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Edu Interview » Group Discussion

Group Discussion 

•  Definition : It is a discussion in which a small no. of professionals meet and discuss a problem or issue related to the growth or expansion of the organisation to which they belong.

  Purpose: To elicit the views of all the participants and evolve a consensus if possible.

•  No. of Participants—Five to ten.

•  Vital traits required for success in GD—quick grasping power, mature reaction to the views expressed by others, positive approach to issues and problems, leadership qualities, power of expression and analytical ability, and group behavior.

•  GD by its very nature is different from a formal meeting. As we have no chairperson, no secretary, no detailed agenda.



Reason why GD is conducted :


Many companies conduct group discussion after the written test so as to check on your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people. The GD is to check how you behave, participate and contribute in a group, how much importance do you give to the group objective as well as your own, how well do you listen to viewpoints of others and how open-minded are you in accepting views contrary to your own. The aspects which make up a GD are verbal communication, non-verbal behavior, conformation to norms, decision-making ability and cooperation. You should try to be as true as possible to these aspects.

General Tips : 

♦ A good level of general awareness will come in handy so that you aren't at a loss of words on certain issues. 
♦ Understand the topic and analyse it mentally before speaking. 
♦ Be clear about the purpose and content of your viewpoint. 
♦ One should be able to communicate his views in an effective manner to everyone. Be clear in speech, audible but not too loud and above all remain confident. 
♦ Remember the six C's of effective communication -- Clarity, Completeness, Conciseness, Confidence, Correctness and Courtesy. 
♦ You should maintain eye contact with all others in the group and not focus on a particular person for he may benefit from that. 
♦ Be responsive to ideas from other people and seem to be very receptive and open-minded but don't allow others to change your own viewpoint.. 
♦ Starting the discussion is considered to be good however it isn't that important; what is important is that you speak for a period long enough for you to be able to communicate your viewpoint . 
♦ Always maintain your calm and never get aggressive. If  you haven't been able to talk then one can cut in saying "Excuse me, but what I think is .........." or something of that sort. 
♦ Never lose your temper and never attack anyone on a personal front. Your attitude should be one of cooperation and not one of conflict. 
♦ Don't lose sight of the goal of the discussion. 
Listen to any criticisms and give them a thought before trying to defend your views. 
 

GD Tips and Tricks

 

Various firms conduct GDs to short-list people for Summer Internships as well as Placements.

 

What do they look for in the Group Discussion ?

 

I. Coherence of Thoughts:

 

What is most critically looked for in a GD, is the ability to apply oneself in a cohorent and consistent manner. The logical thought process that a person lends to the group is vital. In GDs with case studies, prior knowledge is largely superceded by the ability to have balanced thoughts, within the timeframe of the GD.

 

 II.Communication skills

 

Communication is a two-way process, and the role of the listener is critical.

  * The listener has his own interpretation of what you say. Unless you listen to him, you cannot figure out whether he or she has understood you.

  * Unless you listen, the points you make may not fit in with points made by others. It is easy for an experienced evaluator (moderator) to realise you aren't listening.

 

Besides listening, you also need the ability to:

  * Express your ideas in a clear and concise manner.

  * Build on others' points.

  * Sum up the discussion made by the entire group.

 

III.Leadership

 

One of the most common misconceptions about leadership is that it is all about controlling the group. However, for the GDs we are talking about, leadership is all about giving direction to the group in terms of content.

 It is about initiating the discussion and suggesting a path on which the group can continue the discussion.

A good leader is one who allows others to express their views and channels the discussion to a probable decision or conclusion on the given topic.

 

 IV. Group dynamics

 

As mentioned before, a GD is a formal peer group situation and tests your behaviour as well as your influence on the group. Formal language and mutual respect are obvious requirements. In addition, you need to have:

  * Willingness to listen and discuss various points of view. Do not take strong views in the beginning itself; try and analyse the pros and cons of a situation.

