What is a Group Discussion? Where is it used?
A GD (Group Discussion) is a forum where people sit together, discuss a topic for a certain amount of time with the common objective of finding a solution for a problem or discussing an issue that is given to them.
Why are Group Discussions used as a part of the selection process? How are they useful?
Group Discussions measure certain attributes of the candidates that are otherwise difficult to identify and time consuming to assess. A number of people who can communicate their ideas well and discuss effectively with others in a one-to-one situation become tongue-tied in a group situation. They will just not be able to present their ideas or discuss their ideas with the other members of the group. A Group Discussion will identify people who have such group communication skills and people who do not possess such group communication skills.
What are the similarities / differences between Group Discussions and Public Speaking / Debating?
Debating and Public Speaking are one-to-many communication situations whereas a Group Discussion is a many-to-many situation. A debate, an elocution or a public speaking contest are solo performances whereas a Group Discussion is NOT. In a debate, it is your individual views that matter. In a Group Discussion, apart from your individual views, he views of the entire group matter.
In Public Speaking / Debating, the speaker can take a particular position on the topic and speak accordingly. In a Group Discussion, all the members of the group will participate and one has to listen to the views of the other members of the group. It is a discussion and the speaker will be "interrupted" by the other members of the group while speaking.
How is a Group Discussion conducted?
A group of candidates are made to sit together in a circular / semi-circular fashion or in a U-shape. There will be a person to co-ordinate the Group Discussion (called the moderator).
After the topic is given, the candidates start discussing the topic amongst themselves. They stop the discussion when the moderator asks them to stop.
How many candidates will there be in a Group Discussion?
The group size could range between eight to fifteen students.
How much time is given for each Group Discussion?
Normally, 15 to 20 minutes.
Are the participants expected to address each other by name?
No. You should address a specific person either by looking at him / her directly or by pointing out to him / her.
What is the role of the moderator?
The primary role of the moderator is to evaluate the performance of every participant. He is the person who tells the group members what they should do, announces the topic and the time for the discussion, keeps track of the time of the Group Discussion and evaluates the performance of the candidates who participated in the Group Discussion. For all practical purposes, he is non-existent once the Group Discussion starts.
Does the moderator write the topic on the board?
The moderator normally does not write the topic on the board. He just reads it out and repeats it once - you have to be attentive while the topic is being given and make sure that you have got the wording right.
Will we be given paper and pen / pencil to note down the topic?
No. You are normally expected to carry your own pen / pencil and paper to a Group Discussion.
What are the methods that can be used for idea generation?
The three methods / approaches are
Key Word Approach (KWA)
Viewpoint of Affected Parties (VAP)
Socio-cultural, Political, Economic, Legal and Technological (SPELT) angles to the given topic.
What is KWA?
In this approach, you should look at the topic word by word. Take each key word or phrase of the topic and see what it means. It has to be clarified as to what "frame of reference" you are using.
Example topic: Excessive exposure of female anatomy in advertising should be banned.
Excessive Exposure: What is exposure? How can excessive / adequate be defined? How does it affect the viewers? What will be the impact on various categories of viewers, say children?
Advertising: Types of advertisements? What is the Purpose of advertising? What is effective advertising? When are females effective in advertisement?
Ban: Is it possible to ban and implement the ban? Will the ban be effective? What was the impact of other things that were banned? Is it correct for a democratic society to ban all? Share things that some of its members dislike?
What is VAP?
It stands for Viewpoint of Affected Parties. Consider all the people or parties who are likely to be affected by the topic viewers / readers, parents, children; the companies whose products are being advertised; advertising agencies / media TV, newspapers, magazine) who are the people involved in "exposing".
What is SPELT?
Socio-cultural: Our culture and traditions; family set-up values and rel