Group discussion proceeds by means of a natural, friendly, spontaneous, purpose conversation taking place on an interesting but often controversial topic of current importance. It entails patient and careful listening on the part of the candidates. It requires expression of views intelligently, logically, unambiguously, and coherently. It is not a kind of formal debate with the intention of grilling a candidate; rather it is a pleasant exchange of views and information, which a group benefits from.
The observation of verbal and non-verbal responses is one of the main features of a group discussion. Under verbal response come from the manner of speaking, accent, putting across of the points, the tone used and the contents of the speech itself. The non-verbal response comprises the gestures, body movements, and the overall body language. These responses are properly observed, taken note of and assessed against the job or course requirements.
A group discussion is usually held among a group of six to eight candidates. The number of candidates may, however, vary from one test to another. The candidates are usually seated around a circular table so that they face each other. Moreover, this circular arrangement makes the participants to take part in the discussion in an easy manner. In some cases, it is observed that roll numbers are allotted to the participants. This makes easy recognition.
It is commonly found that a group discussion is conducted without appointing any leader. The main objective behind this is to enable the potential candidate, with leadership qualities, emerge on their own and direct the proceeding sof the discussion properly and successfully. The candidates may themselves select any one amongst them to conduct the discussion in the manner agreed upon by them. The candidates can be allotted their turns in the numerical order of their roll numbers.
Before the group discussion starts, the assessor declares the topic for discussion and tells the contestants about the time limit. He may draw the awareness of the participants towards protocol, rules and regulations etc. to be followed while taking part in the discussion. He also makes sure that all the queries and doubts pertaining to the task are cleared from the minds of the candidates so that the activity may go on smoothly.
The examiner observes the minutes of the G.D from a distance without directly interfering into it. He inspects the presentation of each contestant without any discrimination. He analyzes the responses critically and makes an assessment of the personality traits and innate qualities of the participants. In the discussion he is only a silent listener; others, of course, have to take part.
Read the exclusive resource on Job Interview Answers and answer interview questions easily.