Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Interview and Group Discussion Tips - Sample GD Topics

Group Discussion GD Topics and Tips

Group Discussion is one of the major assessment tools by the companies to hire a suitable candidate. Please remember that GD is not a debate, therefore the candidates need to be careful ad must contribute sensible and meaningfully before the group. You should always aim for arriving at a consesus rather shouting and debating the issue. Make sure that you gell well with the other participants in the group.

You should be formally dressed when appearing for a GD and must arrrive on time. Do not be scared are feel confident.  A well behaved, well groomed and impressive candidate with confidence has always an edge over the others in front of the recruiters.

Make sure that you clarify all your doubts regarding the GD topic before the start.

A pen and paper handy will always help you to write down briefly the points others have said before you.

Your body language should be confident but not aggressive. Do not use such gestures which reflects arrogance

Always try to initiate the discussion but be sure you have idea about the subject and should be confident of what you are saying.

Do not look at the evaluators at any point of discussion rather you should talk to the group with an eye contact.

Listen to what others are saying and appreciate good points of the participants. The group will also listen to you when you are speaking and will also appreciate you. Do not be negative and also remember not to be over confidant.

You should not aim for a long speach rather whatever you are saying should be crisp, clear, and meaningful.

GD Topics for practice - Case-based Group Discussions

Please read the following cases. Your analysis of these cases would form the basis of Group Discussions.

1.    ‘Hindu Tea’ and ‘Muslim Tea’

Recently the government proposed head count of Muslims in the Armed Forces. It means counting how many Muslims are there in the army.
It is not the first idea of its kind. Subhash Chandra Bose had formed the INA (Indian National Army) fight the British. In the 1940s, many soldiers of INA were captured by the British. To divide these soldiers, they were served “Hindu tea” and “Muslim tea” separately in jail. However, these captured soldiers resisted this tactic by mixing the ‘Hindu tea’ with ‘Muslim tea’ before sipping it.

Suggested points of discussion

  • Why do you think the Government wants to count soldiers on the basis of religion?
  • Why do you think there may be lesser Muslims in the Army than expected?
  • Do Muslims not choose to join Army, or does the Army choose to hire lesser number of Muslims?
  • If a particular community, say Muslims, are underrepresented in the Army, should they be provided with reservation?
  • What comes first: Religion, country or the self?

  1. All for a job

Rahul is a B.Tech 4th Year student in Adarsh College of Engineering, Northern India. He is a jolly-natured fellow. His academic performance has been average but he has excelled in co-curriculars. He has got a good friend-circle and he is very fond of his friends.  Purvi is his closest friend. Rahul’s other friends tease him by saying that she (Purvi) is more than a friend to him.

Rahul is idealistic by nature. He loves fun, frolic and entertainment and even bunks classes to enjoy the odd movie or cricket match. However, there are certain ideals he is very attached to. Not cheating anybody is one of his ideals. He just cannot tolerate unfair means being used anywhere. He has fought many a battles for this ideal and has not hesitated to pay prices for it.

Purvi comes from a lower middle class conservative U.P family. Her father was very reluctant to send her to Engineering college. However, he finally sold his land and paid her fees in the expectation that she will get a good job. Purvi is under tremendous pressure to earn soon by getting a job.

The placement season in the campus is about to get over. 90% of the students have already been placed. Rahul, probably due to his carefree nature, has not been able to secure a job till now. Purvi too has not secured a job. Datasys is the last company to visit their campus. It places a lot of importance on the academic record (percentage of marks etc) of the candidates
As luck would have it, Rahul and Purvi are the only two candidates to reach the final interview round with Datasys. Datasys has declared that it would hire only one candidate. Both of them are asked to submit their marksheets. Rahul goes to Purvi and finds her extremely nervous. On looking at him, she breaks down and sobs heavily.  In her hand is her Interview form. Rahul notices something terrible. Purvi has deliberately misrepresented her percentage as 75% instead of 65%, her real percentage. At that moment, her name is called and she walks into the Interview room.

Rahul is dumbstruck. What should he do?

  1. Give up those goals!
Perseverance may be a good trait, but a new study has revealed that it is better to drop a difficult goal to avoid chronic illness.
In a series of experiments, psychologists followed a group of teenagers for a full year.
Over that time, teenagers who did not persist to reach goals had much lower levels of a protein called CRP, an indicator of bodily inflammation. Inflammation has recently been linked to several serious diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. This suggests that healthy but overly tenacious teens may already be on the road toward chronic illness later in life.
Hence, psychologists suggest it may be wise to not to have overly ambitious goals.
Suggested topics for discussion:
-       Would you drop your goals to maintain good health?
-       What is more important: accomplishing goals or having good health?
-       What would you choose: a short life full of achievements or a long, peaceful life with not-so-many achievements?
-       Is there a way to have both: good health as well as accomplishments?