   * Learn to disagree politely, if required. In fact, it is far better to put forward your point of view without specifically saying 'I disagree' or 'You're wrong'.

  * Show appreciation for good points made by others. You can make a positive contribution by agreeing to and expanding an argument made by someone else.

  * Sieze the opportunity to make a summary near the end or, even better, a part summary. Partial agreement or part consensus is a sign of the group's progress. Complete agreement is impossible in the timeframe allotted.

 

How to prepare?

 

I. Content

~ Develop subject knowledge on current affairs, general awareness and business trends.

~ Structure arguments on selected topics, considering both sides to the argument.

~ Plan for short and lucid points.

 

II. Practice

~ GD skills cannot be learned from books. Get into practice groups.

~ Get skilled people to observe and give feedback.

~ Spend a lot of time analyzing each GD performance. Plan specific improvements in your performance.

 

 


DO's & Dont's

What one should do while participating in GD :

•Define the topic and analyze its scope and implications.
•Initiate and generate the discussion.
•Be receptive to the views expressed by others.
•Encourage the reticent members to speak.
•Intervene forcefully but politely.
•Summarize the views of others before you speak.
•Lead the group to a definite conclusion.
•Look at and address all the members of the group.
•Speak with proper pronunciation, stress and intonation.
•Maintain a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere all through the discussion.
•Summarize the main points at the end and state the conclusions reached.

 Some don'ts of a GD :

•Don’t be too assertive in presenting your views.
•Don’t dominate or monopolize the discussion.
•Don’t make any personal remarks against any of the members.
•Don’t jump to conclusions.
•Don’t enter into one to one discussion.
•Don’t speak continuously for a long time.
•Don’t speak in monotones.
•Don’t use speech mannerisms and time-fillers.
•Don’t ignore anyone in the group.
•Don’t recline in your chair.
•Don’t use aggressive gestures.


GD - Points Marked on :

1. Audibility : Communication skills , Sell urself

2. Analysis : supported by facts & examples

3. Content : Obtain by good reading

4. Team Work

5.Demeanor : Body Language counts,

  don't  sit  cross-legged

6. Leadership : People should listen and agree to u

 

GD Types :

1. Factual : Disinvestment , India's GDP ,

  software scenario

2. Controversial : Foreign Indian-PM

3. Abstract : The Blu Dot , Girl

4. Case Study : 1> a situation is given, we have to find  a solution to the problem existing

   2> order things according to priority and give reasons

5. Group Task : Important for SATYAM


FAQ :


What is the normal duration of a GD?
A GD is generally of 15-20 minutes duration.

How many panel members are there to evaluate?
There are usually 3-4 panel members to evaluate.

Is there time given for preparation after the topic is given and before starting the GD?
Usually some time (2-5 minutes) is given to collect one's thoughts, but there could be instances when this does not happen, so it is best not to bank on this.

 

Should I address the panel or the group members?
Don't ever make the mistake of addressing the panel members. The GD is between you and the other members, not the panel members. You must avoid even looking at the panel members while the GD is in progress. Just ignore their existence.

What is the seating arrangement like?
It could be semi-circular, or circular, or seating along side a rectangular table, depending upon the venue. It is best not to bother about trivial issues like this, which you have no control over.

How should I address the other group members?
If you are initiating the discussion, you could do so by collectively addressing the group as "Friends". Subsequently, you could use names (if the group has had a round of self-introduction prior to starting the discussion and you remember the names) or simply use pronouns like "he" or "she".

 

Suppose I have a lot to say on the topic, should I say all of it?
You would not be looked upon favourably if you kept speaking all the time and did not listen to anyone else. Contrary to the misconception, the person who talks the most is not necessarily the one who is judged the best. The quality and not the quantity of your contribution is the success factor.

Should I encourage others to speak up?
Do not directly put someone who is consistently silent on the spot by asking him/her to speak up. If someone has been trying to speak and has a good point but is cut off constantly, you may encourage him/her to continue with her point as you would like to hear her out.

