The admission process of business schools in India usually comprises of getting shortlisted on the basis of score/percentile of MBA entrance exams followed by participating in the Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds. Obtaining a high score and percentile in the entrance exam is surely a plus point but it may not be enough to crack MBA GD/PI. Additionally, the candidates are expected to perform exceptionally well in the GD/PI to get their names listed in the final admission list. The role of a GD/PI is vital, so let us delve into the secret to cracking GD/PI. The students find Personal Interview (PI)/Group Activity (GA) a little more difficult compared to taking the entrance test. In these rounds, the intellect, body language, leadership skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, approach, the presence of mind, and confidence of the students are under scrutiny. Now to speak of the shortcut or secret to crack GD/PI rounds, sadly but there isn't any. However, with a bit of preparation and strategy, the candidates can tame themselves to excel in these rounds. Nowadays a lot of experts and coaching classes offer training packages that assist the students in cracking group discussion and personal interview rounds. Enrolling in such programs is a personal choice at the end of the day, however, we feel one can prepare on their own for these B-school admission rounds. To help you ace GD/PI at the top B-schools, we are listing here some of the most beneficial tips. The candidates preparing for MBA interviews can follow these guidelines to crack the group discussion/personal interview rounds.
Tips to Crack Group Discussion and Personal Interview
Let’s take each one of the secrets to crack GD/PI and unveil the secret of acing them.
The Secret to Crack Group Discussion Round
In the GD round, the candidates are divided into small groups, and each group is given a topic to have a discussion. Within a few minutes into the discussion, one can feel the group discussion round turning into a noisy affair, where you may not even hear anything, and making your point would seem difficult. There is a myth about GD rounds that candidates shouting to make their point have high chances of getting shortlisted for the next round. However, the reality differs, as the candidates who talk sense, have valid opinions, and sufficient content to support their point get shortlisted. The invigilators assess each of the participants on certain parameters and assign marks to them. It is imperative for the candidates to score well in this round to proceed further in the admission process.
Tips for Group Discussion Preparation
The candidates can follow these tips to do well in the group discussion round:
- For MBA group discussion preparation, the candidates must read a lot, be it books, newspapers or content over the internet. Reading improves awareness and helps you gain knowledge, which can help you score well in the GD round.
- If you like staying connected with the world and things happening around you then you already are in the right direction as far as your GD preparation is concerned. It is important to stay in touch with the current affairs, as the GD topics are picked from them.
- Speak to the point and prefer being precise.
- Put across your opinion with confidence.
- Be a good listener but speak at the right time. Nobody will offer you a chance to speak or put your point in the GD round, you’ll have to analyze and pick the right time to speak for yourself even if you do so by interrupting others.
- Silly and objectionable points should be avoided.
- Your participation will be noticed and assessed by the panel. Don’t try to dominate the discussion.
- If you are not aware of the GD topic then wait and hear others. Draw an idea about the topic from what others are speaking and then try to make your points based on that.
- Keep a check on your body language as it plays a vital role in the selection.
- Don’t be too patient.
- Don’t speak things that are not in the context.
- Don’t be too excited. You need to be decent, yet, assertive.
By now, we assume you have clarity on how to tackle the GD round. Now, let’s move to the guidelines that can help you perform well in the personal interview (PI).
The secret to Crack Personal Interview (PI)
The face-to-face interaction with the interviewer is where you can either win or lose the battle. The panel can ask you anything that is related to you, your academics, native, environment, personal life, and work experience/internship. Facing the interviewer confidently and answering intellectually can help you succeed in this round. Check out these points to excel in MBA personal interview (PI):
1. Prepare a list of questions for yourself
Place yourself in the place of an interviewer and think of the questions he/she may ask you. Go through your profile, academic record, family background, etc., and think of questions that can be asked you. Figure out such MBA PI questions and prepare a list for yourself. Then, try taking one question at a time and prepare a good answer for it. Stand in front of a mirror and practice answering these questions to note your body language, facial expressions, and tone. Answer the questions with a positive approach and in a polite tone.
2. Strategically frame your answers
This is one of the mantras to crack GD/PI of the management colleges. All your answers should be informative, simple, and straight. Consider the personal interview as a market, where you are required to sell yourself smartly. Assume yourself to be a product and through your answers, project your best attributes and abilities. Prepare the answers well in advance to have clarity in your mind.
3. Strictly avoid hiding the true facts
One must avoid hiding the truth or manipulating the same. The panel is smart enough to detect lies and understand when you are speaking the truth and when cooking stories. The secret to cracking GD/PI is, to be honest.
4. Be sure of your career plan and goal
It is important to have clarity of your career goal and plan. You should have answers to some of those tougher and more specific questions such as any career change you have made or why you want to pursue this field, where you see yourself in 5 years, and how can this degree help you achieve your career goal, etc. Prepare answers to all such questions to crack MBA personal interview.
5. Have a lively conversation with the interviewer
Try that your answers fascinate the interviewer to ask more questions. If your goals and aims are clear, you can expect a lively conversation where the interviewer can ask a lot of questions. Another secret to cracking GD/PI is to maintain the interest of the interviewer in the conversation.
6. Be a good listener
This is not a secret to crack GD/PI but a behavioral necessity. Interrupting in between the conversation to make a point is not a good idea always. This is one of the common mistakes that the candidates do during the personal interview. They interrupt the interviewer in order to make their point or explain their side of the story which results in creating a negative impact. The candidates must practice silence, they should develop the quality of being a good listener.
At Sunstone, our main focus is on revamping our curriculum regularly based on the industry demands, this helps us to be on top of the skills required by the MBA aspirants and students to be on top of their game and to have the necessary personality and soft skills that will not just make them employable, but great leaders and professionals too. Their Pay after placement fee structure model allows the students to first get placed in a well -paying job and then pay the course fee. This way Sunstone mitigates the financial risk involved in pursuing a costly degree.