What Is Group Discussion In An Interview? How To Partake

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 March 2023

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Many companies use group discussion in an interview as part of the hiring process. Group discussions (GDs) helps employer identify particular personality traits like leadership, confidence, interpersonal and teamwork skills of potential employees. Preparing for these discussions can help you perform and speak in front of employers on a topic. In this article, we discuss what group discussion for an interview is, explore some tips to succeed in one and understand the skills an employer assesses using a group discussion.

What Is A Group Discussion In An Interview?

A group discussion in an interview is a hiring technique employer uses to evaluate a group of participants on a subject. Companies use GDs to test candidates' communication, leadership and knowledge of given topics. Employers conduct GDs to hire several people with similar academic backgrounds and apply for similar roles. Candidates in the GD have a topic to prepare and present their facts and opinions. The discussion of the group helps an employer gauge their skills.

Related: Sample Topics For Group Discussion

How To Partake In A Group Discussion In An Interview?

Here are a few steps to partake in a GD:

1. Know about the current topics

Usually, employers prefer asking current topics for a GD. To prepare in advance for the GD, consider reading a newspaper and magazine and watching television regularly to stay up-to-date with the current topics. Also, know about your industry's current events, trends and upcoming technologies. When you have the prior subject knowledge, you can speak confidently about the topic.

Related: How To Succeed In A Group Discussion

2. Practice before the group discussion

To excel in your group discussion, participate in a mock GD and practice the situation before attending the interview process. If you are studying in a college, you can ask the placement committee to conduct mock GDs to prepare for the interview. If you are an experienced professional, you can take help from friends and family members to assist in your preparation of a group discussion. For understanding how GD participants behave, you can watch online videos or enrol in free online courses to get hired for a desirable job.

3. Practice time management

As the entire discussion lasts for only 10-15 minutes, it is essential to practice time management. Speaking for at least a minute or more can help you speak about your opinions and present your viewpoints to others. Speaking at the right moment when others are quiet can help you convey your point. Properly utilising the time in a GD can help you express your viewpoints.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Define the topic

Making an assertive statement at the start can help you attract the employer's attention. When initiating a topic, try to use the group discussion topic in your initiation statement and define it using a simple and easy-to-understand manner. If possible, start the initiation statement using a quote from a famous or well-known personality. You can even start a topic with statistics or figures to make an impression.

5. Listen to what others are saying

Listening skills are essential in a group discussion because it helps understand the topic others are discussing and show respect for others' viewpoints. When you carefully listen to others, it helps in framing your responses. Another great way to excel in a GD is to make brief eye contact with the speaker. Usually, excellent speakers are good listeners and to become successful in a GD, focus on developing superb listening skills.

6. Avoid deviating from the topic

If someone is drifting away from the topic during a discussion, try to bring back the discussion on the topic. Straying away or deviating from the discussion is not acceptable. So, instead of focussing on the length of the speech, give preference to the quality of content. Also, keeping the group on the subject can show your leadership skills.

7. Summarise the discussion

After the moderator gestures to end the discussion, be the first one to summarise the GD and highlight the essential points. By summarising the discussion, you can add value to your communication and content. It can help you capture the attention of employers. Also, focus on keeping your summary short, relevant and unbiased. Even though you may have an optimistic viewpoint on the topic, summarising can include the negative points discussed in the topic.

Tips For Participating In Group Discussion

While there are no stringent rules for attending a group discussion, it is essential to keep the following things in mind:

Initiate the discussion

A group discussion allows you to lead the discussion. When the GD moderator announces a certain topic, try to grasp some ideas, write important points and start the discussion. Though it is not necessary to start the discussion, it can showcase your leadership skills. Being a leader during a GD can ensure a positive impact. Whenever you decide to lead the discussion, ensure you speak on the topic and present the correct facts.

Avoid being aggressive

When discussing a topic with a group, staying firm on your ideas is essential. If you have a conflict of interest with other candidates, avoid getting aggressive to prove your point to others. Though you are trying to convey your points by being audible, shouting during a GD can go against you and decrease your chances of getting shortlisted for the interview round.

Improve your thinking and communication

Clearly conveying your thought process and viewpoints is essential for group discussion. Speaking using the right pace can help you excel in a GD. When you speak too fast or too slow, you cannot convey your thoughts and it becomes difficult for others to understand what you are saying. So, for excelling at a group discussion, maintain a steady pace. This is essential to make your sentence clear and understandable to others.

Related: Building Communication Skills: 10 Types Of Listening

Showcase your teamwork

Group discussion is a teamwork skill and represents how well you can connect with others in a team environment. It helps an employer understand how well you can manage yourself while working in a group or team. Apart from taking leadership during a group discussion, listening to your teammates can help you showcase your teamwork skills.

Show your confidence

Confidence is the key to your success in a group discussion. Showing confidence in your abilities and knowledge of the subject can differentiate you from others. Be confident when making a point because it encourages others to listen to you. It can also help an employer understand how determined you are and how well you handle a situation.

Dress professionally

While wearing the right clothes might be the last thing on your mind, dressing professionally can reflect your professionalism. It is essential to wear formal attire. Choose a dress that you are comfortable wearing. Apart from proper attire, positive gestures and body language can help you succeed in the GD.

Related: How To Dress Up For An Interview (With Additional Tips)

Be polite during the discussion

Another thing to keep in mind while disagreeing with someone's viewpoint is speaking politely and presenting your opinion without raising your voice. While speaking in a GD, ensure your voice is audible and does not fumble. Voice modulation is essential for a successful GD. Understanding the right time to speak, pause and continue can help you be polite during the discussion. Also, your pronunciation and respect for others' viewpoints can impress the employer.

Avoid dominance during the discussion

Leading a discussion is different from dominating it. As you are discussing a point, give a chance to other speakers. Rather than talking and sharing only your viewpoints and losing control when others speak, focus on listening to others. Being patient and calm can help you get hired for a desirable job.

What Skills Can You Expect An Employer To Assess During A Group Discussion?

During a group discussion, an employer assesses various skills, such as:

  • Interpersonal skills: Having excellent people skills is essential for any job and employers prefer candidates who are people-centric and not self-centred. The ability to interact with other group members requires excellent interpersonal skills.

  • Communication skills: In a group discussion, employers assess candidates based on their clarity of thoughts, expression and proper language usage. Also, employers prefer candidates with active listening skills because it helps accommodate others' views.

  • Persuasive skills: During a group discussion, an employer often gauges your ability to analyse and persuade others to understand a topic or problem differently. Also, it tests your ability to make a point in a team-based environment.

  • Leadership skills: Not every job role requires a group discussion. Employers conduct a GD to understand a candidate's ability to take leadership roles and inspire the team to achieve organisational goals.


  • How To Start A Group Discussion (And Tips To Lead One)

  • Key Phrases for Starting, Leading and Concluding Any Group Discussion Topic

  • 15 Top Group Discussion Tips To Help You Pass To the Next Round

  • Guide: How to Succeed at a Hiring Event or Open Interview

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