You are the HR manager at Infosys and you have been tasked with the responsibility of conducting a group discussion to filter out prospective candidates. Group Discussion is a time and tested way to evaluate a candidate’s communication skills, ability to handle pressure and fluency in English. It should be conducted in a proper way to maintain the professional atmosphere and in business English so that the selected candidate will be an asset to the organization. Read on to find six tips to conduct group discussions for interviews.
6 Tips to conduct Group Discussions:
1. Limited Members
Group discussion members should be limited to 8-10 candidates. Anything more than that will risk the discussion to be a fish market. Limiting the members allows the candidate to have their voice heard with minimal din.
2. Identify the purpose and goals
State the purpose of the group discussion at the start of the discussion. This will allow the candidate to focus their mind on the topics at hand. Tell the candidates clearly, why they are in the room and what the purpose of conducting the group discussion is.
For example, you can say:
1. “Hello everyone, the purpose of this group discussion is to evaluate your communication skills”
2. “Good Morning and welcome to Infosys Group Discussion. In this process, we will be marking you on your English proficiency and idea generation.”
3. “The goal of this group discussion is to judge the candidate’s command over the English language and general awareness levels.”
4. List out skills
List out the skills that you are looking for in a candidate. It may include leadership skills, interpersonal skills, persuasion skills, problem solving skills etc... It is up to you to inform the candidates about the skills being tested or if you want to keep it to yourself. If you identify the key skill set needed beforehand, it will give clarity and perspective while evaluation.
5. List out the rules
List out the rules to be followed in group discussions before starting the process. This will ensure that the candidates are aware of the rules and the penalties involved.
For example, you can say:
“Please follow the rules or you will be disqualified. The rules are:
a. Don’t interrupt when a person is speaking. Allow him to complete. Interrupt politely.
b. No swearing.
c. No personal abuse”
6. Encourage non speakers
Often, there may be people who are not contributing much into the group discussion. It may be because they are shy or too polite. You can encourage them to contribute and share their views. It may happen that they may be able to give valid points.
7. Avoid diversion
Group discussions usually tend to veer away from the topic at hand. It is your duty to bring the discussion back on track and to the mentioned subject.
The above tips will help you to conduct a group discussion professionally. To guide others, you yourself should be fluent in professional English. You can take the assistance of an online English tutor to guide you.
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- By Monika Agarwal