SSB Day 1 Group Testing – Group Discussions

by Girish Singh on June 13, 2014

Welcome Back! In the last article, we discussed the psychological tests. This article brings you the just next thing after psychological tests. The Day 1 Group Testing. As there are a lot of things that that happen in day one – we will limit the discussion in this article to the first test of Day 1 Group Testing – Group Discussions

Business People Working In a Conference Room

Group Discussions are nowadays extensively used by HR Recruiting teams to make selection among various candidates. They are also used in premier institutions like Indian Institutes Of Technology, Indian Institute Of Management and many other institutions who need to shortlist a few students among many.

This article does not limit the discussion to the Group Discussions of Service Selection Boards. I will try to explain the things in general.

First of all, let’s familiarize ourselves with what Group Discussion actually is. Group Discussions, or GD’s, is a fully formal occasion in which 8-15 people sit down, facing each other, to discuss on an issue. They discuss the various aspects of the topic and finally reach to a conclusion.

In SSB, the Group Testing Officer, or known as GTO, will command his group to sit on the chairs in a circle. He will conduct two GD’s then. In the first GD, our GTO gave us three topics to choose from. He gave us 30 seconds to decide on which topic we wish to carry on. We made our choice and the discussion began.

Usually the group discussion is a very competitive process. Everyone wants to take the lead and say his point. This leads to confusion, mismanagement and hustle. This may be very intimidating for the people who don’t have much good speaking skills. They will find themselves completely overruled and may lag in the discussion. It is avoidable though. Let’s see how.

There are a few things which if followed and practiced for long, may help you bagging the top position in a group discussion. Bear with me guys, these things may seem complicated when read, but actually are easy.

  • STUFF TO SPEAK- This is the first most thing that anyone needs to take care of. You should know what you will say ahead. Plan for the contingencies. There are three approaches to formulate stuff to speak- First, look at what topic is. Understand the basic keywords and try to formulate a few points around the words in the topic. Second approach is the most important. In this approach, we try to formulate the new points by looking at the Social, Political, Economic, Legal and the time variant effect the topic can have. These effects can be positive, as well as negative. This way you get at least 5-8 standard points which you can put forth one by one. The Third approach is by identifying the various group of people or part of the society that are and will be affected by the topic. Think in their respect and try putting a few points forward in such way.4
  • ENTER – Entering into a group discussion is a very crucial aspect. Many authors and people suggest that you should be the first one to speak. The problem is, every one try do so! So, the best thing to be done is that you should enter a discussion early. If not first, at least ensure that you enter the discussion in first one or one and a half minute. Try putting a solid new point as you enter the discussion. It will automatically draw the group’s attention to you.
  • LEAD – Leadership is one very important OLQ (Officer Like Quality) that they look for in SSB. A leader inherently stands out in a group discussion. Following are the few points which may help you making one. When you enter a group discussion, you should identify who among your groups are weak speakers, and who are strong speaker. A strong speaker is characterized by good communication skills, loud and clear voice. When a loud speaker is speaking, try not to interrupt at wrong time or else you won’t be heard. Look for the moment when he is about to finish, or he takes pause, or he stammers, and start putting your point. Look out for weak speakers and let them speak. Allow them to put their point forward as listening is more important than speaking in a GD. A leader is not someone who keeps talking. He is the one who listens to everybody and takes the discussion forward in a coherent manner. Many a times, the discussion goes off track. Try bringing it back to the topic and encourage others to drive the decision forward. Keep putting your new points in between. Do not repeat someone other’s points. Maintain your calm and stay composed.
  • BODY- The body language is one prominent issue that reveals your personality. Having a check over it may be required while sitting for a group discussion. Don’t physically impose yourself over anyone in the discussion. Sit straight, don’t lean and don’t unnecessarily move your hands. Unnecessarily moving your hands while speaking may give an impression that you are not sure about what you are saying and are trying to protect yourself. Though, on the other hand, sitting like a zombie will not help either. Be interactive, take help of your body movements but don’t overdo it. Eye Contact is also very important in GD’s. Simple rules- while speaking, try to look at everybody. Don’t speak to a particular person. If you do so, you are unknowingly making him stand apart as a leader. Speak as if you are addressing everybody. And while someone else is speaking- only look at that person. Chances are, while everybody is ignoring him, he may start talking looking only at you thus making you a leader. Fact governing this is- The leader in the group is the person who gets talked to most.
  • CONCLUDE – Remember it is a group discussion we are talking about- not a debate. A conclusion is necessary. Drive the group towards conclusion, taking into account everybody’s view. Don’t put any new point in the conclusion from your side. Include only those points which you previously discussed with your team. End the discussion in a cordial manner, saying thank you. Keep it tight. It may be the single most important thing that may reveal your personality.

That’s all for now guys.

Again, share the article and the website! See you soon. Take care. Jai Hind!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

rohit sharma June 20, 2014 at 10:50 am

i have attended 2 SSB’s, both times i was screen out. first time i was not really prepared,i didn’t knew what was going to happen ,so i was rejected. 2nd time i was fully prepared but still didn’t make it. i have learnt my mistakes. my problem is i have some very good points but i am not able to convey them. i am shy and have a stage fear so not able to perform good in GD. i stammer a little. can u share any points or views on this, how can i overcome my shyness or stage fear. i am already trying to improve myself. trying to speak in front of mirror, speaking in a group of friends. i am sure this time im gonna do it, im in a positive state of mind and fully confident.


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