discussions: Learning from mistakes
you feel that this group discussion is going to end up like the
others - no interview call? Possibly a rejection letter? If you
do, your group discussion is a lost cause even before you attend
it. If you have attended even one group discussion in the past,
think of what could possibly have been the mistakes you may have
committed. You could possibly list these mistakes on paper, and
take all efforts not to repeat them. To help you crack your fear
of failure, here's a list of the most common mistakes made at
was very offended when one of the participants of the group
discussion made a statement on women generally being submissive
while explaining his point of view. When Pavithra finally got
an opportunity to speak instead of focussing on the topic she
accused the other candidate for being a male chauvinist and
went on defend women in general.
example highlights some of the common mistakes made during a group
the discussion as a forum to air your own views.
objectivity and making personal attacks.
kind of behaviour is perceived as immature and is demotivating
to the rest of the team.
believed that the more she talked, the more likely she was to
be evaluated positively. So at every opportunity she would express
her views, often interrupting other people. She did this so
often that the other candidates got together to prevent her
from participating in the rest of the discussion.
are being assessed not only for your communication skills but
also for your ability to work with a team.
contribution to the discussion must be relevant.
evaluation will be based on the quality of your contribution
rather than the quantity.
aim of the group discussion is to get the various members of the
team to express their opinions before coming to a consensus. So
avoid dominating the discussion. Rather encourage the rest of
the team to contribute.
was happy to have got a group discussion topic he had prepared
for. During the discussion, he took pains to communicate to
the others his vast knowledge of the topic. Every third sentence
of his contained statistical data - "33.3% of companies… 27.26%
of employees felt that… I recently read in Fortune that…"
Soon, the rest of the team either laughed at him or ignored
his attempts to enlighten them. The evaluator felt that Vijay
was cooking up the data.
if your knowledge of the subject is encyclopaedic, you will
end up being frowned upon by the panel and the group if you
attempt showing-off your knowledge.
need not validate all your statements with facts and figures.
people skills are more important than the in-depth knowledge
you have of the subject that you want the evaluator to know
a show-off indicates how self-centered you are and only highlights
your inability to work in an atmosphere where different opinions
knew that all the participants would compete with each other
to initiate the discussion. So as soon as the topic - "Discuss
the negative effects of liberalisation on the Indian economy"
- was read out, he began talking. In his anxiety to be the first
to start speaking, he did not hear the word "negative" in the
topic. He began discussing the ways in which the country had
benefited from liberalisation, only to be stopped by the evaluator,
who then corrected his mistake.
is very important to listen and understand the topic before
you air your opinions.
a little time analysing the topic may provide you with insights
which others may not have thought about.
gives you the time to conceptualise the data so you can present
the information you have in a better manner.
no worse way of getting noticed by the evaluator than by starting
off the group discussion with a mistake.
was very nervous. She noticed that a couple of other candidates
were exceptionally good. Because of her insecurity, she contributed
little to the discussion. She was sure she did not stand a chance
against the others. Even when she was asked to comment on a
particular point, she preferred to keep mum.
personality is also being evaluated. Your body language may
reflect your low confidence.
in the discussion, rather than evaluating others and your performance.
You are the participant not the evaluator.
language skills along with your self-confidence are what you
will be evaluated on. Just having one of them is not going to
get you the job.
on your strengths and do not spend too much time thinking negatively,
as it will have a negative impact on your self-confidence. The
evaluator will pick up these cues from your body language.