What Is a “Group Discussion?” Strategies and 5 Tips to Pass


Have you heard of the screening process, “Group Discussion”? This is done in the earlier stages of the screening. Four to five applicants are grouped together to discuss a problem with no exact answer. This article will help you understand the “group discussion” better and provide useful strategies and tips.

Background Information

In recent years, more and more companies are beginning to include group work as a part of the screening process, as it is beneficial to both parties. Companies can efficiently check multiple students at the same time, while students are provided an equal opportunity to appeal themselves to the company.

In traditional interviews, it is the company versus students, and we know too well that students tend to show only what they wish to appeal. As a result, companies have a hard time understanding the students’ true character. This causes some people to have a hard time when they actually start working. In contrast, when the discussions are held among students, companies can see their personality more clearly.

Strategies and Tips for “Group Discussion”

What is a Group Discussion? What Is Being Assessed?

Now, let’s get to the point. So, what exactly is this group discussion?

Group discussion is a screening that assesses applicants by grouping them up (usually four to five persons) and make them discuss a topic. The theme can be anything from a recent news topic, development of a new product, or even a new store layout. What these topics have in common is that it is controversial so that each student will have a different opinion, creating an active debate. The theme is announced on the day by the company.

After the topic is given, the participants will decide on a role within the group. There are various roles such as the chair, the note taker, the time keeper, the presenter, and someone to keep the discussion on track. Some of you may wonder which role is the best one. However, the best choice is to take the role you are the most comfortable of doing. Your actions are more important than the title of the position.

Now I know what group discussions are. So, what will the company be looking at?
Companies will be assessing your ability to work in a team, and your communication skills. They will be focusing on whether you can state your opinion, and if you listen to opposing opinions. Another focus will be on how you come up with a conclusion.


There are 5 tips to pass the group discussion.

  • Speak up
  • Do not deny
  • Keep the discussion on track
  • Cooperate with others
  • Have some knowledge

Speak up

The first one is quite obvious; how will the company judge someone without hearing them? Make sure to smile, speak clearly, and let the whole group hear you out.

Do not deny

However, simply stating your opinion isn’t quite enough. You also have to listen to the others. You cannot have a discussion if you keep rejecting opinions of other group members and will also create a hostile atmosphere. Instead of simply saying “NO”, remember to say “Yes, but…” and give alternative ideas. Saying something negative about other participants is out of question.

Keep the discussion on track

Also, be careful not to get off track. Speaking up doesn’t mean sharing everything that comes into your head. You must convey your opinion logically as the interviewer will be considering “what” you say.

Cooperate with others

As it is evident from the word, “read the air”, Japanese companies value cooperation. This can be shown by creating an atmosphere that indulges an active conversation. For example, asking shy participants how they feel about the topic will be effective. The company will be seeing if their future employee can state their opinion without disrupting the atmosphere and also encourage others to speak up.

Have some knowledge

Make sure that you do not state the obvious, and that your words will navigate the discussion. In order to be able to do that, you must have some knowledge. You can obtain knowledge by checking relevant news of the industry and the company.

Other Quick Tips

Preparation is also important. Look up what the past topics were and to make a guess of what this year’s topic would be about. Practicing it with your friends can be a good way to prepare.


Did you understand what group discussions are? You should be alright if you follow the advice given. We know reading the atmosphere may be quite difficult for international students. However, there are many ways you can be cooperative such as being open to new opinions and being inclusive. Give it your best on your next group discussion!

投稿者:NSA Staff