“The first impression is the best impression.” We have all heard this very early on in our schools, homes and on TV as well. This stands true at many phases of life, especially when one chance is all you got to impress the decision making person.
2020 to date has been a year that most of us spent at home. Graduation and post-graduation aspirants who had this year to prepare for their exams, group discussions, and personal interviews lost a lot of time, which they could have effectively used for practising these skills and getting to know more about cracking those skills.
Nonetheless, it is never too late. If you have started preparing for your GD (group discussions), here are some tips and tricks that will help you crack it in the first go!
But, let us first try to understand why Group Discussion is such an essential step for college admissions.
WHAT SKILLS YOU GET TO DEMONSTRATE DURING GROUP DISCUSSIONS
- How well you can articulate your thoughts
- How you communicate in a group
- Your body language while having a debate or argument
- Are you a good listener
- How receptive and open you are towards ideas of others
- How aggressive you get in heated discussions
- Your problem solving and critical thinking in the moment
- Subject matter knowledge
What you SHOULD DO During Group Discussions
- INITIATE the discussion. Being the first one to start the conversation goes to show that you not only possess the confidence and initiation skills but also speaks about your vast knowledge on the different subject matter and willingness to talk about a subject matter on the go.
- USE RELEVANT POINTS while putting your views forward. Just beating around the bush might just get you negative points for wasting the time of the interviewing panel as well as other participants.
- LISTEN to others as well. Good listening skills are a part of good communication skills are as important as speaking well. The panel of interviewers will look for people with balanced communication skills.
- I FIRST communication works best when participating in a debate or group discussion. This means that when you disagree with someone’s point, instead of pointing them out, tell everyone your view and why it is different from their viewpoint, rather than why you think their opinion might be wrong.
- SUMMARISE the discussion for everyone. Just like initiating the discussion would get you brownie points, summarising the discussion will also show your leadership and good communication skills and get you more points in your corner.
What you SHOULD NOT DO During Group Discussions
- GETTING AGGRESSIVE during the discussion, either in your words or your body language is not a good sign. Keep your calm and composure if the debate gets heated, and you have a different viewpoint than someone else. The aim is to put your ideas forward, not to win the argument.
- DON’T CONTRADING your own ideas midway. Justify your points, and if someone else’s arguments are more convincing, respect them, agree to them, but do not contradict your own previously stated facts. This might show indecisiveness and not reflect well on you.
- DO NOT YELL at any cost. If the discussion among the group gets heated and everyone else starts to yell, you keep calm and don’t speak up. The panel will intervene and calm things down. This will show your ability to stay calm in stressful situations.
DO NOT GIVE UP in case you are not able to crack the group discussion in the first go. Just like all other personality-related skills, this is an acquired skill, and with regular practice will make you a master of it.