After a group discussion (GD), it is common to see students com-
plaining about various challenges that they face like “It was a fish
market, and I just could not get into the discussion”, “Whenever I tried
speaking, someone interrupted, and that’s why I couldn’t complete my
point”, “My voice is soft and people with shrill and loud voice took
over the discussion”, or “My points were already spoken by other
members; so I had nothing to speak. But does any of these reasoning
or excuses help in clearing the GD? None of these explanations are
of any use because the evaluator considers your lack of contribution
in the GD was due to lack of fluency, assertiveness, or content. This
leads to missing the chance of getting selected for the screening round
of interviews during placements. Unfortunately, a large number of
students fail to clear GDs even after eight to ten attempts in dierent
companies and keep struggling to reach the interview stage.
The placement process demands rigorous preparation for GD as
many companies include this as screening round for selection. Before
getting to tricks of preparation, let’s first understand what a GD is and
the challenges involved in handling it.
In simple words, a group discussion is a forum where people dis-
cuss the topic assigned to them with the common objective of discuss-
ing it in a wholesome way. There are three dierent types of GD:
Topic-based group discussions
Case-based group discussions
Article-based group discussions
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R S  
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M04_Campus Placements_C04.indd 102 8/29/2016 5:55:17 PM
Showcasing the Right Skills in a Group Discussion 103
Topic-based group discussions: As the name suggests, in a topic-
based group discussion, the group members are given a topic to dis-
cuss which can either be factual or abstract in nature.
Factual topics require you to be familiar with facts or information
on the concerned topic and may pose a challenge if you are unfamil-
iar with the topic. While handling these topics, you need to look at
the topic from various perspectives and analyze the reasons and causes
behind the topic or issue. Some examples of factual topics are given
Free Wi-Fi at public places: What are its Pros and Cons?
Should brand ambassadors be held responsible for an unhealthy
Should journalism be censored?
Are we happier than our forefathers?
Is money everything to work for?
Abstract topics are assigned to assess the creativity and spontane-
ity of candidates. How you perceive the topic is also an indicator of
your personality. For example, the topic “Black” can be perceived dif-
ferently by dierent candidates and may reflect their outlook towards
life. While handling abstract topics, you need to generate creative
ideas related to the topic and then connect these ideas to a factual
issue or matter currently in the news. Here are some more examples
of abstract topics:
Pigs can fly.
It does not matter if a cat is black or white as long as it
catches mice.
Are animals better than human beings?
Dead yesterday, unborn tomorrow.
Catch them young.
Case-based group discussions: In a GD of this kind, the candidates
are given a case situation that may pose a problem to be resolved. The
participants analyze the problem and discuss various solutions. There
are no incorrect answers or perfect solutions to the case. The objective
M04_Campus Placements_C04.indd 103 8/29/2016 5:55:17 PM

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