Written by Rohit Gupta. Posted in Careers on 27 December 2009.
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  • Structured and Unstructured Group Discussion : Now-a-days most of the selectors stick with structured form of Group Discussion. Structured Group Discussion is a style where topic is thrown to the candidates by the selectors. On the contrary, in unstructured Group Discussion candidates themselves have to decide the topic with mutual consent. Unstructured Group Discussion is rarely being used today. We will focus only on structured group form of Group Discussion. However, for better comprehension we will also include a specific situation where the Group has to select a topic.

  • Chairman type of Group Discussion : Normally a Group Discussion is of egalitarian nature, where a;; candidates are being treated equally. The idea is to find a natural leader in the group. But in the chairman type of Group Discussion a candidate s nominated as the chairperson. The chairperson of the group can also be elected by the members of the group.

  • Role Play: In this type of Group Discussion candidates are given a problematic situation. Each candidate in the group is then assigned a specific role or character to play. They need to solve the problem. For example, a situation could be given where in a spacecraft is wrecked on the moon with nine people ( or as many people as there are group members ) stranded. All nine people are described usually by occupation. There is small spacecraft available which can carry back only one person to safety. Each person is assigned the role of one of those nine stranded persons and has to persuade the rest of the group as to why he should be the one allowed to return the earth in the smaller spacecraft and act according to their characters.



  • The controversial Group Discussion Topic: In a well designed Group Discussion the topics thrown before the candidates are normally fact based and that which could raise controversies. The idea is to keep the discussion lively and in the meanwhile check the potentiality of each candidate after proper observation. The topics are designed in such a way that it could force the candidate to take a proper stand. They are compelled either to go with the topic or to go against it. If the topic is such that a very clear consensus emerges right at the start of the discussion the evaluators will not get a good chance to observe the candidates.

  • The Abstract Group Discussion Topic: In this type of Group Discussion topics assigned are vague. That is they are not clear and left to the personal interpretation of the candidates. Most of the candidates in such discussion remain dumb and silent as they can not understand the topic. For example the topic could be “ ABC=XYZ” or The Topic of Group Discussion is ………” Now Both the topics are quite abstract and left to the candidate’s interpretation. Do not get panic in such a situation at this type of topic normally has more than one meaning. In such a situation the evaluators will give credit to participants who give direction to the Group Discussion by a creative interpretation of the topic. This is the best forum to think literally. Do not get too literal about the topic.

  • The case study Group Discussion Topic: This is a specialized type of technique used mainly at the IIM Headband. A short situation ( usually a decision problem faced by an organization or a manager ) is depicted in less than a page. In this type of Group Discussion participants are expected to analyze the problem an suggest a recourse for the same. Here evaluators are looking for your analytical skills as well as task. No problem has a single solution, so think of different alternatives and go for the best one.

Rohit Gupta

Author: Rohit Gupta

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