4.    Character or Competence

You are the HR manager of a large Indian Electrical products company. You are incharge of campus hiring.

Your company is very particular and sensitive about the hiring process and the new additions to the company .You have been trained to do a thorough background-check of the candidates before you make them an offer.

You are presently in Uttam Institute of Management and Technology, Uttar Pradesh to conduct campus hiring process for MBA final year students. You pass the candidates through a rigorous procedure consisting of Aptitude test, Psychometric analysis, Group Discussion and Interviews. Only three bright candidates are able to clear these rounds.

As per the company policy, you conduct a background check on the candidates. This includes verifying their records and getting opinions about them from various sources – college authorities, college students, ex-students, other acquaintances etc. Out of the three candidates, two are recommended whole-heartedly by everybody. However, the case is different with Sneha, the third candidate. About Sneha, you are told that:

-       She does not have a good attitude and frequently disobeys seniors – teachers and guardians
-       She is too choosy about what she wants to do. She took admission in the college against the wishes of her parents and thus hurt them badly.
-       She studies and does well only in those subjects that she likes
-       Many people often feel insulted by her
-       She has had many close relationships with boys inside and outside the campus. She switches male friends frequently and gross rumours about her intimate relationships are common. Even her parents have now abandoned her because of this.

You are deeply in thought. Would you hire Sneha?

  1. What are you doing for India?
A lot is happening in India.
Sunita Williams goes into space, and we as a nation go over the moon. Major international companies come to recruit at  IITs and IIMs, and we fill up with pride.
Aishwarya Rai on the Hollywood, A R Rahman on Bollywood, Kiran Desai on the Booker honour roll -- all of it further fuels our pride in ourselves as a people, as a nation.
Cricketers win the World cup, Hockey team gets the Asia cup, Footballers win the Nehru cup, Vishy becomes the World champ, Sania gets into top-30.
India -- as Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore predicted -- is finally emerging from darkness, to light. From the ignored 'Third World' country, to an emerging superpower.
This pride we feel is natural, but so what? Is that where it begins, and ends? Do we remain just spectators applauding the passing parade? Or do we contribute in our own way to India's progress?
Lot of people are doing a lot of things to make us proud of India. But what are you doing for India?
Suggested points for discussion:
  1. How do we move from being an observer to being a participant in India’s progress?
  2. Are our personal success also the success of India?

6.    Blast at Britol

“Britol” is a multinational corporation, which manufactures pesticides. One day the chemical stored in its plant has leaked after a blast. Fifteen people vomited and fainted due to the leakage. Out of these 15 people, 10 are outsiders and the rest are common employees of the company. All the affected people are admitted in the hospital. The medical condition of 5 people (all common people) is serious, and one person has already expired.

6 hours have passed since the accident took place. There is no surety about how it happened. But there are unconfirmed reports with the management that an angry ex-employee has masterminded the accident. You, as the management team, fear that the accident can result in negative publicity and other harms to the company. Some local politicians are already provoking the common public against Britol. These powerful politicians have also signaled that they want some favours from Britol.

An emergency “Britol” management meeting has been caleld. 6- 10 members of the top management team are present. Prepare a plan about what the company should do in this situation.

7.    Perils of Prosperity

We worry a lot about poverty in India. However, now we need to start worrying about the prosperity also.
In the last 10 years, number of middle-class and rich families has increased greatly. This has resulted in increased consumption of products like plastic goods, cars, two-wheelers etc. These products directly harm our environment. One can see polythene bags, plastic bottles, cold drink cans thrown everywhere; beautiful hilly areas, lakes, rivers, railway stations, green areas in the cities all are being turned into ugly places by our habits.
Today, majority of Indians are unable to buy these products. Now the question arises, what will happen when most of the Indians will be able to buy these products? Economic growth in the next 5-10 years will greatly increase the number of middle-class and rich families. These families will be buying more of those products that harm environment. Can people be educated for not buying these products? Or some other solutions are possible in which consumption of more plastic and automobiles do not harm our environment.
Suggested points of discussion:
  1. If prosperity harms environment, should we remain poor?
  2. What is more harmful for environment; increased consumption of plastic goods and automobiles or irresponsible usage of these products.
  3. Can technology offer solution to growing pollution problem?
  4. All the government schemes are targeted to bring poor people out of poverty. Should government also try to reduce wealth of rich people so that they can consume less of those products which harm environment?
 (reference Advait)

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