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Which is more imporant: GD or PI?
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February 13, 2007

Part I: How to talk during a GD 

This question was posed by a Get Ahead reader to ARKS Srinivas and Sai Kumar, CAT trainers at T.I.M.E., Mumbai, during a chat on February 8. According them: 

'Both are equally important. In most cases, the PI follows the GD, and as such, points raised or not raised by you in the GD will be cross-checked and probed during the interview. Hence, a good performance in the GD puts you in a better state to face the interview.'

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

Kris asked, In a couple of interviews, I felt so enthusiastic about the things that I was asked that I was not able to convey my idea in a succinct way. How can one develop the ability of being precise?
ARKS Srinivas answers, hi Kris, what is required at an interview is to handle yourself quite maturely. As long as you are thinking normally, you will do well.



Iitguy asked, sir I want to do Bollywood event management. How do I justify my doing an mba because of this? During the mocks I got a feedback that you should join some Bollywood company and not mba?
ARKS Srinivas answers, you should talk about how an MBA will help you to understand and structure your ideas and thoughts. Professionalism comes through systematic training and that is what you expect to get from an MBA. As for event management, it does not matter as an MBA helps every sector.



Saurabh asked, Sir, I got an interview call from SP Jain (Information Management). I guess they generally have group interview. Could you kindly help me know what are the things to keep kept in mind for the same? And how should the preparation be for it? I have work experience of 7 months in a reputable hardware VLSI company. I am from BITS Pilani with 97.55 % CAT score. Thanks.
ARKS Srinivas answers, The questions will be pretty simple and may range from introducing yourself to slightly tougher questions, say for example, which bird would you rather be? Also, current affairs, social issues, and your organisation's issues will be of utmost importance. The best way is to practice from mock group interviews.



Anirban asked, sir I got a call from AMRITA..they have only PI and it's on 6th March. However, I missed the initial classes. How to prepare for that?
Sai answers, Take enough mock interviews from your center. You can gain a lot by taking an interview and then working earnestly on the feedback given. Anyway, concentrate on your academics and brush up on your graduation subjects especially the ones on your specialisation. Also, work on the 'Why Management' question.



Tejinder Pal asked, when the lists will out of shortlisted candidates for GIM AND XLRI?
ARKS Srinivas answers, XLRI is already out. GIM should be out anytime.



Ruchi asked, which is more important: gd or pi?
Sai answers, Both are equally important. In most cases, the Personal Interview follows the Group Discussion and as such points raised/not raised by you in the GD will be cross checked and probed during the interview. Hence, a good performance in the GD puts you in a better state to face the interview.

Nageswararao asked, Do you think these interviews are really required? When one gets a good score in written test?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Forty per cent of your final selections may depend on the GD and interview. There have been cases where people with 99.99 percentiles did not make it to some institutes.



Ajay Mishra asked, I am always afraid by interviews and always, though I have enough knowledge but I cannot speak interview time why?
Sai answers, To cheer yourself up before an interview, think of the fun things you could be doing after it is over. You could catch a movie or relax at home. These thoughts will lift your spirits and help you face the interview more cheerfully. Also, ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen if you do not do well. This will calm you down.


Anurag asked, hello Sir I have 3 years of experience in the field of IT, and would like to do MBA (IT). Which college would you suggest? I will be more interested in Part time or Distance Learning! Will you advice for Part time and Distance Learning?
ARKS Srinivas answers, It's advisable to do a full time course.



Malik asked, what is the composition of GD team -- like students of similar experience, qualification etc?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Eight to 14 students -- not necessarily with the same qualifications.


Subu asked, Hi folks, I have had 9+ years of work exp with the last 6 in the banking and financial services industry. As I have been living overseas for the last few years working in MNC banks, what should I be expecting in the PI?. I haven't given an interview in about 4 years now.
ARKS Srinivas answers, Expect a lot of questions on your work experience and the sector. More macro perspective can be asked.



Itguy asked, sir regarding the Bollywood event management, I am an IT fresher, so how do I justify a connection?
ARKS Srinivas answers, You don't have to justify � Juts show your interest through any other extra curricular activities that you have done.



Tejinder Pal asked, Sir, from where I can get the information about the shortlisted candidates for XLRI?
ARKS Srinivas answers, XL web site.



Hey asked, imi has an extempore. How do you tackle that?
Sai answers, At IMI you will be given a chit with a topic. You will be given one minute to organize your thoughts and two minutes to present your topic. Since you have only two minutes to speak, you have to eliminate what not to speak than on what to speak as the topics are very, very general in nature. For example you may get topics like 'Water and its importance in daily life' or 'Health insurance is an investment or not?'



Vandana asked, Sir, I have done my grd in teaching line now I wan to do MBA. Which field/ specialisation is good for me in MBA . I m extrovert by nature.
ARKS Srinivas answers, Can look at Marketing as well as Human Resource. However, remember that once you do the first year, you may get exposed to others fields too, which may interest you (such as Finance).



Priyanka asked, I have got 53.4 percentile. I have applied to Nirma Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Will I get a call for GD and PI there?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Possibly not. But keep your fingers crossed.



Zahoor asked, I have never attended a group discussion. Please can you suggest what is the right place to find more information about it?
ARKS Srinivas answers, the best way to start is by attending classes.



Aav asked, This is Arun Singhania from Raipur, How are you Srinivas?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Hi Arunji, how are you?



