The shortlisted candidates in the preliminary round are normally subjected to a group discussion. Group discussion is not something that is prevalent only in the BPO industry. Most of you would have seen it sometime in your career – in colleges, during entrance exams etc.
Most of you would define a Group discussion as a round in which there are a few candidates in a group debating on a certain topic. One would wonder then, as to why this round is called the group discussion and not the debate round. This is where the essence of the round lies. This round is a discussion on a topic rather than a debate. There would be a topic given to you by the organizer and you would be asked to discuss on it. Now it is your choice to speak for or, against it.
So what is it that the organizer or, interviewer as you may call him, looking for in this round. Is it the content, or something else? Normally people participate in a group discussion assuming that his content has to extremely good and that he has to stamp his supremacy in the discussion. In doing this he keeps arguing with the team, interrupting them and orating his content.
This is not what you should ideally be doing. The objective of a group discussion is to assess your thought process, your ideas, your participation and functioning within a group and your presentation. Remember that during the course of the discussion you should take notes on the ideas that the other group members have expressed. Your content has to be built on these ideas. Don’t just talk irrelavent things that you feel are important. Talk sense and talk relevant.
Never interrupt the other speaker. Wait for an appropriate pause and then speak. Agree or, disagree to what others have said and explain why you feel so. Be calm and patient. Maintain a medium tone of voice and don’t shout. Give other also a chance to speak. Most importantly ensure that you are neither the dominant speaker nor, the recessive one.
Keep in mind that it is not the content that the interviewer is looking for in a group discussion. It is how you are presenting it.