December 3, 2017

Dear Aspirants,

First of all we would like to congratulate all the successful candidate who have cleared one more hurdle in their pursue to become a PO in SBI. And as you know that SBI will be conducting Group Discussion and Personal Interview before making the final merit list, so here we have come up with some useful tips which which can perhaps enhance your overall marks by just having a glance at it.

To start with :-

What Is A Group Discussion and Why is it important ?

The group discussion is a test of your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people. You’ll have to be able to understand the other person’s point of view while making your point and ensure that your team as a whole reaches a win-win situation; in other words a solution/agreement which is both feasible and accepted by all members of the team. A group discussion, to that extent, is a simulated managerial setting.
  • Groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyse and discuss within a given time limit, which may vary between twenty minutes and forty-five minutes.
  • They may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem.
  • They may be given a topic and are asked to discuss the same.
Skills assessed during a Group Discussion:

Leadership Skills – Ability to take leadership roles and be able to lead, inspire and carry the team along to help them achieve the group’s objectives.
Communication Skills – Candidates will be assessed in terms of clarity of thought, expression and aptness of language. One key aspect is listening. It indicates a willingness to accommodate others views.
Interpersonal Skills – People skills are an important aspect of any job. They are reflected in the ability to interact with other members of the group in a brief situation. Emotional maturity and balance promotes good interpersonal relationships. The person has to be more people centric and less self-centred.
Persuasive Skills – The ability to analyse and persuade others to see the problem from multiple perspectives.
Essentially, the group discussion is a test of your ability to think on your feet, your analytical prowess and your ability to make your point in a team-based environment.

Discussion Etiquette (or minding your manners)

  • Speak pleasantly and politely to the group.
  • Respect the contribution of every speaker.
  • Remember that a discussion is not an argument. Learn to disagree politely.
  • Think about your contribution before you speak. How best can you answer the question/ contribute to the topic?
  • Try to stick to the discussion topic. Don’t introduce irrelevant information.
  • Be aware of your body language when you are speaking.
  • Agree with and acknowledge what you find interesting.
  • Lose your temper. A discussion is not an argument.
  • Shout. Use a moderate tone and medium pitch.
  • Use too many gestures when you speak. Gestures like finger pointing and table thumping can appear aggressive.
  • Dominate the discussion. Confident speakers should allow quieter students a chance to contribute.
  • Draw too much on personal experience or anecdote. Although some tutors encourage students to reflect on their own experience, remember not to generalize too much.
  • Interrupt. Wait for a speaker to finish what they are saying before you speak.
Leading a Discussion

You may be in a seminar group that requires you to lead a group discussion, or lead a discussion after an oral presentation. You can demonstrate leadership by:
  • introducing yourself and the members of the group
  • stating the purpose of the discussion
  • inviting quiet group members to speak
  • being objective
  • summarizing the discussion
Tips for the Group Discussion
  • A good level of general awareness will come in handy so that you aren’t at a loss of words on certain issues.
  • Topics can be from a wide range of issues. It could be a topic on current events, business news, sports or anything very general. The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be.
  • Take time to think of what you are going to say. Always enter the room with a piece of paper and a pen. In the first two minutes jot down as many ideas as you can before verbalising them.
  • Work out various strategies to help you enter the discussion – initiate the discussion or agree with someone else’s point and then move onto express your views.
  • Starting the discussion is considered to be good however it isn’t that important; what is important is that you speak for a period long enough for you to be able to communicate your viewpoint.
  • Be patient; don’t lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to. The key is to stay objective: Don’t take the discussion personally.
  • Remember the six C’s of effective communication – Clarity, Completeness, Conciseness, Confidence, Correctness and Courtesy.
  • Be responsive to ideas from other people and very receptive and open-minded but don’t allow others to change your own viewpoint.
  • Employers are looking for a range of different skills and although you may think that leadership is key, and want to demonstrate this in a discussion, you need to be careful that you don’t dominate the discussion as this may come across as aggressive.
  • Quality and NOT QUANTITY: Often, participants think that success in group discussions depends on their decibel levels – i.e. how much they speak and how loud they speak. Ironically, it’s the opposite.
  • Rounding the discussion off – when about 2-3 minutes are left, someone in the group must take the initiative and summarise all the issues discussed.

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