The 8 ‘Don’ts’ of Leaderless Group Discussions

Previously, Recrutiery shared how you can choose you role in group interview, and today, we will be sharing with you the Eight things you shouldn’t do in a group interview

In the dynamic world of group discussions, the absence of a designated leader can often lead to chaos and confusion. By understanding these ‘don’ts’, participants can navigate these discussions more effectively, fostering a collaborative environment that encourages the free exchange of ideas. Stay tuned as we delve into these eight crucial points that can make or break your next leaderless group discussion.

Interviewer saying no and wait

1. Don't Be Silent

Silence is golden, but compared to structured interviews where multiple interviewers face one candidate, leaderless group discussions are relatively less intense. After all, it's a competition among candidates, where everyone has equal status. In this context, we believe our candidates can spark wisdom and must demonstrate themselves to the assessors by speaking up.

2. Don't Ramble

In leaderless group discussions with 6 to 8 participants and limited free discussion time, each participant's speaking time is quite limited. If one person monopolizes speaking time for a long period, delivers lengthy speeches at once, or repeatedly repeats themselves, these are all discouraged.

This approach will not only deprive other group members of speaking opportunities, making them resent the verbose participant, but it will also create an impression of verbosity and lack of insight in the assessors' minds. Candidates must speak clearly, with concise language, ensuring that each contribution is effective.

3. Don't Be a Yes-Person 

A "yes-person" is someone who merely agrees with others and lacks independent opinions, only echoing what others say. Some candidates, during the free discussion phase, frequently respond with, "I agree with the point made by team member X," without adding their own perspectives. 

This approach will only highlight the correctness of "team member X's" viewpoint and might even give an impression that the candidate who concurs with others lacks insight and only echoes opinions.

4. Don't Be fickle minded 

Women being spoiled her choice and being deep in thoughts

Being fickle minded is someone who frequently changes their stance, lacks their own standpoint, and repeatedly goes along with others. Leaderless group discussions typically require candidates to reach a consensus. It's a process of convincing and compromising among candidates. 

However, compromise doesn't mean candidates can arbitrarily change their own viewpoints. Being a flip-flopper mainly refers to candidates who lack their own perspective, only superficially agree and follow others. In discussions, candidates may change their original viewpoints, but they should clearly articulate their new viewpoints.

5. Don't Be Quick-Tempered

Leaderless group discussions are not just a clash of opinions among candidates but also a test of emotional intelligence among candidates. During these discussions, disagreements and failure to persuade each other can easily lead to emotional fluctuations. 

However, if you find yourself in a confrontational situation with other group members regarding differing opinions, or when others strongly question your viewpoint, or even when you face aggressive language or criticism from all group members for a momentary misspoken word, candidates should pay attention to emotional self-control. They should maintain a composed and courteous demeanor.

6. Don't Be a Troublemaker

Troublemakers often say things like, "I don't agree with your opinions; I think my perspective is correct," at critical moments such as just before the free discussion phase, when the group has already started democratic voting, or when a unanimous consensus has been reached. It's clear that these candidates don't grasp the essence of leaderless group discussions, thinking that insisting on their own opinions until the end equals victory. 

However, leaderless group discussions are a process of continuous compromise. If everyone "stubbornly insists on their own views," a unanimous consensus will never be reached. Holding onto one's own perspective is acceptable, but whether a candidate's perspective is persuasive and can be adopted by other team members is what matters.

7. Don't Just “Watch the Show”

In leaderless group discussions, some candidates adopt an attitude of observation throughout the discussion. They exhibit expressive facial expressions, movements, and act as if they are detached from the group, believing that the matter doesn't concern them. 

These candidates are "too relaxed," as if they have forgotten they are in an examination. This behavior often leaves an impression of being unstable, lacking seriousness, and lacking focus, which is why "appropriate tension" and "engaged thinking" are necessary.

8. Don't Be Disrespectful

Two men trying to outwin each other in a conversation

During the free discussion phase, candidates should avoid displaying contemptuous gestures such as shaking their heads, curling their lips, or scornful glances in response to the opinions expressed by other group members. Whether in leaderless group discussions or in daily life and work, interpersonal interactions are based on respect. 

Even if someone's viewpoint is absurd and extremely unreasonable, the listener should display the appropriate courtesy. Moreover, candidates should avoid interrupting other members during their speech, as it's a highly impolite behavior and reflects a lack of basic manners and civility. Interruption is likely to cause annoyance and dissatisfaction in others, so candidates should try to avoid it. 

However, not interrupting others is not an absolute rule; if there is a troublemaker, candidates can certainly interrupt, but it should be done politely and with sufficient reason.

In Summary

In the fast-paced arena of leaderless group discussions, mastering the nuances of effective communication and collaboration is your ticket to success. By steering clear of these eight vital 'don'ts,' you'll not only navigate these discussions with ease but also ensure that your contributions are impactful and insightful. 

Your ability to confidently express your thoughts, keep your message concise, maintain your individuality, exhibit consistent viewpoints, remain composed under pressure, foster compromise, stay actively engaged, and show respect will set you apart as a candidate who excels in the dynamic world of group interviews. Remember these principles, and you'll shine as a standout candidate ready to make a lasting impression.