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Posted in MBA, Uncategorized by moneymanagement on December 13, 2007

What is group discussion (GD)? As the term implies it is a discussion by a group of people, which involves a free exchange of thoughts and ideas among a members of the group.
Listed below are some pointers to be kept in mind for being effective in a GD:

  1. Be Natural
    • The best mantra is – “be your natural self’
    • See GD as just an extension of any other situation you encounter in normal routine.
  1. Must Speak:
    • The first principal of GD is that you must speak
    • Before you start speaking, think through the major issues in the topic.
    • Jot down points on the paper or mentally work out the framework for analysis.
    • If you do not understand the topic, ask the group what the topic means and accept your ignorance, or else wait, maybe the meaning will become clear after a few minutes of the discussion.
  1. Opening and Closing:
    • Opening a discussion is a high risk-high return strategy
    • Speak first only if you have sensible things to say. Otherwise keep silent and let someone else start.
    • Try and summarize the discussion at the end.

4. Be an active listener:

    • Carefully listen to others’ contribution to avoid pitfalls. It is very important to listen at every stage of the discussion as it will benefit you.
    • It prevents you from repeating something already said.
    • Help you take the discussion forward where another participant has left off.
    • Help you understand a topic of which you were ignorant, before the first speaker defined it.

5. Be assertive, not aggressive:

    • Do not get emotionally involved in the arguments.
    • Do not take it as a personal affront if others disagree with you.
    • Share your reasoning first
    • Do not express your stand initially. Note down major issues’ and remember not to jump to conclusions. Instead arrive at a stand of your own.
    • Remember, you are being evaluated on how you think and not what you think.
    1. Avoid any irritating gestures, like the following
    • Do not slouch in your chair, stretch your legs out, fidget or keep shaking your legs, play with your pen or any other object and do not point at others
    • Do not block your neighbors by bending too much forward in order to be heard.

    An interview is a face –to-face meeting, especially for the purpose of obtaining a statement or for assessing the qualities of a candidate. It further, indicates a physical meeting of people.
    Tips for the interview:-
  1. Entering the room
    • Prior to entering the room, adjust your attire so that it falls well.
    • Before entering enquire by saying, ‘May I come in Sir / Madam’
    • If the door was closed before you entered, make sure you shut the door behind you softly.
    • Face the panel and confidently say ‘Good day Sir /Madam’
    • If the members of the interview board want to shake hands, then offer a firm grip first maintaining eye contact and a smile.
    • Seek permission to sit down. If the interviewers are standing, wait for them to sit down first before sitting.
  2. Enthusiasm
    • The interviewer normally pays more attention if you display an enthusiasm in whatever you say.
    • You should maintain a cheerful disposition throughout the interview
  1. Don’t Bluff:
    • If you do not know the answer to a question, it is better to acknowledge it, rather than trying to bluff your way through it.
    • The interviewer will respect your honesty.
    • In our experience, interviewers immediately take a stance of grilling a candidate if they suspect him of her of lying.
  1. Interviewer Fatigue:
    • Mostly interviews are conducted the whole day leading to fatigued minds
    • A little humor as a starter will ease the fatigued mind
    • You must be proactive in offering information about yourself as the interviewers will be willing listeners.
  1. Be well-mannered:
    • The way you conduct yourself reflects your upbringing and your culture.
    • It is good to project an air of humility
    • Over confidence is often misinterpreted by interviewees as arrogance
  1. Avoid Slang:
    • During an interview, slang will probably not be understood, and certainly not appreciated. Your communication needs to be as formal and explicit as possible.
  1. Be poised:
    • Your posture during the interview adds or diminishes your personality.
    • You should keep all certificates, testimonials and other relevant documents neatly on the table, preferably in a single file.
    • It is vital to be conscious about your posture and gesticulations as they tell a lot about our personality.
  1. Eye contact:
    • You must eye contact with the panel, right through the interview. This shows your self-confidence and honesty
    • Many interviewees’ while answering, tend to look away. This conveys you are concealing your own anxiety, fear and lack of confidence.
  1. Listen carefully:
    • It is imperative for you to listen carefully to the questions being asked.
    • If a question is not clear, it would be quite in order for you to seek clarification on the same.
    • Seeking clarification is far better than giving an irrelevant answer.
    • It is very annoying when an interviewee misinterprets the questions, and answers by saying something which is irrelevant.
  1. Be natural:
    • Many interviewees adopt a stance which is not their natural self.
    • Interviewers appreciate a natural person rather than an actor.
    • It is best for you to talk in the natural manner because then you appear genuine.


    1. Tell me about yourself.
    • This is a very general question in which you can say almost anything about yourself.
    • Prepare yourself for such a question so that you can tell about those things which are important such as basic details, your personality traits, achievements, aspirations, motivations and ambitions.
    • Remember that a two sentence answer will only convey how little there is to know about your

Q What are your strengths and weakness?

  • This is a question that has stumped many an interviewee.
  • It is asked to ascertain how much you know about yourself, since a person who knows oneself well is likely to be more effective in life.
  • Go to the interview having thought out well in advance what your strengths and weakness are and how you intend to improve on your weaknesses.

Q Tell us about your family background.

  • This question is asked by interviewers in order to determine the social, cultural, religious and economic milieu you have come from.
  • It gives the interviewer a clue about your attitudes and values
  • The best approach for such a question is to bring out not only the facts of parentage and background but also some of the good principals they have taught you. Mention family values.
    Managing yourself effectively under all circumstances is critical to your success. Tell yourself that you are as much an architect of a good interview as the panel. You will enjoy the experience with this perspective.
    And lastly,

Book Reference:

  1. How to prepare for group discussion and interview (with Audio Cassette)
    By: Prasad H.M.

Published By: Tata Mcgraw-Hill

  1. How to prepare for GD and Interview, 2/E
    By: Prasad, Hari Mohan, Rajnish

Published By: Prentice hall of India

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