How to Handle a GD/PI

The primary thing considered by many to get admitted for a MBA program in one of the reputed B schools in India, is excellent makes in the CAT exams, better known as Common Admission Test. Despite of this there are many candidates who are unable to make it to the final stage of getting them rolled in their dream college.

The answer to this is that scoring only good marks in CAT is not sufficient enough to help you get into your dream college. Before the final admission takes place, the candidate has to go through a round of GD and PI. Better known as Group discussion and Personal Interview, these two are rigorous screening process that more or less every reputed B school follows. If you can overcome these two hurdles, then only you can get admitted for the MBA course.

Tips to crack a Group Discussion

1. GD is not an elimination procedure:
Most of the students think GD as an elimination round where the evaluator finds scope to eliminate the candidates. This is a very wrong perception. GD is more of an evaluation process than an elimination round. In a group discussion round, the evaluator evaluates the candidates on certain skills like communication, assertiveness, patience to listen, etc. The evaluator mainly wants to see how well you can communicate, but make sure that whatever you are saying makes sense.

2. Make good points
In case of GD, after you get to hear the topic on which all the candidate’s need to discuss, try to think the topic from different perspectives like economic, political, social, technological, legal, etc. By doing this, you will get a number of good points to speak on. Don’t hurry in making the points.

3. Understand the topic first and then speak
until and unless you are very confident about the topic, don’t be the one to start. If you do not understand what the topic is all about, then hear what the others are saying. From there, you can make out what the topic is all about and then plan out your points and presentation.

4. Get into the discussion

while being the first one to speak has its own share of risks; it is not advisable to remain quite for a long time. After you have gathered enough points you can get into the discussion. To get yourself noticed, you can start by agreeing or disagreeing to a particular candidate’s points and then begin speaking on your points. At the same time, doesn’t be the last one to speak as this might make a negative impression on the judging panel. It is always advisable to be the second or the third speaker.

5. Leadership quality
In case of GD, try to highlight your leadership quality but don’t portray a bossy attitude. Try to motivate others to speak so that it brings out your abilities as a leader before the interview panel.

Some common tips
1. Check the body language
always remember that the evaluator is not only listening to you, but at the same time checking your body language. Body language, mannerisms, gestures speak a lot about the person. So, try to maintain a positive body language. Tapping your feet, playing with the pen, pointing the fingers, sitting with legs crossed should be avoided. In case of PI, you should have a smiling face but avoid laughing unnecessarily.

2. Knock before you enter
In case of PI, always knock and ask for permission to enter the room. After you have entered, wish every member in the panel. Don’t just enter and grab the chair to sit. Wait for the interviewer to ask you to take your seat.

3. Eye contact
while the GD is going on, you should maintain a proper eye contact with the person with whom you are talking. If you are sitting in front of the interviewer, then maintain eye contact with him. But make sure that the other person does not feel that you are staring at him/her.

4. Sharpen your language skills
before coming for a PI or GD; you should sharpen your language skills so that you can express your words and thoughts clearly and fluently. In such places, fluency in English is considered must.

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