and present when you are actively listening.
Do not pick up a fight with the other participants
Some people might speak irrelevant things. You must remember that you are a participant, as well. Do not judge the candidates and start fighting with them. The moderators will be around to handle such rookies.
Learn to freely express your opinions
The thumb rule of GD is that there is no 'For' or 'against' the topic that you must present. As already said, GD is not debated; therefore, you are free to express your opinions on both sides. You can also add a neutral point to the discussion. Always remember to bring forth valid points to the table. It is not about talking; it is all about making sense and meaningful statements.
We have listed everything that you must know about the group discussion topics and also the other elements that can make you a perfect speaker. It’s now your time to apply all these techniques and use them to your advantage.