Group Discussions aka GD - tips

My sister has recently qualified for an interview, and she is extremely worried about her performance in the Group Discussion a.k.a. GD as we fondly call it. She called me after a day long practice session in an institute which she recently joined for improving her GD skills.

As a matter of fact, I have never faced any GD in an interview process (though otherwise I'm most welcomed for all discussions). Still, I asked her to calm down and relax. She was restless about her performance whole day, and she wanted honest feedback and suggestions from me. Her trainer praised her for outspoken abilities, but criticized for speaking before others finish, to be in haste and not composed besides others. Still, she was not satisfied with his remarks. She wanted something more concrete.

If I were to participate in a GD, I would have looked it as a game or a play. Practice sessions, regular criticisms and more practice sessions definitely helps to improve strength, still, its the match which decides how good you are. Its a game where you play by instinct. I suggested her to directly (not blindly though) follow her instinct in any session. Do not wait for the "best" moment, but speak at any "good" moment, i.e. when your instinct asks you. Keep quite when you do not feel comfortable pinching in between discussion. For me, it would be definitely the baseline to follow.

GD has many parts as such. Topic, comes as the most important of all. If topic is very generic (or simple), like, women issues, reservation etc, it would be a hard one. Thoughts have to be composed, points have to be strong in order to defend here. Otherwise, if topic is uncommon and not widely criticized, discussions can go over dilute points and hence simpler case. Ironically, my sister thought otherwise, that a topic she knows well is an easier one, and the topic she does not is harder. What she forgot was the fact that what she knows well is likely to be known well by others as well. Points should be composed and long.

Next stress should directly upon behaviour. Basic manners like "excuse me", "I'm sorry I did not mean to hurt you but..", "pardon?" and other numerous ones make GD lucid and easy-going. A positive attitude is crucially important. No matter what, one must not lose his/her temper and calm. Attitude of negating others and bolster own points may sound harsh among set of people.

The last one, as they always say, hero wins the queen. Being stylish and speaking lucid can be quite helpful. It lets people grasp your views and help them understand you better. A well mannered speaking, slow and steady, always helps. A positive Body language, as another point, also makes good impressions before observers.

No matter how long I take this long, perhaps, most important things of GD are the same two words which I said to her in my very first line, i.e. calm and relax.

I wish her Good Luck from all my heart, and I hope she gets through it.


  1. Potentially good advice--I've never done a GD myself, so I wouldn't know. I never thought of going by instinct, but I like the idea. Speaking slowly, good posture, and good body language make a LOT of simple sense. In an odd sort of way, I feel more confident for just have read this.

  2. good to hear that.. but play with it to learn more.. i guess its all about practice..

  3. Good One Shaurabh. Reminds me of the GD I had with Accenture. They stressed on a single point. Whether you are talking pro/against the topic, Make your point clear. They never entertained people who argue and who never allowed other to talk. I made a point in couple of sentences. That's it I got through. But it depends on where you are having GD. It may vary for CAT,IAS and a S/w company interview.
    All the very best for your sister.Hope she gets through :)

  4. yup.. u r true.. at the end of the day.. wat matters is whether u get thru or not.. and for tat u need bluddy reservation :@