Well done on being selected for the Group Discussion (GD) Stage. After all you put the hard work into preparing for your interview, you surely deserve it. But you are not out of the woods yet. The interviewer now wants to see how well you interact within a group. That requires a lot from your part communication skills, subject knowledge, time management, teamwork, leadership skills, and confidence. It’s the ultimate platform to let your personality shine. Though, with so many aspects to juggle you can quite easily slip up. So to avoid losing your chance at selection beat the competition by steering clear of these common mistakes made in GD.
1. Starting Off on the Wrong Foot
It is well documented that you should initiate the discussion. It has its benefits of making your presence known and demonstrates leadership skills. But this only works if you know what to say. Now just jumping in for the sake of it attracts attention for the wrong reasons. Maybe you didn’t listen properly and miss heard what was said or you don’t really know the topic well enough. So only do so if you are confident in the subject at hand. Otherwise, the next option is to listen in to what is the topic and/or begin to understand the topic via what others have said. Then add to the discussion by building off someone’s idea or throw a new idea into the mix.
Because GD is such an important task you can become nervous. It’s normal, however, for some it can get the better of them. Nervousness can lead to stalling in the discussion as when others start talking you then hesitate to pitch in. And if you then begin to talk your body takes over, your voice quivers and your heart beats intensely. Though, with a bit of preparation and knowing how to calm your nerve you can get on with business.
Learn more on “How to Calm Your Nerves: by clicking here.
3. Poor Communication Skills
It is what it is you need to know how to communicate in English fluently. Others will need to understand you and is the professional norm as companies are communicating on a global level. But that’s only point one, with fluency you need to participate in GD to the full extent. This means to communicate meaningful ideas supported by facts, figures, and examples; in a comprehendible manner. Unable to do so such candidates have no chance of making the cut and kill confidence in an instant. If you need improving in this aspect be sure to attend classes and workshops to help work out your kinks.
In the meantime, you can also check out our Spoken English articles by clicking here.
4. Lack of Confidence
Don’t fall in the trap in worrying that you won’t do well or think others are doing better. Because when you worry so much you then neglect to focus on grasping the topic and participating in the discussion; which is what you need to do to succeed in GD. The evaluator will soon know you are lacking confidence because you didn’t participate and it will probably show in your body language too.
This article on “How to Increase Your Confidence Quickly “ (click here) can help you get started on confidence building.
5. Excessive Talking
Stop right there, if you think you should be talking for as much as possible because then only others will know your brilliant knowledge or so that you have participated. Think again. It’s all about quality over quantity and teamwork. Yes, you do have to demonstrate the above but you would be better off showing your presence strategically at some point in the beginning, middle and the end. Where you offer sound ideas and interact with others too.
6. Going Off Topic
Besides excessive talking other ways to go off,topic is misunderstanding the topic and misquoting facts and figures. Just don’t be tempted to just jump in without proper knowledge. And in addition, getting distracted such as daydreaming or writing notes without listening to what others say. Walk into a GD expecting to participate to the fullest that of active listening and speaking with quality ideas.
7. Poor Body Language
Body language is as important as speaking. The way you use your hand gestures, eye contact, body posture, and facial expressions tells the evaluator a lot about your personality. Closed off body language such as crossed arms can suggest you are feeling uncomfortable. Pointing the finger can be a sign of negative aggression. And looking somewhere than the candidate who’s speaking tells the evaluator you don’t pay attention. Just to name a few.
Would you like to see if your body language is up to the mark? Click here for our “How to Improve Body Language for Your Job Interview “article.
There will be times where some ‘awesome’ idea pops in your head and you just want to get it out. But in that time it is someone else’s turn. At no point, you should interrupt even if it’s that awesome or else that’s a mark deducted for you. You need to wait it out and more importantly listen in to what they are saying. It could be adding value to the discussion. Once you hear and see a small gap then only you can say it is your turn to speak.
9. Showing Off
Talking too much is one thing but you also need to balance that fine line of jargon, facts and figures and fine English skills too. Talk how you would normally talk amongst students, friends and family. Being conscious of adding more than the usual can be easily detected and perceived as being over the top and that you are unable to get along with the group. Furthermore, it suggests that though you may ‘know it all’ you could also be insincere and not a team player in the workplace environment too.
10. Losing Your Cool
GD topics can be quite touchy ones at that. And on many instances candidates are found making blatant statements and generalized comments that will offend at least someone in the group. So much so, that they feel the need to react in an aggressive manner. Retaliating in the form of anger will always go against you. As you go off topic in an amateurish attempt to rectify a personal issue with someone. That demotivates the entire group. Just what you don’t want.
And the thing is sneaky candidates will pinch you once finding out that’s your weak point. The interviewer panelist too will always test you at some point to see where you could break. So no matter how much you have an urge to react, keeping calm will always be your better option.
If you want to contact me you can leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook – www.facebook.com/pdhotspot
Until next time.