Group Discussions in Assessment Centre

During the recent years, group discussions have become an integral part of employee selection to judge candidate’s interpersonal skills, team behaviour and leadership abilities. Below, we provide you with some useful hints and tips as what constitutes the best practice of group discussions.



How to open group discussions

At the assessment centre, a number of candidates may want to open the discussion to shows their leadership potential. However, you should consider opening the discussion only in case you have enough points to throw in. That is, initiate the discussion if you are familiar with the topic and you feel confident about it. Do not speak first if the topic is unfamiliar to you but rather let others to speak and listen carefully to what they have to say. Remember, if they present their ideas illogically it goes in your favour.


Don’t speak excessively in group discussions

Often, a number of candidates may think that the more they speak the better. It is important to note that you have to speak during your discussion, however, do not speak excessively and do not try to stretch your points to the extent they became repetitive. Aim to communicate the most relevant and the most important points that relate directly to the topic you discuss. That way, you will come across as an individual that conveys and communicates ideas in clear and effective way.


Don’t interrupt others while speaking

As indicated above, when participating in group discussion you need to communicate with other group members in confident and effective manner. Do not interrupt other members when they speak but rather listen carefully and try to summarise points they made once they finished. By listening carefully to what other members have to say you will gain greater appreciation of the topic or issues discussed and thus you will far more likely to follow with your ideas in constructive and logical manner.


Acknowledge contributions of others

During your group discussion, fully participate and acknowledge contributions of other team members. For example, you may want to prize the member for the idea or solution he or she proposed or suggested. Moreover, try to help other members voice their opinions and encourage quieter members of the group to express their ideas. That way, you will come across as an individual with good interpersonal skills who shows interest to motivate and inspire others to get most of the team.


Maintain eye contact during group discussion

When speaking with other members, it is important that you maintain eye contact with person you talk to. Remember the eye contact, your posture and your tone of your voice may tell a lot about your personality. Your body language tells the other group members state of your mind, attitude and the amount of interest you have in the task. Therefore, during your group discussion sit straight, be energetic and deliver your thoughts to other group members with lots of eye contact.