Making an impression

Making an impression

EXCELLING STREAK Group discussion and personal interview rounds are the final, deciding rounds for all MBA aspirants. Learn how to ace them with ease.

Making an impression

There are lots of students who score impressively in their entrance exams for MBA, but a lot of them miss the mark during the group discussion and personal interview rounds.

These two stages are integral parts of the admission process after the entrance exams. This makes it essential for the students to not only study the books but also work on their attitude, aptitude and personality.

Group discussion (GD) is a process where ideas and opinions on a topic are exchanged and debated upon. A typical GD comprises of a small group of candidates and each group is given a topic which can either be general or specific. It is not necessary that you conclude by a positive or a negative viewpoint, but to summarise the discussion well, being neutral gives you an edge over others. Each participant has to give his or her views about this topic.

However, there are certain points to be noted before you sit for any such discussion. It is of foremost importance that you have knowledge of the subject in question and be well-versed about the latest news in India and abroad.

This knowledge will give you the ability to drive the conversation during the GD. There are lots who misunderstand a group discussion to a debate competition. Always be polite and keep your volume high enough only so that your opinion can be heard clearly.

Do not fight even if you think somebody is wrong. Further to this make sure you read widely. Simply running through news or a topic in the last minute does not help much. Reading over a period of time helps understand the topic better and gives you a better insight.

Read more, read better
During the group discussion, people generally talk about things which are obvious. Having a profound knowledge on the topic helps you give a different perspective or a new direction to the discussion. The different perspective that you bring to the group will be highly appreciated by the panel. 

You should always encourage others to speak. If you see that a member is trying to speak but is not able to, then you can encourage and help him. Do not pressurise other members to speak if they are not willing to. Your performance in a group discussion not only establishes your leadership skills but also highlights you team skills or your capability to work in a team.

Another important point is to be cautious about the topics which are repeated. Topics like issues of terrorism, gender inequality, poverty, liberalisation and privatisation, reservations in educational institutions often appear as GD topics. Prepare well for such topics as these have enough pointers to be discussed about. Make sure that you work on your communication skills. You should sound confident and be good with your vocabulary and accent.

Rehearse well before the actual group discussion as it increases your knowledge and you become a better speaker.

Your body language is a very essential part as it says a lot about you. In a GD, sit straight; avoid leaning back on to the chair or knocking the table with pen or your fingers. The panelists observe the way you sit and react in the course of the discussion. There are many such things that have to be kept in mind before appearing for a GD but closing the discussion wins you a lot of brownie points.

A relaxed approach

After group discussion, it is the personal round of interviews which is the most difficult and the toughest challenge to crack for all MBA aspirants. You know very well that you are going to work hard and study harder, but you have to persuade the interviewers to give you the chance. Interviews are like games because just like any other game, interviews also have some rules. Some rules that you already know about and some rules that you don’t know about.

The interviewer will never tell you on the face as to which rule you have broken, but if you break rules you will not get through. There have been many journals and forums which say that one needs to be very original in one’s approach at the time of interview. Many people followed this principle as a sincere and prospective candidate, but the end result was not very favourable. Therefore it is advisable that you always speak what the interviewer wants to hear from you or expects you to speak.

The interview is yet again another medium through which the interviewer tries to understand your inner views. So sit back, relax and take a deep breath. Don’t worry if you are nervous. However, too much of nervousness leads to panic and that’s something one should try to avoid.

You might hate job interviews

because of the tension and nervousness it creates. But doing your homework well will boost your confidence and will improve your chances of securing a job. Further to this, dress smartly, carry smart bag or a file, reach the venue on time, build a rapport with the interviewers, shake hands firmly and avoid sounding monotonous.

Mirror practice is mostly suggested to such bring perfection. Besides all your homework and all the preparations that you make to appear at the interview, you should give yourself a pat on the back for being picked amongst the hundreds of applicants who must have appeared for the entrance.

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