Acing the Group Discussions

Group Discussions or GDs are a part of many recruitment processes these days. Be it selection process of some university or any corporate job, one would see himself facing a Group Discussion. Apart from these major career pivots, Group Discussion can also be used for screening of candidates for some internal teams within the organization. Knowing this, it becomes essential to know the basic skills required to perform well in these discussions. Let us try to first understand that Why is everybody after Group discussions? What are they testing?

Group discussions are an easy way to test a number of skills and shortlist candidates in a short span of time. Organizations generally make groups of 8-9 people and give them 12-15 minutes for discussion. This is a really quick way to eliminate non performing candidates. Some of the things that they check include:

Thought process

They want to check how you think and also how your thoughts are affected when working with a group. Some things that can help you are:

  • Do you stay firm on your viewpoint?
  • Do you consider others viewpoint?
  • Can you think out of the box?
  • Can you come up with new ideas?

Leadership Skills

I agree it is difficult to judge leadership skills in 10 -15 min session and many organizations have activity rounds for judging leadership and team working skills. Some of the things that help you exhibit leadership skills include.

  • Are people paying attention to your ideas? Are your ideas being discussed?
  • Did you start the discussion?
  • Are people looking for your views on someone else’s idea?
  • Can you give direction to the discussion?
  • Did you make the concluding remarks?

Listening Skills

This might come as a surprise to you but many companies are keenly observing your listening skills. You can display good listening skills by following the below:

  • Are you maintaining eye contact with the speaker?
  • Did you pay attention to what others are saying?
  • Are you adding value to the discussion by adding more dimensions to the ideas being discussed?
  • Do you show your agreement with others ideas via your body language?


Apart from these, they are obviously testing other things such as communication skills, personality, logic and body language. At times, topic may be related to your work/study. In such cases they are also checking some of the subject knowledge. Your current affairs knowledge may also be put to test depending on the topic of the discussion.

Now, since we know what are they looking for we can start performing better in these Group Discussions. If you have any other questions that you would like to be answered, please post that in comments.