Objectives of Group Discussion
The basic reason why a group discussion is also conducted along with an interview is that through the group discussion, many skills of the candidates can be probed effectively which cannot be probed so effectively through the interview. At the workplace an employee has to interact with others on the following basis:
- One to one basis
- One to Group basis
- Group member basis
- Group Leader basis
- Group to Group basis
In the present-day organizations, work teams have replaced the traditional superior-subordinate concept to a very great extent. Autonomous work teams are being created more frequently in place of hierarchical work groups. Therefore, more and more organizations are putting emphasis on candidates’ ability to work effectively in a team so as to achieve its objective. Working in a team requires high give and take approach to achieve a desired result. If you see a football or hockey match, you will find a player gives pass to another player who is better positioned to score a goal rather than trying himself to score the goal and failing in the process.
Group discussion tries to identify whether the candidates have desired level of give and take approach and ability to work as effective members. Both these depend on their problem-solving skills, human skills, communication skills, initiative, and leadership skills.In fact, basic objective of a group discussion is to assess the above skills though in the process, other aspects may also be measured like reasoning, assertiveness, etc. Measurement of knowledge related to the topic given to the group for discussion is not of prime importance. This is the reason why topics selected for the group discussion tend to be of general nature, not of technical nature, which can be attempted by all above average candidates provided they keep themselves abreast about what is happening in the world in general and in India particular.
Methodology of Group Discussion
Methodology of GD is quite different as compared to an interview. In a G.D., 8 – 10 candidates is constituted. The group does not have leader to direct the activity of the group but each member is left free to discuss the topic that has been to the group. Evaluators of GD also do not interfere in the group process but they only evaluate how the candidates are discussing among themselves. Other relevant aspects of GD are as follows:
Seating arrangement of the candidates is such that each candidate faces al others. Candidates sit on the chairs placed along side a large circular, semi-circular, or rectangular table. In most of the cases, name plate of a triangle shape is placed in front of each chair. On this name plate, the name of the candidate is written on both sides with one side facing to the candidate and other side facing to others. Each candidate is advised to take the chair meant for him. Where this name plate scheme is not adopted, candidates take seats according to the advice of the evaluators.
Chairs meant for evaluators are kept behind the candidates with the provision that every evaluator will rotate his seat to observe every candidate from the front. Usually, there are three or four evaluators depending on the organizational policy.
Group is given a topic or a case (discussed later in this chapter). Sometimes, more than one topic is given and the candidates are asked to choose a topic on consensus basis for discussion. The topic may be given to each candidate in the printed/typed form or it may be written on the blackboard. If the candidates are not allowed to carry their own blank paper, this is provided by the organization.
After the topic is communicated to the candidates, they are given 3 – 5 minutes to compose their ideas related to the topic. Where case is given, this time is extended to ten minutes. During this period, the candidate may write down their ideas on paper too. When this period is over, one of the evaluators asks to begin the group discussion and the candidates act accordingly.
Depending on the individual organizational practices, time duration for actual group discussion may vary from 20 to 45 minutes. However, the more common time period is 30 minutes. Some organizations adopt the practice of telling, either verbally or ringing a bell, 3 to 5 minutes earlier before the end of the stipulated time, about the remaining time left for the discussion so that the group tries to sum up its discussion.
After the stipulated time is over, the evaluators inform the candidates. The evaluators thank the candidates and the group discussion for them is over. In case where candidates are provided paper by the organization to make notes, this paper has to be left on the table by the candidates.
TYPES OF GROUP DISCUSSION
PREPERATION FOR GROUP DISCUSSION
FACING GROUP DISCUSSION EFFECTIVELY
BACK TO MAIN PAGE PREPARATION FOR INTERVIEW