PI or GD – Recruitment


Many organizations invest in research to decide on a particular process for selection of candidates. The main part of the selection process is interaction with the candidate. This is usually done through personnel interview (PI) and group discussion (GD). Both GD and PI have a common aim to appraise the behavioral attitude of the candidates.

Interview call makes any candidate experienced or otherwise nervous. Recruitment and selection of candidates for a job posting is a tedious process. Companies spend ample time to pick up the best brains for they know that employees are the bedrock of an organization. Without capable people an organization can crash. This stands true for not only business organizations but also educational institutions.

Personnel Interview Vs Group Discussion

A personal interview refers to one-on-one interaction between a person of authority in the organization and the candidate. This form of recruitment is the oldest and the most commonly used. The interviewer tries to understand the background of candidates and analyze their capability. Based on the requirement of the organization and the candidate’s capability, the employer then may or may not choose a candidate. It is also the most reliable tool as the claims made by the candidate can be verified. However, personal interviews are more time consuming.

On other hand, group discussion, as the term suggests, involves interaction in a group, among the candidates. This is a true interactive session. Unlike personal interview, here the candidates are not asked questions by one person. The essence of a group discussion is that the candidates have to discuss on a given topic, without anyone asking them specific questions. Here, the interviewer is a silent observer and analyzes the candidates on the basis if their spontaneity, argument quality, skills to convince and knowledge. This type of selection process is suitable for a profile that requires a candidate to have debating qualities and impressive knowledge. In areas where leadership qualities are essential, like that of a manager, this process is ideal.

The Group Discussion is generally undertaken when the number of candidates is large. The GD is to check how the candidate presents himself, the way he behaves, participates and contributes in a group, how much importance he gives to the group objective as well as his own, how well he listens to viewpoints of others and how open-minded is he in accepting views contrary to his own. It is important that the topic chosen for discussion brings out the best in the candidates.

Selection Process:

Both GD and PI are competitive tools to judge a candidate. Some industry experts believe that group discussion is a better tool of employment than personal interview, since the leadership skills and general knowledge of a person can be best judged in during a discussion. On the other hand, many feel personal interview is an apt tool because the employer can know the candidate better during a face-to-face interaction.

Although personal interviews are easier to handle than group discussions, it is perceived that the latter is a better tool, since the professional skills of a person can be best judged during a GD.

The selection, however, can not be made in isolation. The nature of business, organizational structure, number of candidates appearing, expectations from the candidate, and time frame allotted for the selection of the right candidate are important considerations.

Big establishments combine both the methods in their recruitment process to ensure satisfactory results. Today, when the professional skills of person are as important as their integrity, both the formats prove indispensable in the selection process.


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