by Uday Kumar on December 11, 2011


What is Group Discussion?

It is a test to find out the leadership qualities in a person. It is a test of analyzing a person’s behavior in a team. We often find that when ever there are a group of friends or classmates one particular person dominates the whole group. That person takes most of the decisions and yet convinces you as if you were also a part of the decision making. These are the people with the best leadership qualities. In order to find out the leader among a group, a group discussion would be the easiest and most successful method to use.

How will this test be conducted?

A group of candidates will be asked to sit in a semi circle or a circle with or without a table (in SSBs there are no tables). The group will be given a topic for discussion sometimes before the discussion to facilitate preparation and often at the group discussion assembly itself to assess spontaneity. Sometimes interview panels give two or three topics to choose from so as to ensure that all members in a group are comfortable with the topic. The time given for the actual discussion may range from 15- 30 minutes. During the discussion, the interview panel assesses the following:

Role behavior : it is believed that when individuals are placed in an undefined circumstance or environment they adopt roles that they are most comfortable in. Hence, in a group roles emerge- the role of a leader is an important one. IT IS OFTEN MISCONSTRUED IS THE ONE WHO TALKS THE MAXIMUM. I have seen groups where all the members are out-talking the others with no one listening! This approach is all wrong. The leader is the one who initiates the discussion if the group is frozen in the beginning. There is a misconception that who ever speaks the first will be judged the leader. This is wrong. The leader will initiate only when no one is volunteering to open the discussion. If there are members who initiate the discussion then the leader is the one who shows his stature through content and quality of his or her contribution to the discussion. The leader is one who listens just as much as he or she contributes. The leader also plays an important role in ensuring that everyone in the group gets a chance to speak. He or she will also help in maintaining the psychological and emotional health of the group in case of disagreements and arguments. The leader offers alternatives and solutions to differences.

Communication skills: A group discussion throws up the individual’s ability to put forward ideas forcefully, articulately and logically. THE COMMAND OVER THE LANGUAGE IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION. The ability to listen and integrate other viewpoints with one’s own is also assessed.

Content: Very often group candidates feel that it is the quality of speaking which matters and not the qualitative content. They are mistaken because interview panels give a lot of importance to content. The content is measured by the depth of knowledge the individual has on the subject and how logically and clearly it is put forward. Bluffers can be detected immediately and are instantly rejected.

Emotional stability: Candidates in a group are under quite a bit of pressure especially since all are aspiring to be selected. An immature group would build this pressure up by being inconsiderate to other group members. Some members become argumentative, dogmatic, over-bearing, biased or emotionally aroused and excited on one hand while others become insecure, quiet, withdrawn and nervous. Interviewers look for a balanced individual who is cool and composed, yet assertive enough to hold ones own point of discussion.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Amit tyagi December 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

Wonderful job. pls tel me how i can crack scrining it is my main hurdle. in ppdt tme vry less and candidates more they create fish what shd i do so that panel impres wth me . pls rply i m waiting.


Kumar December 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Dear Amit, sometimes you need to be a part of that fish market in order to sell your fish!!!!! you cannot afford to wait for your turn……you have to be over assertive and establish your dominance quickly

Amit tyagi December 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

Well said i wil defently imprv sir Thx fr suggston.


mukesh kumar January 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

sir, my nature is that when everybody was shooting and making group decision a fish market . then mostly i prefer to be silent and give neccessary points .so what is ur advice for me..


Kumar January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am

Mukesh, you have to prove and show to the GTO that you can control a situation like that…sitting quiet will do no good to you!!!! you have to prove your point atleast , if unable to take charge and control of others!!!

RAGHU HEGDE February 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

sir…. can u plz explain whats actualy the screening test includes…???/


shivam March 6, 2012 at 9:49 am

sir, i had been screened out 2 times.
i wanna know that is there any layout to write story in ppdt.
although i include 7 parameters.
what is to be wite in action area of sheet????
going again shortly… waiting for reply……..


Vijay raghav June 21, 2014 at 9:05 am

Jai hind sir,
Is it acceptable to the supervising panel that a candidate continues in Hindi when he/she pauses while speaking in English.?
Plz help me out.


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