03 Dec 2021


Interview Skills

The group discussion is an integral part of the interview filtration process. Candidates are assessed on their knowledge, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Types of topics 

3. Parameters 

4. Do’s and Don’ts in GD

5. A Few Pointers

A topic is presented to the group of candidates (usually 8 to 12), which may be factual, descriptive, or abstract. Sometimes, they are usually given some time to think about it and take notes, sometimes, they are not given time at all

Following that, the group of candidates is asked to discuss the subject among themselves for a specific time between 10 to 40 minutes (which may vary from one organization to another).

The recruiters silently observe each candidate on different pre-determined criteria as the group discusses the topic at hand. The recruiters give each participant a score based on his or her performance in the group.

The following are the three types of topic-based GDs:

Factual Topics

Factual topics are those that deal with current affairs. These can be current, in the sense that they have recently been in the news, or they can be timeless. The conversation on the factual topic allows a candidate to demonstrate that he or she is aware of current affairs


World Trade Organization (WTO) and its influence on the Indian economy

IPL 2021

India's education system

Controversial Topics

Controversial topics are designed to stir up debate. The noise level in GDs where these topics are presented for discussion is normally high, and tempers can fly.

The aim behind giving such a topic is to see how much maturity the candidate shows by managing his or her temper and defending his or her point of view rationally and logically without getting personal


Reservation system in India

Education is important to girls than boys

Abstract Topics

These topics check your imagination, lateral thinking, and creativity. The ability to generate new ideas and add a unique perspective to the subject ensures success


The shape “S”

Black and white

How I wonder what you are

Performance Parameters in a Group Discussion


1. Contribute knowledge of the topic to the group

2. The more valid points you make, the more marks you score

3. It’s about “what you say”


4. Getting the message across clearly

5. It’s “how you say”

Group Dynamics

6. Assesses one's personality

7. Assesses one’s Interaction

Leadership Skills 

8. Initiating a group discussion (will almost certainly boost your GD ranking)

9. Showing direction to the group

10. Coordinating with the group members

11. Resolving conflicts if any

12. Summarizing or Concluding the GD

The following is a list of the roles you can demonstrate in a group discussion 

Positive Task Roles

Initiator: one who takes responsibility

Information giver: one who provides information

Opinion seeker: A person who seeks out others' opinions

Clarifier: probing for better understanding / gaining a deeper understanding of the information

Summarizer: One who concludes the discussion

Negative Characteristics to Avoid

Silent / passive participant: someone who does not participate 

Attacker: an individual who engages in offensive behaviour by criticizing the contributions of other participants 

Dominator: a person who dominates a conversation by talking too much or interrupting others

Prankster: someone who boasts, refuses to take a conversation seriously, or interrupts it 

Do’s in a GD:

  • Make sure you initiate the discussion The first impression goes a long way in grabbing the interviewer’s attention. Start the conversation with valuable inputs
  • Make eye contact with everybody in the group
  • Use a confident tone, simple diction, and proper grammar. 
  • Try to get as many likes as you can from your group. The topic eventually comes down to group dynamics and teamwork. Increasing your likeability can assist you in navigating the conversation more effectively. This does not, however, mean a lack of constructive arguments when they are required
  • Accept counter-arguments with grace and demonstrate sound listening skills, which will project you as a good learner
  • Before you present your point of view, remember to acknowledge the previous speaker. Your failure to respond to the previous speaker may demonstrate your inability to do acknowledge others' contributions.
  • Give examples and evidence with facts to back up your point of view. These will strengthen your argument and back you up
  • Demonstrate the ability to consider a topic from different perspectives. This demonstrates your ability to think out of the box.
  • Make an effort to focus on the proper exit too. Keep in mind that the aim is not to keep the spotlight on you throughout the discussion, but to add value with key points in the discussion. Your graceful exit is just as important as your entry into the discussion
  • When necessary, summarise the key points of the discussion. This aids your ability to consider other people's points of view.
  • Do project yourself as a team player who can strike a balance between individual and group success. The group discussion is not only about your point of view; you must also respond to the other's points of view to broaden the scope of the discussion
  • Respect and integrity should be shown to all the group members. This demonstrates professionalism
  • When asked to sum up the key points of the discussion, take the initiative to do so. The conclusion isn't about only your points; it's about how the group as a whole discussed the topic.
  • Maintain a cool and composed attitude during the discussion. This shows the ability to successfully handle stress

Don’ts in a GD

Go through the following list of things to avoid to be successful in a Group Discussion:

  • Don't just get started for the sake of getting started. This could portray you as a person who lacks preparation and organization skills, effectively eliminating your candidacy for the interview
  • Don't talk in a haphazard and unstructured way. This could convey a negative impression to the interviewer that you are just talking and not contributing much to the conversation
  • Don't be arrogant or aggressive. This may indicate a pessimistic attitude as well as a lack of interpersonal skills
  • Do not display any signs of inattention or exhaustion. This may indicate that you are uninterested in the discussion. 
  • Don't just listen to the active speakers in the discussion. The active speakers should undoubtedly receive more attention, but this does not mean that the passive speakers should be ignored
  • Group members should be violent when expressing themselves, but they must be handled in a matured and balanced way
  • When the main topic is going on, avoid having side conversations. 
  • When anyone disagrees with you, don't get agitated or jittery. It's common for your argument to be questioned during the discussion. You must answer with evidence, examples, facts, and reasoning
  • Do not engage in pointless debates or disagreements with other speakers. Doing so will only spoil your image
  • When making an argument, don't look at the panel. This can portray you as a people-pleaser 
  • Don't fold your arms or cross your legs. You cannot present an informal/casual appearance or attitude because it is a formal occasion
  • Don't make too many gestures, doing so is a distraction
  • If you want to make a point, don't yell and shout because it takes away your positive impression

A few pointers

  • It is important to present yourself professionally and be on time. 
  • Take a pen and a notepad with you. It gives you the appearance of being well-organized
  • Don't get deviated from the given topic
  • Do not disrupt other participants' talk and wait for them to finish
  • Maintain a neutral tone when objecting to others’ points. Avoid yelling or raising your voice excessively
  • Others' viewpoints should be respected. Accept and agree if you consider the points made by others are valid. 
  • express your disagreement in a respectful, dignified, and persuasive way. Negative statements such as "this point is incorrect" or "your statement is wrong" should be avoided. 
  • Remain calm and comfortable if someone becomes overtly hostile to you. This is an excellent opportunity to show your conflict resolution skills and maturity in a situation like this
  • Finally, your teamwork skills are assessed based on how you interact and behave in the group. It doesn't matter how long you speak; what matters is what you say and how you say.

We hope you find this knowledge useful and that it would help you to excel in any group discussion. 

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