While personal interview may be the more important technique for deciding the merits of a candidate, group discussion carries its own weight. You can make your GD performance better by using these tips.
1. The employer is looking for a natural leader who is also a balanced thinker. Leadership is by helping each team member achieve his full potential in solving the problem at hand. So, try to lead.
2. Observe the personality types present in the group. Greet the group cheerfully and decide the method you would like to follow to ensure equitable participation by all members. For example, you may have 20 minutes’ time and seven members in the group.
You may suggest that in the first round everyone should speak for two minutes and then throw the topic open for cross opinions.
You may suggest that the speaker should not be interrupted during his talk; the members should make their notes and express disagreement in their proper turn. To say so much requires a good deal of confidence, which is best attained through practice.
3. Always maintain a calm temper. If unjustly opposed, use polite expressions to restate your position.
4. If there are private mini-discussions between two or three members, suggest that the whole group should get the benefit of their views.
5. Generally, job selection GDs are impromptu (the topic is given on the spot). If so, quickly plan an ex tempore speech to fill the time that you may fairly be allotted by the group. Practice in ex tempore stage speaking helps in GD.
6. Be a good listener. (Refer to the chapter “Listening as a Tool of Communication.”) Do not talk when some other member is addressing the group, nor indulge in minor entertainment (e.g. fiddling with a pin). Cheer, appreciate, nod and in other ways be an active, dynamic listener.
7. See that the group arrives at a conclusion in the allotted time. Help the group to complete the task in time by active timekeeping.
8. If an idea superior to your idea is expressed by somebody with specialized knowledge, be ready to adopt it. Lee Iacocca, as American trade unions said, was one of the few adult Americans who could change their mind. However, take care to maintain your standing in the group in spite of conceding some ground to another.
9. If you find someone else emerging as a leader, you still can brighten your chances of selection by your healthy cooperation to the leader.
10. Part with the group as you started, with a cheerful smile. Make a proper farewell.