Group discussion (GD) is a comprehensive technique to judge the suitability of an individual and his appropriateness for admission, scholarship, job, etc. GD assesses the overall personality – thoughts, feelings and behaviour – of an individual in a group. For admission to some of the universities, B- Schools, campus placements after graduation or for recruitment to a multinational company, you need to have knowledge of the field and also have the capability to work in a group as a leader or as a member. The group discussion technique is a very effective way to judge the candidate͛s ability to work in a group.
What are the skills that are judged in a GD?
How good you are at communicating with other
How easily you behave and interact with the other group members
How open minded you are
How flexible or rigid you are in accepting the view- points of others in the group
Your leadership skills
Your analytical abilities
Problem solving & critical thinking skills
Time management skills
Your skills at putting forth your ideas in an unbiased manner
Social attitude and confidence
Do’s of participating in a GD
Think before you speak.
Pick up clues from the discussion and intelligently add points that come to your mind with regards to the topic, in case you don’t know much about the topic.
Back up your points with facts and figures if needed.
Be gentle and sure in your presentation of views.
Speak to-the-point and make sure that you do not repeat the points.
Be calm and composed while speaking.
Listening to others is also an important aspect of participation in the group discussion, so listen to others.
Have respectful attitude towards the viewpoints of others.
Your body language should convey your ease of behaviour.
Sometimes the discussion may take a hostile turn. In such a case it is a good idea to intervene to make the situation relaxed. This act of yours will show your leadership and problem solving skills.
Don’ts of participating in a GD
Do not initiate the discussion if you do not know the topic well.
Do not go overboard in exhibiting your knowledge even if you know the topic well.
Do not interrupt other members when they are speaking.
Do not change your opinion about the topic just because most of the other participants are having an opinion different from yours.
Do not feel unconfident if a speaker prior to you has presented the points more effectively than you.
Do not ask irrelevant questions.
Do not let your personal biases about the topic enter the discussion.
Points to be kept in mind before the GD
No one knows what the topic of GD is going to be. Hence, it will be a good idea to keep yourself abreast with topics like:
1. Current Affairs
Current Affairs is something that you have to be thorough with. For this, read newspapers regularly and watch news on the television. Understand the recent crises that the world is reeling under, the latest developmental initiatives, the ties between various countries and the like.
2. Historical topics
Have a fair knowledge about the country͛s history and also the history of other countries. The topics may not be specifically from this area, but having historical information will help you cite examples and make references whenever needed.
3. Sports, Arts & Literature
4. Data crunching
The Personal Interview, PI is the last door that you have to open to enter a Business School of your choice. Despite months of preparation, no one can predict the pattern and structure of a personal interview. There are a few commonly asked questions in the personal interview by top MBA colleges.
It’s not expected of you to know the answer to every question that you face in a personal interview, but you can prepare some of the commonly asked questions in an interview. The interview panel of the MBA College which you’ve applied for is aware of the fact that you are a student and are not expected to know everything. So, be honest when you’re in the interview room. The personal interview is conducted to assess your interpersonal & communication skills and to know your vision as an MBA aspirant.
Commonly asked questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What would you like me to know about you that is not on your resume?
3. What are the three most important events of your life?
4. What was an experience in your life that you would want to go back
B. Self Description
1. How would your friends describe you?
2. Give me three words to describe yourself.
1. What new goals have you established for yourself recently?
2. What are your five to ten year career goals?
3. What are the attributes of an ideal job for you? If you could do it allover again, what would you do differently?
4. What does success mean to you?
5. What does failure mean to you?
6. Which is more important to you: money or the type of job?
7. Who do you admire? Why?
II. Management / Leadership Style
1. Define leadership.
2. Tell me about a time when you successfully resolved a conflict.
3. Give me an example of a leadership role you have held when not everything went as planned.
4. What two attributes are most important in your job?
5. How do you feel about working overtime?
III. Strengths / Weaknesses and Skills
1. What are your strengths/ weakness?
2. Give me an example of something that you have done that shows initiative.
3. What makes you stand out among your fellow students?
4. Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
5. How do you feel about working in a structured environment?
6. In what kind of work environment do you do your best work?
7. What kinds of tasks and responsibilities motivate you the most?
1. Why did you decide to get an MBA?
2. Why IIMA? (Or whichever institute you are being interviewed in.)
3. What made you decide to major in ?
4. What electives have you taken? Which did you enjoy the most?
5. What college classes did you like the least? Why?
V. Extra Curriculars
1. What extra-curricular school activities are you involved in?
2. What have you learned from your activities?
3. What is your favorite book/movie/song/painting or author/actor/singer/artist?
4. Which magazines/newspapers do you read regularly? Which books have you read recently?
VI. Job / Company / Industry
1. What do you know about your company?
2. What do you predict is going to happen in this industry in the next 5 years?
3. Do you know who your competitors are?
4. What interests you most about this position? What parts of the job do you think you would find the least satisfying?
5. What concerns you about your company?
SPECIAL PI PREPARATION QUESTION SAMPLES:-
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers
The Power of Questions
Questions are great conversation starters. It seems everyone has a story to tell or an opinion to share. And to get it, you need only to ask. Good questions invite people to open up about themselves and divulge their thoughts and feelings on a wide variety of topics. They’re the secret behind getting acquainted with someone you have recently met or learning something completely new about someone you’ve known for years.