Are the group members supposed to keep track of the time or will the panel keep track?
It would be good if you are conscious of the time, but not to the point of getting so distracted looking at your watch that you do not contribute to the discussion.

 

  General Topics

1.US war on iraq-justified or not.
2. Role of UN in peacekeeping.
3. Position of Women in India compared to other
nations.
4. Environment MAnagement.
5. Is China better than India in software.
6.Should SONIA gandhi be made the PM
7. BPOs in INDIA
8. Govt contribution to IT
9. will punch lines rule the Advt
10. premaritial sex
11. is china a threat to indian industry
12. india or west , which is the land of opportunities
13. water resources should be nationalised
14."BALANCE BETWEEN PROFESSIONALISM AND FAMILY"
15. Effect of cinema on Youth
16. Education in India compared to Foreign nations
17. Is it necessary to ban COCOCOLA in India.
18. What is the effect of movies on youth.(is it good
or bad)
19. Are studies more benifitial in India or in Abroad.
20."UN's peace activities" and "America's war on
Iraq".
21."Environment-Whose Responisibility".
22.Is China a threat to the indian software industry.
23.Role of UN in Peace keeping
24.War on Iraq
25.About Hockey being the primary game in India.
26.Can america occupy iraq
27.Cricket shud be banned or not.
28.IS CHINA A THREAT TO INDIA
29.Present state of Indian Cricket team.
30.Love marriage/Arranged marriage.
31.Advantages of Co-education.                                                                            
32.How to deal with international terrorism.
33..Should we pursue our policy of dialogue with Pakistan?
34.Is peace and non-violence outdated concepts?
Current Topics:
1.A Unipolar World spells disaster for underdeveloped countries like India.
2.Is Globalisation Really Necessary?
3.What shall we do about our ever-increasing Population?
4.Corruption is the price we pay for Democracy.
5.Foreign Television Channels are destroying our culture.
6.What India needs is a Dictatorship.
7.With media publishing and telecasting trivia,censorship is theneed of the hour.
8.Kaun Banega crorepathi is less about knowledge but more about money and personality.
9.Beauty contests degrade womanhood
10.The rise of regional blocs threatens independent nations like India
11.Six billion and one bronze!
12.Is dependence on computers a good thing?
13.Should the public sector be privatised?
14.China and India are similar nations with contrasting ways
15.Is India a Soft Nation?
16.Value based politics is the need of the hour
17.Religion should not be mixed with politics
18.How to deal with high oil prices
19.Our cricketers are not to blame for match fixing
20.Why cant we be world players in industry as we are in software?
21.Multinational corporations: Are they devils in disguise?
22.Should there be limits on artistic freedom (the controversy on Fire).
23.Should there be private universities?
24.Does banning fashion shows and New Year parties save our culture?


Social Topics:
1.Are Big Dams Necessary?
2.Films are corrupting the Indian Youth
3.A Gandhian State selling liquor is an anomaly
4.Bride burning and dowry may look bad, but are an integral part of India.
5.Our Culture is Decaying
6.We are not serious about saving Wildlife/Environment
7.The education system needs serious reforms
8.The impact of MTV on our psyche
9.Showing Violence and Crimes should not be allowed in films and on television.
10.Let us legalise gambling
Management Topics:
1.Is management an art or a science?
2.The Rush for MBA is really a rush for big money
3.Ethics in Business are just a passing fashion
4.The objective of Management is to maximise profits
5.Do professional managers have a chance in our family
run businesses?
6.The Internet is an exercise in hype
7.Is an MBA necessary to succeed in life?
8.Family owned business vs professionally run
businesses
9.Smaller businesses and start-ups have more scope for professional growth.
10.Dot com or doubt com?


