Important Facts about Group Discussions

Psychometric Test Guru

Group discussions are one of the most effective ways for human beings to communicate and express our personalities while in a group. They are now popularly used to assess the potential of a candidate, for jobs or for enrollment in educational institutions. For some recruiters, it could help in eliminating less-eligible candidates. For some, it serves the purpose of finding out more about a candidate’s personality.

Benefits and reasons for group discussions

The main reason why group discussions are now commonly held during recruitment interviews is because the benefits clearly outweigh the pitfalls. Research has found that listening to others’ expressed experiences impacts the memories, ideas, and experiences in participants of group discussions. Recruiters can test many characteristics about their candidates through group discussions.

Group discussion members can display their ability to adopt new ways of thinking and expand their knowledge. By reducing individual inhibitions, group participation can sometimes reveal the true personality of a person.

Group discussions also help interviewers to collect information more rapidly. A trained interviewer can complete 2-3 group discussion based interviews in a day. A group discussion provides insight that would be less accessible in a non-group environment. Sometimes, the information collected in an individual interview can be inaccurate. In a group interview, respondents are usually reluctant to give the inaccurate answer for fear of being corrected or questioned by other participants.

Pitfalls

While having a group discussion is extremely helpful during an interview, it also has certain drawbacks and limitations. Respondents might provide accurate information, but they are also less likely to reveal sensitive information that could determine their suitability for the position. Some candidates might not be able to discuss issues of real significance.

The major pitfall of group discussions is that the result and impact may vary depending on different personality types, which makes it difficult to come to a conclusion. Proper documentation of the collated data can also be tricky for the interviewer.

Attaining the right attitude for a group discussion

When recruiters conduct group discussions for interviews, they usually look at individual language skills, body language, academic knowledge, leadership skills, people handling skills, general knowledge, and ability to work in a team.

A candidate initiating the discussion should have something relevant to start it with. Polite, pleasant, and clear speaking candidates win over candidates that are just plain “loud”. Impatience also serves a great disadvantage in a group discussion. Listening attentively and making polite, but valid arguments can help candidates to stand out amongst other participants. Confident individuals who display a great sense of team spirit have a better advantage. The most important thing to remember for a group discussion participant is to be comfortable with the group.

Effective communication within a group requires planning and organization, which is why group discussions should only be conducted professionally by an expert in order to find out the most eligible candidates.

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