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MBA: How to talk during a GD
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February 12, 2007

Part II: Which is more imporant: GD or PI?

H ow should you conduct yourself during a B-school Group Discussion -- be a chatterbox or give to-the-point answers?

According to ARKS Srinivas and Sai Kumar, CAT trainers and directors at T.I.M.E., Mumbai, "Since everyone would want to have their say in the GD, you will not have the luxury of being the chatterbox. Making your point and quickly exiting before anyone cuts you short would be the best option."

These and more questions were answered by Srinivas and Sai during a chat on February 8, 2007.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.



ARKS Srinivas says, Hi All, Welcome to the chat on GD and Interview preparation. Sai and I will be there to help you solve any last minute issues regarding the preparation as well as handling of issues at GD and Interview stage. Here we go...



Vikas asked, what is the best way to pass the GD/Interview?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Hi Vikas, there are important things that have to be taken care of for the GD and Interviews. For GDs, you have to be good with content and communication skills, while for an interview, you have to know yourself very well.



Get_2_hemant asked, hi, I m attending time classes for gd/pi at Kolkata centre. I got 96.75 percentile, work �experience of 1.5 years, calls from IMT and TAPMI. I want Finance at both of them. What are the chances as it is famous stream in both colleges?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Hi Hemant, you have excellent chances with your percentile. However, you have to demonstrate your interest in Finance.


Vicsbec asked, hello sir, regarding the interview part, my academics have always been average. b/w 65-70% . How to cover that?
ARKS Srinivas answers, A 65 per cent to 70 per cent in academics is decent. You don't have to cover them at all!



Raja asked, what should be the dress code for GD and interview?
Sai answers, Formal should be the dress code. For boys, a light coloured shirt and a dark coloured trouser with tie. You could also wear a suit if the weather is not too hot. For girls, western formal will do jut fine. Salwar is also acceptable as long as it is formal and not flashy. Sequins with flashy prints are a big no no. A sari would be great as long as you are comfortable and can carry it off.



Maswood asked, Hello, Can you suggest me best institute in South Delhi for preparation?
ARKS Srinivas answers, You can get in touch with the TIME office in South Delhi.



Gopal Sharma asked, we always say, "First impression is the last impression". Then what is the first impression at the time of interview?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Though it may be true in most cases, it may not be true in interviews all the time. If you are able to hold your composure in those 10- 15 minutes, then you have made an impression. However, the question that comes first (in most cases) is the part where you're asked to "tell about yourself". Here is where you make the best impression.



Shilpa asked, Hi, I am normally a very energetic, cheerful person. But during my mocks, I received a feedback that there was no enthusiasm from my side. Since this isn't about preparation, how do I tackle this? I am sure if I can present myself just the way I am, I will surely make it.
Sai answers, Maybe the pressure is getting to you and manifesting itself in your withdrawn demeanour. Shilpa, the only way people know you have no enthusiasm is through your body language. So smile more often, be more animated in your discussion and show that you are involved in the whole process.



Cundannpd asked, how to face GD whether it is matter of being a chatter box or to give a to the point answers?
Sai answers, Since everyone would want to have their say in the GD, you will not have the luxury of being the 'chatter-box'. Making your point and quickly exiting before anyone cuts you short would be the best option.



Get_2_hemant asked, yes sir, the thing is I did B.Tech in electronics and communication, and here at cts  I have done internal certification in banking and financial services. Moreover my client is from BFS domain, so, I am keen to learn more of treasury related details, equity research and all. But I want to know, what are the things I need to learn to portray my correct image amongst the interviewer? I don't want o ruin my chances. How should I handle stress interview? Which is famous there in TAPMI?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Once again, you need to be confident in what you are doing. Don't feel guilty about changing your field. It depends on the chances you get and hence you have nothing to fear. It is about communicating your choices positively rather than defending them.



Ronak asked, If in case we know too less about the GD, what do we do? How do we frame ourselves as we know something and keep ourselves in the picture?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Ideally, you should not be in such a situation. However, there is something called rephrasing as well as responding to the points made by others. Trying to steer the group is a structured manner (by taking the points from people and putting them in an order) are some of the ways to get the best out of that GD.



Uday asked, How to answer if asked why there is academic gap in your career?
Sai answers, Why did the 'gap' come about and how long was it, Uday? Generally people have a gap when they prepare for an entrance exam and as such an honest answer would be fine.