Creative Topics:
1.The Wheel is Turning Round and Round
2.If I was the Finance Minister/Prime Minister
3.There is no right way to do a wrong thing
4.Group Task: How can we have Mount Everest in India?
5.Do Beauty and Brains Go Together?
6.When I woke up in the morning I saw…
7.A ship docked in harbor cannot face the storms
8.Up the Down Staircase
9.Just as we have smoke free zones, we should have child free zones
10.Marriage is a social trap


Management Education Topics :
1. Managerial skills learnt in the classroom can never match those learnt from experience
2. Democracy is hampering India progress
3. MBA in India is highly overrated.
4. Religion is a private affair and should be of no concern for the state
5. Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour.


POLITICAL TOPICS:
1. Reserving seats for women in Panchayat has not only been a farce but has distracted from developing a more genuine voice of women.
2. Have the nuclear tests of 1998 benefited or harmedIndia?
3. Voters, not, political parties are responsible for the criminalization of politics.
4. The voters are required to be well informed and educated about their candidates so that they can elect the right aspirant by their own assessment.
5. India should go for the presidential form of democracy.


ECONOMIC TOPICS:
1. In our economic matters, there is an excessive tendency towards the thinking rather than doing.
2. Every cloud has a silver lining
3. Can the economy achieve an 8 percent growth rate?.
4. Is disinvestment really that good for India or is arethink inorder ?
5. Are co-operatives relevant in today's globalised environment?.
6. Foreign aid is a dangerous drug that can stimulate in small doses but become fatally addictive in larger doses.
7. Modern day sport in industrialised society is an industry, as anything else.
8. Government should clean its own hands before pointing finger at the private sector for corruption.
9. Is the NPA ordinance too harsh?
10. Reforms have to grow up.
11. The future lies with glocalisation .
12. Is the consumer really the king in India?.
13. Globalisation versus nationalism
14. Conditional access system for cable TV watchers: boon or bane? 
15. If India is poorly governed, the reason is that we have designed our system of governance for protecting, if not encouraging, corruption?
16. Commercialisation of health care : Good or Bad ?
17. For globalisation to succeed in India people must be able to see what is in it for them
18. Is the US economy headed the Japanese economy way?
19. Economic freedom not old fashioned theories of development will lead to growth and prosperity
20. Markets left to themselves encourage greed.
21. For globalisation to succeed in India people must be able to see what is in it for them
22. Should businessmen run the finance ministry
23. Should important services like transport be left to market forces?.
24. Is there any point in having a business strategy when the world changes from month to month?
25. Is the patents bill good for India? .
26. Is the business of business only business?.
27. Globalisation is good for developing countries
28. Public sector being a guarantor of job security is a myth.
29. Is industryless growth here to stay ?
30. Capitalism is a very flawed system but the others are so much worse ?
31. How can business get rid of the bad name that it has earned?
32. Government pumping money into the economy is not the solution for our economic problems
33. Business ethics are no longer a luxury for corporates but a necessity?
34. How should privatisation proceeds be utilised ?
35. Is the budgeting exercise of any use?
36. Should agricultural subsidies be stopped ?
37. Will Mumbai's film industry ever evolve into a truly modern corporatised one?
38. Will market reforms enrich rich states further, while poorer ones lag further?.
39. Why do we lag behind China ?
40. Who says MNCs are superior to Indian companies ?.
41. Why not use a brand index to measure national prosperity?.
42. What we need to reduce scams is better regulatory bodies.
43. War rhetoric is misplaced in a country like India which is trying to globalise its economy.
44. Trade can help the poor ?
45. The power ministry should cut off supplies to all the defaulting SEBs.
46. Steal a few lakhs and you're a criminal. Steal a few hundred cores and you become an industrialist.
47. Should PSUs be divested through strategic sale orpublic offer? 
48.The state is above the law?


