GROUP DISCUSSIONS (GD) has become a standard selection tool for companies to shortlist candidates.
We will also bust some myths while we address these questions.
Let’s begin with GDs. A group of students is assigned a topic for discussion for 15–20 minutes. The panel is looking for an effective combination of knowledge and skills in the candidates. Knowledge comprises some understanding of the topic assigned, and also a good level of awareness of the world around us.
MYTH 1: Candidates perform well because they are smooth talkers.
REALITY: Candidates perform well because they talk sense and there is sufficient ‘meat’ in what they say. Companies seek a variety of skills in the aspirants. These comprise analytical skills, communication skills, team skills, ability to handle stress, decision-making skills etc.
MYTH 2: Academic brilliance equals analytical skills.
REALITY: Students with lower academic achievements sometimes demonstrate better capability to relate their learning to practical situations.
Communication skills are perhaps the most critical attribute of the modern manager. These include listening and articulation skills. Moderators look for the candidate’s keenness and ability to listen to others – mature managers are very good listeners because every time you listen, you learn.
MYTH 3: Good communication is about speaking a lot, speaking in a stylish accent and using ‘big’ words.
REALITY: Good communication is about listening, speaking at the appropriate time, using easy-to-understand English and getting your point across in as simple a manner as possible.
Do you cross the line from being assertive to being aggressive? If you are a good team player, the other members of the group will tend to connect with you. This will be evident to a moderator even amidst the chaos that marks a typical GD.
MYTH 4: People who dominate a discussion and reduce others to submission do well in GDs.
REALITY: Candidates who work with the group, accommodate diverse viewpoints and assert themselves without aggression score high.