GD and Interview Tips for B-School Entrance Tests

Prominent B-Schools conduct Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI) as part of the selection process. Students are selected for GD and PI based on your past academic record, work experience and performance in the entrance test. During GD a candidate is assessed for his communication, articulation, initiation, and qualitative interaction and leadership skills.

Process of Group Discussion

1. Normally groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyze and discuss within a given time limit.
2. The group has to finalize the modalities for deliberating on the topic.
3. The candidate who takes initiative and facilitates the discussion would have an edge over others.
4. The relevance of points contributed during discussion, etiquette, attitude and kinesics are observed by the evaluators.
5. The candidate who seizes the opportunity to summarize and conclude the discussion would also have an edge over others.

Tips to be successful in Group Discussion

1. The candidate should attempt to stand out in the group in a positive manner through the initiative, leadership, strength of the arguments presented and be noticed by the evaluator.
2. The contribution made should be focused towards the topic.
3. Bringing new perspectives would be appreciated, rather than making the discussion mundane.
4. Consensus building among the group would be appreciated.
5. Do not criticize, dominate the discussion and get into heated arguments.
6. Ensure that after your turn is over, others are given a chance to express themselves.
7. Treat the other participants with respect.

Personal Interview :

The focus of personal interview is on the candidate’s suitability for the MBA program. The panel of interviewers will assess the knowledge of the candidate, presence of mind, creativity, out of box thinking, tricky questions, aptitude towards business, etc.

Tips to be successful in Personal Interview :

1. The focus of a B-school interview can range from specific questions about your previous job to broad discussions on life. Approach the interview as a conversation to be enjoyed, not as a question-and-answer ordeal. It may be about your hobbies - your recent cross-country trip. This does not mean that the interviewers are not serious. It just means that you are being sized up as a person and a future professional in all your dimensions.
2. Try to be witty, charming and natural self. Do not try to put on. The interviewers will be able to see your masks through. Sometimes institutes invite their alumni as a part of interview panel. Do not dismiss them as lightweights.
3. It is important to have a good idea of "What you consider to be your greatest strength, why and what are some examples that show this", before you go into an interview. Although the interviewer will most likely ask some pointed questions, you may also encounter something as broad as "So, tell me about yourself." These open ended questions are usually the one’s that help you lead the interview.
4. Either way, you should encompass in your mind as to what you want to convey about who you are before you go into any interview. Lack of preparation is a common complaint among interviewers, and if you are prepared, you will stand out among your competitors.

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