Krunal_rjpt asked, I have done M.Com last year and I want to still study more. So which field I have to choose now. Actually right now I'm servicing with Mnfg. Pvt. Ltd. company as an Import Executive. Please suggest me which course / degree will help me for my long and better future?
ARKS Srinivas answers, An MBA will be definitely useful for a better career.



Bhola asked, How much percentile is required to get calls from IIM, and other top schools?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Ninety eight per cent in general. But this depends on your individual area as percentile differs with each specialisation. IIM-B gives lower percentiles for people with better profiles.



Sam asked, sir what about ST and SC category? Will they be placed in a separate GD or with the others?
Sai answers, Students with reservations are generally placed with the 'General' category students. However in the final evaluation the reserved category students have a lower cutoff score for a final selection as opposed to the general category.



Aav asked, Fine. Come to Raipur. Ajit will call you Srinivas.
ARKS Srinivas answers, Sure! Please do


Ach asked, 97.42 percentile...but still no call from SP Jain(Finance)
ARKS Srinivas answers, SP Jain looks at profiles also -- not just percentiles. There are people with 90 per cent who have got calls.



Hemant Ravi asked, hello sir, what kind of questions can I expect from my acads? I'm a BTech , electronics and communications.
Sai answers, Hemant, a complete list of questions on the field is available in the book titled 'How to do well in GD's and Interviews' by Trishna publications.



Abc123 asked, In a personal interview, how can one demonstrate his/her interest in a particular field? Please explain with an example.
ARKS Srinivas answers, This will depend on the interviewer. If the person asks a question such as 'tell me about yourself ', then that would be the best chance for you to open up.



Prashanth asked, Good afternoon, I have been invited for GD and PI in Tapmi and BIM. Any tips particularly for these institutes?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Both are very good institutes. Please prepare thoroughly for the GD and PI. Make notes for all types of questions that you can get and write down your answers too.



Zahoor asked, How to end up the discussion?
Sai answers, Let the moderators play 'God'. Very rarely does one see a discussion where all relevant points are discussed and the whole group comes to the conclusion stage. If this happens try to conclude something by getting on a consensus which itself is like 'utopia' -- Everyone tries but few beget!



Mahadevan asked, How to handle abstract GDs, the ones IIMC is famous for? For a PI, how important is it to know about the institute's background and to what extent, if important? Thanks a ton, Sir
ARKS Srinivas answers, For Abstract GDs, creativity will be rewarded. Get analogies out. Also use examples. For PIs, it is extremely important to know where you are going!

Sai answers, Try and look at the topic from as many angles as possible. Giving it as many interpretations/hues as possible would show that you are a thinker and have a broad range of thinking. Knowing the institution's background is a very easy thing to do as opposed to being proficient in Acads, isn't it so, Mahadevan? So prepare extensively on the institution, course structure, pedagogy etc.



Adi asked, would you recommend going to SIBM? I am a CA with 19 months experience with a top company.
Sai answers, SIBM is a top notch school in India and it would be worth going for it with your profile. However, it also depends on what other options you have.



Ach asked, Hi Srinivas, thanks for the quick reply. I am a BTech from an NIT with decent acads and also a work experience of 2.5 yrs in IT. I am referring to the reply to (97.42 percentile in CAT), but still no call from SP Jain (finance). The annoyance is more because people with 90 per cent have got calls and also they are freshers.
ARKS Srinivas answers, They look at acads, extra curricular activities and work experience. If you have done exceedingly well in at least one of these areas, then you are in for the call, otherwise not. To make you feel good, let me tell that there are people at 99.9 who did not get any calls from SP Jain!



Krish asked, Hello sir, I did my graduation in computer science and I got calls from B,I and L. After MBA also, I aspire to work in the Software Industry. Which are the preferable specialisations for me in MBA?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Systems would be your choice.



Feroz asked, In GD, if we criticise the person how to apologise?
ARKS Srinivas answers, With a quick sorry.

Sachin asked, though you people rightly seem to lay stress on content, the people who seem to get selected in a GD are guys who speak the max, even though it is nonsense and people who put on an accent and use flowery language.
ARKS Srinivas answers, Probably true for organisations, but definitely not for the IIMs.



Aamit singh21 asked, how a software engineer justify pursuing an mba degree in, say finance?
ARKS Srinivas answers, The only way is demonstrate knowledge in finance.



Anup Sachan asked, currently I'm working in Mumbai as a software engineer. I've around 20 months of experience, so I'm looking for Executive MBA. Can anyone tell me more about Executive MBA viz a viz qualification and experience. One thing more, shall I go for correspondence or regular?
ARKS Srinivas answers, ISB and GLIM are good options. They are regular courses -- 1 year, though.



Bhat asked, Hi, I have got GD calls from SCMHRD, Pune. How would you rate the institute? Is it worth joining there?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Yes.



Chandra asked, If we did not perform well in GD, is there any chance to get admission if one does extremely good in personnel interview having very good score in CAT?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Pretty much.



Krish asked, Thanks, Srinivas. One more question. For IIML, the form they have sent is very simple in content. So shall we carry another copy of the resume along with the form for the interview?
ARKS Srinivas answers, No. Not required. Advise not to.



Krish asked, IIML conducts only topic based GD's. Correct?
ARKS Srinivas answers, Yes.



ARKS Srinivas says, Hey guys, that's the end of the chat for today. Wish you all the best for your GDs and Interviews.



Sai says, Thanks Guys. That's all for today.


Part I: How to talk during a GD 
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