Group Discussion is the first test in a set of tasks which is conducted by GTO (Group Testing Officer) in the SSB Interview. It generally happens after the Psychology test in SSB Interview has been conducted on Day 1 and 2.
There is a saying that, the first impression is the last impression so you need to put your best foot forward as this is the first time that the GTO would be seeing your personality.
The following article discusses some of the important tips for Group Discussion in the SSB interview.
What is Group Discussion?
Group Discussion is an informal discussion between the candidates to check their performance as an individual and a team player.
The Group Discussion is an excellent way by which the assessor is able to gauge the knowledge of a candidate on issues related to current trends and happening around the world. In addition to this, the GTO is also able to check your communication skills and how fluently you are able to put across your ideas.
What is GTO Observing?
The GTO has already seen you in the previous task – PPDT, Picture Perception, and Discussion Test. Based on that, GTO tests you in the following areas:
- How well are you aware of a topic and your views on that
- How well are you able to support ideas logically with arguments
- Your organizational ability
- How well you are able to put across your ideas with complete clarity and ease.
- Your social attributes like anger, aggression, nervousness, friendly
- How well you deal with people who have a disruptive personality.
- How rational are your views with regards to the socio-economic and geo-political environment of the society
- The level of confidence and energy with which you put forward your ideas.
- How well you motivate others.
- How well you are able to hear counter-arguments and answer them.
- Your mental stamina and presence of mind when you are not aware of the topic and tactfully come with some effective points.
Tips for Effective Participation
One of the Major qualities in an officer is Leadership and initiative, so be an early entrant in the Group Discussion. This does not mean that you need to be the first speaker, you need to find a way to speak early in the group.
Do not speak continuously for a long period of time. This seems to be overbearing and feels that you are forcing your opinion on the group. You need to speak for less time, but the frequency of participation should be high.
Always maintain eye contact with the members of the group, this would help you in 2 ways:
- This would show the level of self-confidence.
- This will also represent that you are discussing within the group, and not just talking on a particular topic. This will show active participation in the group.
Deliver concise points that are relevant to the topic being discussed. Don’t digress from the topic.
Do not preferably switch from the main point you have chosen to support and support it until the end of the discussion.
However, by giving relevant arguments, you could link your point of view to the point of view being supported by another candidate.
Remember, it is not a debate, so your main ideas should not be to prove the other person wrong, but to support your own point of view with good logical arguments.
The greater the base of your knowledge, the better you can speak. Try to quote some facts and figures and give some historical/recent times examples to increase your views.
Be sensitive to other people's point of view and involvement, encourage them as they express their views and look very interested in their point of view, even if it's normal.
You are going to be great officers in the Indian Armed Forces which is a part of the government and a figure of authority, so things like blaming the system, authority and government must be avoided.
An officer always remains calm n composed at times of distress, so handle the group discussion with the same attitude. Be cheerful, always show positive energy.
How to handle difficult situations in a Group Discussion:
Don’t involve yourself in an argument with someone. Remain friendly, calm and put forward your point of view.
When you face a difficult candidate, who is continuously interrupting you, you could politely say “Chest No___, please let me finish”.
When you don’t have an idea about a topic in the beginning but after some point you get some ideas related to a point which was delivered by one of the other candidates, you can mention – “I would like to add on the point given by Chest Number _____ .”
In a fish market situation, always try to calm the candidates down and streamline the process of group discussion by providing them chances one by one.
Best Approach to a Group Discussion in SSB Interview:
The best approach to a group discussion will help you grab the attention of the Group Testing Officer easily but for these things to work you need to improve your knowledge and must a group which is cooperative.
Below is the best approach to a group discussion:
- Think of a quote or an opening statement: A powerful quote or an opening statement will grab the attention of GTO. This opening statement will have its interests piqued and would also increase interest within the group.
- Head the discussion: After the opening statement wait for the candidates to discuss amongst themselves, after this head the discussion by supporting your views by giving examples and ideas.
- Support others Ideas & discuss other’s arguments: After heading the discussion to a particular way, you must support other ideas and discuss other’s arguments. This will also give you an opportunity to control the momentum of the group
- Closing Statement: The closing statement is just the summation of your ideas and opinions discussed. Remember that it is a discussion, so do not give any concluding statement.
We hope that these ideas would have helped you in preparing for SSB Interview.
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