Group Discussion - A Company's Selection Perspective

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Companies often get a huge number of applications for every job profile opening. But it is next to impossible to personally interact or interview every single candidate. Hence, companies use the method of group discussion to filter down to candidates who can be potential employees of the organisation.

Group Discussion is a level playing field for all the candidates, and it a process which enables employees to discover various qualities about all the participating candidates. Group discussions are on random topics, which can be abstract, contemporary or some debatable issue. In the limited time allotted, candidates have to not only speak up and participate, but also have to show their confidence, excitement, acumen and team participation.

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What do companies evaluate through GDs?

GDs are a good way for companies for shortlisting candidates from a large pool of applicants by giving all of them a random topic of discussion and evaluate them on the basis of their participation, quality of answers and confidence.

Here are the things which panelists look out for while conducting a group discussion:

Communication Skills-

A GD enables a person to understand and evaluate the communication skills in terms of clarity of speech, vocabulary, voice modulation etc and one can easily identify a confident speaker as compared to a person who is not a strong communicator

Analytical & Logical Skills-

GDs are quick way to understand how a candidate can analyse a particular topic by applying logical statements and not simply beating about the bush. Clear thoughts and crisp sentences always leaves a positive mark on the panelists

Team Skills-

GD is not only about speaking your mind out but also allowing others to participate without being too aggressive. A person who allows others to speak, build on points of others and speaks along with the other candidates, shows his or her intent as a team player

Awareness and Aptitude-

Contemporary issue, industry trends, latest news etc are some GD topics which enable panelists to evaluate the general awareness of the candidates. Participants who come up with factual points, relevant arguments and statistics on topics are more likely to get a nod as compared to those who simply speak as it is required without any value addition

Leadership and Assertiveness-

GD is not only about the knowledge one possesses but also how assertive one is and how he is able to take control of proceedings by taking up the role of the leader. A confident speaker who speaks with authority and belief, and leads the discussion by adding new, relevant points and also giving ample chance for others to speak in between.


Abstract topics are difficult to understand given the limited time. But this give the company to understand the out of the box thinking ability of the candidate and how well they are able to come up with interesting arguments.

GDs might not be a full proof way of judging candidates. Candidates who are shy, introvert and unwilling to participate will lose out even if they have strong academics and knowledge. Companies conduct GDs to pick the best from the lot within a given time frame and more often than not, confident, intelligent and participative candidates cross the hurdle.