Showcasing the Right Skills in a Group Discussion 105
Candidate 6: Good content; very good eye contact with all the
members; serious about the activity; lacks clarity and ﬂuency.
Candidate 7: Tried to speak once, but could not make a point;
Candidate 8: Fluent; good content; curt and arrogant; makes
sarcastic comments; accusatory tone; questions in a conde-
scending tone; lacks friendly gestures towards others; aggres-
sive tone and body language.
Candidate 9: Very less participation; summarized well; clear
voice; authoritative sitting posture.
Candidate 10: Loud, clear voice; good examples; excellent
voice modulation; good use of pauses; persuasive body lan-
guage; good points; decent participation.
Based on your analysis of the case study, make a list of character-
istics that are desirable in candidates and the ones that should be
Desired Characteristics Avoidable Characteristics
Common Challenges Faced in a GD
In this section, we have discussed some of the common concerns
shared by participants in our workshops on GDs. We have also shared
some suggestive guidelines to overcome these challenges eectively.
1. “Is it always beneﬁcial to initiate the discussion?”
Initiating the discussion is a high-risk, high-return strategy. If
you are able to kick it o eectively with relevant points, it gives
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106 CAMPUS PLACEMENTS: Ensure You Don’t Remain Unplaced
you enough visibility; however, it puts you in the negative zone
if you fumble and express your ideas randomly. Therefore, if you
are thorough with the topic and are conﬁdent of eectively pre-
senting good ideas, initiating the GD would certainly work in
your favor. However, if you are not thorough with the topic or not
very ﬂuent in your communication, it would only expose your
shortcomings, which might be risky. We have witnessed this in a
GD wherein a student started the discussion because no one else
initiated it. Since this student was not prepared, she started with
very basic and crude statement like “Ok, let’s start the discus-
sion! And I am not in favor of the topic…” Needless to say, such
a beginning was neither helpful for the group nor the initiator.
Moreover, many a time, it has been noticed that a candidate
who initiates the discussion remains quiet for the rest of the dis-
cussion. It is important to note that starting a discussion is not
sucient to leave a mark. You need to have your presence felt
throughout the discussion or else your opening the discussion
may be considered a gimmick to gain limelight.
Exhibit 4.1 Initiating a group discussion: a high-risk, high-return strategy
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