Topics Collection :
1.Public sector is more a hindrance than help to promote socialism.
2.Economic betterment of the poorer nations is asimportant asdisarmament to ensure lasting world peace.
3.From public sector to privatization as in the U.K.,is the right
answer for India's instant economic breakthrough.
4.The doctrine of "limited nuclear war" is anill-convinced, ill- logical, irrational and extremely dangerous concept.
5.Some simple but effective electoral reforms will enable us to
retain the present parliamentary system and ensure the preservation of democracy in India.
6.We must have only two national parties to contest parliamentary elections and regional parties should not be allowed to contest for the same.
7.We can increase our food production not only to match our population explosion but also for export provided we adopt modern, mechanized farming methods with large size land
holdings.
8.Nuclear war cannot be won and should not be fought.
9.Private enterprise and not public sector will contribute to faster and higher economic growth in India.
10.Inflation is inevitable in our developing country.
11.The policy of reservation is a legacy of the British and it has done more harm than good.
12.Do you think MBAs are useful in the manufacturing production department?
13.For a marketing post graduate, without prior work experience working in a big marketing firm is a disadvantage when compared with working in a small firm. Discuss.
14.Consumerism is destroying the social fabric of Indian culture.
15.Free market is a prerequisite for growth.
16.Cricket as a national obsession is a detriment to other sports.
17.To develop India has to empower women.
18.Formulate the government's health policy to control the spread of AIDS.
19.Advertising is a waste of resources.
20.Privatization will lead to less corruption.
21.State is the biggest violator of human rights.
22.There can never be a classless society.
23.Beauty pageants are a marketing gimmick.
24.Voting rights to illiterates in India is illogical because it is widely misused.
25.Joint family is a blessing in disguise.
26.Higher education should be made possible only for those who can pay for it.
27.The weaker sex is the weakness of the stronger sex.
28.Women cannot successfully combine both career and home.
29.Women are good managers.
30.Executive should be allowed to form unions.
31.Effect of liberalization on poverty.
32.Indians perform better as individuals rather than in groups.
33.Business and ethics go hand in hand, or do they?
34.Developing countries should spend more on development than on defense.
35.Political parties have outlived their utility.
36.Is Swadeshi relevant for India today?
37.Money is required to earn more money.
38.Foreign trade is necessary for any country to survive .
39.Presidential Vs Parliamentary form of government of India.
40.Technology: The Ism' Of The New Millennium?
41.Religion And Politics Should Not Mix
42.TRIPS Controversy And The Patent Act Amendment
43.Export Stagnation: Causes And Cures
44.Excessive Depiction Of Sex And Violence In Films
45.Classical Music Heritage And The Growing Pop- Culture
46.Decentralisation & The Panchayati Raj Institutions
47.Should India Sign The CTBT
48.State Interventions In Market Kind Or Mixed Economy
49.Science Is A Boon Or Bane
50.Is Swapping Terrorists For Hostages An Encouragement For Plane-Hijackers?
51.India and the political dynasties: The Nehru Family context
52.Nice Guys Finish Last
53.All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy
54.Individual Freedom And Civil Society
55.Conventionalism And Modernity: The Ever going Debate
56.Should There Be A Restriction On Permissiveness Being propagated by The MTV Culture And Foreign Media?
57.Marxism And Its Future All Over The World
58.The Growing Menace Of Casteism And Regionalism
59.Presidential Form Of Government Is Needed In India
60.Bullet For Bullet: Is It The Right Policy?
61.Capitation Fees Should Be Abolished
62.Arranged Marriages Are Better Than The Love-Marriages
63.Brain-Drain Has To Be Stopped
64.Business And Ethics Can't / Don't Go Together
65.Are women As good as Men Or Inferior?
66.Nothing Succeeds Like Success
67.The Malthusian Economic Prophecy Is No Longer Relevant
68.Secessionism In The North-East: Who's To Blame?
69.Should India Break Diplomatic Ties With Pakistan?
70.Age and Youth: Experience And Young Talent
71.`East Is East & West Is Where All The Action Is': Mark Twain
72.Freedom Of _Expression And The State Authority.
73.Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished
74.Tuitions Should Be Banned
75.India Needs Gujral Doctrine For Better International Relations
76.Doctors' Accountability To Improve Health-Care
77.Universal Disarmament Is A Must
78.Indian Cricket Team Shouldn't Be Allowed To Play Abroad



 




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