Once a candidate clears the written entrance examination, he/she is expected to sit for a Group Discussion (GD) round, followed by a Personal Interview (PI) round, both of which act as important selection and elimination rounds in the rat race to make it to the best B school. GD can be defined as a round of intense debate that takes place between several candidates without any external interference. One’s ability to put his/her point across smoothly amid a continuous exchange of ideas and opinions between a number of candidates is what determines his/her success in this round.Personal Interview on the other hand is focused on getting to know the candidate better by gauging the clarity of his / her thinking process, future plans,etc. It is easy to fall prey to some common mistakes that can be detrimental to how one is evaluated in both the rounds. Thus, ahead of the GDPI round scheduled to be conducted by most MBA colleges in the coming weeks and months, PaGaLGuY lists some common mistakes that students often fall prey to during each of the rounds.
Common mistakes in GD
1. Talking too loudly
Just shouting louder than others is not a good strategy. Choose your timing carefully and put across your points in a steady and calm way. Remember, your personality is also being evaluated. Your verbal and non-verbal cues are being read.
2.Merely expressing opinions
Opinions without logic or rationale do not fetch you high points. In fact, it is very important for the candidate to be analytical, rather than just expressing opinions. This means that the candidate needs to put forth logical arguments in support of his/ her view or be able to justify what he/ she has said with facts and data.
3.Talking too much
Three or four interventions and well-presented points count more than speaking too often and dominating the discussion. Thus, avoid talking a lot unnecessarily. The mantra is to contribute meaningfully to the discussion. Remember, domination is always frowned upon.
4. Indulging in long one-on-one discussions or arguments with another participant
Make sure you address the group, and not just have discussions with one or two individuals. It defeats the purpose of having a group discussion.
5.Repeating points that have already been made before
While its good to be noticed, avoid it for the wrong reasons, one of which is by repeating someone else’s point, just to be heard. Your opinions reflect your individuality which is highly valued in a group discussion.
Common Mistakes in PI
1. Failing to give an impressive introduction
If one fails to make an impression on the interview panellists within the initial few minutes, chances are that things are unlikely to get any better for the candidate. Studies have shown that interview panellists often base their decisions to select a certain candidate within the first few seconds of the interview itself. The rest of the Interview is more to confirm the initial quick opinion. So in order to avoid this common mistake, one must try to highlight one’s achievements and hobbies in one’s introduction apart from the usual details.
2. Lack of adequate preparation
It is extremely important for a candidate to revise his/her academics for the interview round as basics and application-based questions pertaining to one’s specialisation is often asked. If one neglects to do this, he/she may not know what to answer and that could lead to his/her elimination.
3. Lack of current affairs/general knowledge
While no direct GK questions are asked in the PI round, candidates say that general awareness questions pertaining to one’s area of subject are asked quite often. One must be aware of current affairs and know how to relate it to the question asked.
4. Being nervous
Stress doesn’t help. In fact, it causes the interviewee to panic and give the wrong answer. Nervousness is given away with one’s body language, which works against him/her in the interview round. Sweating, continuously drinking water, fumbling with words, etc are all signs of stress. Hence, one must remain cool and let things surface organically.
5. Losing track of time
The biggest mistake most applicants make in interviews is going on and on and losing track of time. One must be conscious of time and try to give focused answers. If one has practiced beforehand, one should have no trouble answering most questions quickly. If more information is needed, the candidate will be asked for it.