Group Discussion and Personal Interview have been the standard selection tools for admission into Indian B-schools. While work experience, academic record and scores in the competitive entrance test qualify you for an interview call, the final selection largely depends on your performance in the deciding rounds-GD-PI. However, most students fail to turn the GD-PI calls into admission calls. This is because the candidates do not know what the moderators /interviewers are looking for and how to prepare accordingly. Below are a few myths surrounding GDs.
Myth 1: Smooth talkers perform better
Reality: You can perform better if you talk sense and there is sufficient meat in what you say.
Excellent communication skills are the critical attribute of the modern day manager. He should have listening and articulation skills. This is exactly what the panel is looking for. Train yourself to be a good listener. Inculcate the habit of structuring your thoughts and presenting them logically. Writing essays on a variety of topics can help in developing thought structure.
Myth 2: Academic brilliance equals analytical skills
Reality: Sometimes candidates with lower academic scores can demonstrate better analytical skills
B-schools look for candidates who have analytical skills, team skills, communication skills, decision-making skills and ability to handle stress. Students should learn to apply their analytical skills to solve problems and make logical arguments. Make it a habit to get to the how and why of issues.
Myth 3: Good communication skills is about using extensive vocabulary and speaking too much
Reality: Good communication is about speaking appropriately in easy to understand English and putting your points across in a simple yet effective manner.
The GD panel is testing how well you can understand a topic and if you are able to present your view point logically to get the group to agree upon something. It is not about how much you speak, it is the quality of content you deliver. Be assertive and make sure you are confident . Your objective is to be heard. Also remember to conduct yourself with grace in GD.
Myth 4: Candidates who dominate a discussion and reduce others to submission do well in GDs.
Reality: Candidates who work with the group and accommodate diverse viewpoints and assert themselves score high.
Remember, B-schools are preparing you to be a part of a team and also manage it if needed. GD is probably the ideal situation to judge your team skills and how well you work with the team. Do you listen to others? If you are a good team player, the other members of the team will be able to connect with you. This will be evident to a moderator even amidst the chaos that marks a typical GD.
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