Getting into the B School of your choice can be the gateway to the successful corporate career you have dreamed of. You may have already narrowed down the list of B Schools where you want to pursue your MBA. Your efforts before the CAT may have borne results. Together with your strong academic record, they can bring you to the doorstep of the B School of your choice. But to cross the threshold, you need to put your best step forward, one more time.
The Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI), is considered the crucial stage in MBA admission process. Widely accepted by most of the B Schools in the country as a benchmark to pick best candidates for their respective programs, GD and PI can be a daunting prospect. This stage of the selection process has been designed to test your communication skills, problem solving skills and leadership abilities. Your performance should reflect a good sense of all three to get through. At Jaipuria Institute of Management 35% weightages is given to case based group discussion and personal interview apart from 45% weightage to CAT/MAT/XAT percentile.
Understanding what is expected of you during the GD and PI rounds is the first step in making the best impression. Your performance on the D Day is a culmination of your efforts and the entry ticket to the B School of your choice. It also decides your eligibility for the scholarship and even the desired PGDM program. But in between these two, lies the key stage of preparation. Academic experts believe your preparations for GD and PI should begin right after you appear for your CAT. It will help you gear up for what is to come next.
So how do you ensure that your GD and PI preparations are spot on? How can you give yourself the edge over hundreds of candidates appearing for the selection process of a top B School? Here are a few things you need to do before you appear for GD & PI.
• Every candidate is expected to stay abreast with the current affairs. Group Discussion themes often revolve around social and political issues, economy growth and decline, International affairs and industry trends. You can grasp things happening in the world around you by reading newspapers and magazines regularly. Business Standard, Economic Times are some of the popular choices.
• The next step is outlining your arguments so that they are expressed coherently. When you are preparing your arguments, think about the counter points that will be thrown at you during the GD. Mock Group Discussions work wonders for your preparation. Gather your friends, fellow candidates or family members and practice you arguments. It will give you the confidence for the big day and also polish any rough edges.
• Here’s some good news about Personal Interviews. They often have staple questions like “Tell me a bit about yourself”, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” etc. Now to the tricky part. Candidates have similar, staid answers for these questions, which can get repetitive and boring for the interviewer. If you want to hold their attention, prepare an answer that reflects something truly unique about you.
• But not everyone can have something different to say in order to stand out from the crowd. When you can’t conquer with content, win them over with presentation. During GD and PI both, your communication should be authoritative but composed. Your body language should be relaxed but not flippant. Pick a crisp outfit and rehearse your entry, sitting position and delivery a few times before the actual day.
There is no magic formula to ace the crucial GD & PI round of the admission process, but these tips can help you make a lasting impression and ace in the selection process.