Swatii asked, Sir, which TIME education centre maximum students are getting chance in CAT and which TIME education centre is best for CAT Coaching?
Sai answers, TIME centers across the country have excellent results and the standards are uniform across the country. Join the one nearest to you.



Sachin asked, am confused about how much to speak? If I speak a lot people say u didn't give others the chance. If I speak less they say u didn't speak enough to get noticed. There is so much commotion that u have to be aggressive else you don't get a chance to speak. I am totally confused.
ARKS Srinivas answers, Sachin, this is probably because you are not able to assess your performance yourself. What is important is giving the right content and direction to the group through points.



Ramesh asked, hello sir, most of the organisations, particularly watching in GD round only communication (that one is very biggest problem for me). Please suggest me sir, how can I develop the communication?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Ramesh, Content and knowledge are the most important. If you have the right content, people will listen to you no matter how you communicate. Do not worry. Use simple language to convey what you know.



Vinit asked, Hi,I got a call from S P Jain. I have a percentile of 95.52 in cat. I have chosen information management. Interview is after 20 days, so in this short time how can I prepare for gd/pi?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Vinit, SP Jain has group interviews. It would be advisable to participate in mock group interviews to understand the challenges that are going to arise in this case.



Neh asked, pleases sir, reply to this as I'm pursuing my Btech in Biotechnolgy and want to pursue MBA. So is it very necessary to relate my past academics with mba?
Sai answers, A common question at most interviews asks one to connect previous academic background with management. In your case, you could say that you are looking forward to a career in the bio-tech sector in a managerial role, where your previous academic history, matters and where the skills acquired in the management programme help you handle the role better.



Ronak asked, In PI, I am not actually fixed with a field. Is that fine? If not, how do I get around it? What should I read if I want to enter into finance management?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Ronak, it is absolutely fine not to decide on a field.



Khalid asked, hi, in an interview, most of the times I got hesitant in answering how can I cope with this?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Hi Khalid, This has to do with fear of failure and expectations. As long as you manage this, you won't be hesitant.



Jimmy4649 asked, what is the most important thing in GD?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Content.



Santoshjay asked, what is TIME?

ARKS Srinivas answers, It is an institute preparing students for various entrance exams including CAT, GRE, GMAT. In addition, we prepare students for the GDs and interviews too.



Soma asked, Hello Sir, I am working in a PSU for last 4 years. I want to know what type of specific questions they may ask to me in PI in view of 4 years job experience? I got interview calls from 3 IIMs.
Sai answers, Soma it would interest you to know that people with even 5 years of work-ex are being grilled on their academics! So prepare diligently on the academic front. In view of your PSU experience you might be grilled on the following: 1.What ails PSU's? 2. How can PSU's turn the corner? 3. Are PSU's relevant in today's capitalistic world? 4. Why management at this stage of your career?



Anirban asked, sir, how to prepare well for GD in a short time?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Join classes to get GD practice. Read a lot, especially from current affairs magazines and read the newspapers everyday. Participate in mock GDs.



Poonam asked, Sir, I am staying in Jamshedpur. Please say me which TIME education centre is good for CAT Coaching because there is no TIME education centre in Jamshedpur?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Kolkata is the closest.



KPKunalp asked, Hi ARKS and Sai, how would you rate the part time courses at IIM C (EPYP/EPYM/GPM IT)? How much is the package once you are done with the course?
ARKS Srinivas answers, The part time programme does not give any placement assistance.



Adi asked, what do I do when there is a chaos in a GD and I cannot put my point forward? Is it wise to stay quiet?
ARKS Srinivas answers, staying quiet is not a great option. Adding to the din also is not a great option. What you should try to do is take up the mantle of leadership and try to get the group to calm down.



Shubham asked, I am very good in spoken English but I got nervous before others. What to do?
Sai answers, Shubham you need to relax in the GD! Imagine that you are speaking to your best friend in a relaxed environment and see the words flow from your mouth!



Saroj asked, hey, I have a problem with my hobbies because I haven't any. What will I do?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Say the truth that you don't have any hobbies. But, demonstrate your strengths in your academics or other activities.



Khalid asked, most of the interview started with introduce yourself, what shall be the good answer?
Sai answers, Introduce yourself is one of the most common questions asked in B-school interviews. One should not reel out facts which would anyway be there in the institute form like percentages, school/college studied etc. Try and bring out things that are not explicitly stated in the form but work to your advantage.


Part II: Which is more imporant: GD or PI?
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