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How to crack CET group discussion and personal interview

April 26, 2011 17:53 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers, Aziz Manwa IIM alumnus and head, Testfunda.com discussed tips for group discussions and personal interviews to crack Maharashtra MBA-CET 2011 that begins May 10.

Here's the unedited chat transcript:


waheeda asked, hello sir, what is the best way to approach a gd session
Aziz Manva answers,  at 2011-04-21 15:56:31You are given a choice of 2 topics and the group needs to decide a topic. Your GD starts when you are discussing which topic to choose (and not when you spend 2- 3 minutes of thinking time and then start the discussion on the topic of your choice).


sneha asked, how to react when one person taking more talk time during GD? is it okay to start talking in between?
Aziz Manva answers, If the other person is taking away a lot of time - has a prolonged sermon, then sure, do interrupt to make a point. But if the other person has just begin speaking, it helps to display your listening skills too. yes, it is okay to interrupt, but do ensure that you are adding valuable inputs.


mamu asked, dear sir, how do I prep for CET GD-PI?
Aziz Manva answers, For GD, please read up on a lot of news, current affairs, be a part of alive discussion forum on the same. For PI, go through basic Qs such as why MBA, 5 year plan, 10 year plan, strengths , weaknesses, examples of the same, most significant event of the last decade according to you etc. The most important thing is to go through a lot of practice GDs and PIs and get feedback from experts. TestFunda is conducting one such intensive GD PI workshop this weekend with alumni from IIM, JBIMS and NMIMS in Mumbai and Pune. For details check here http://testfunda.com/gdpiworkshop


gaurang2k asked, it is okey not to talk in GD?
Aziz Manva answers, Sometimes GDs do become chaotic, yet, you need to make attempts to participate and contribute meaningfully.


Dodo asked, I have seen that in mock GDs people with louder voices have an advantage. How to solve this problem
Aziz Manva answers, You need to develop the knack to enter the GD when there is a pause, silence for split seconds and trust me there will be quite a few of them in a GD. This knack will be developed by practising mock GDs with some aggressive people in the group. Another way to ensure you get speaking airtime is to start agreeing to the loud person. He will give you chance to speak and then you can contribute.


Dodo asked, What if I say something that the judges do not agree with? How can I be assured that they will not hold this against me?
Aziz Manva answers, One simple rule is never look at the panelists during the GD except when they are giving you the topic. Whether they agree or disagree with you shouldn't bother you as long as you have authentic data and you added meaningfully to the discussion.


Dia asked, Sir, What if I am not familiar with the GD topic? Is it OK to be quiet? or should I just say something unrelated for the sake of speaking? Please help.
Aziz Manva answers, DO know that the judges do not look very positively at people who fake knwoledge - be it GD or PI. IT helps to be quite for 2 - 3 minutes, listen to the points raised by others inthe group and then add your points. Try and elate what you know with what is being discussed. SOme lateral thinking helps.


asd asked, Does current affair holds some importance? if yes then how to approach them.
Aziz Manva answers, Read a lot of newspapers, watch news channels and be a part of an active forum. YOu can also subscribe to the weekly Current affairs capsule on testfunda. TO know more..check here. http://testfunda.com/examprep/mba-resource/current-affairs/article/weekly-current-affairs-updatemarch-27-to-april-2-2011.htm?assetid=6000c5c4-2a6e-4bba-a9b3-c1216a9cef24


Dia asked, Also Sir, how to prepare? I read the front page of the Times of India everyday for Current Affairs. Is that enough? What else to do?
Aziz Manva answers, That's a good starting point. Please go through a lot of mock GDs and PIs and get expert feedback. as stated earlier, testfunda has an intensive GD PI workshop this weekend in Mumbai and Pune, to know more, check here http://testfunda.com/gdpiworkshop


Amol asked, Is it possible to get 17 out of 17 in GDPI if yes then how?
Aziz Manva answers, Yes it is possible. You need to have prepared well on your content as well as the process. TO know more about the entire GD & PI theory and learn from feedback, please check here http://testfunda.com/examprep/websitepages/gdpilessons/TheoryModules.aspx


chetana asked, hello is it good to conclude a GD session, after listening to all the points?
Aziz Manva answers, Sure..ensure that you do that when you are left with only a minute or two to the alloted time. It helps to carry a watch along.


Shaunak asked, Is it ok to say thing like" lets not make this GD chaotic and calm ourselves down" if it is getting chaotic?
Aziz Manva answers, Will help.. you are seen as playing the role of a facilitator and positively trying to make a difference.


Amol asked, I get nervous while presenting my thioughts or openion how can i overcum this drawback????
Aziz Manva answers, Practice, practice, practice


SAMEER asked, What are the parameters to check whether the candidate is good in GD?
Aziz Manva answers, Communication skills, clarity and coherence of thoughts, logical presentation of ideas, ability to take the group along, give direction, depth and breadth of data and listening skills


shreyans asked, Sir do we need to be polite or aggressive in the GD
Aziz Manva answers, Politeness is universally good but may not work when you have very loud participants. Aggressiveness ususally doe not go down well with the panelists. Assertiveness- being confident and firm on what you say and at the same time not trying to shove it down someone's throat really helps. Please watch the videos for difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. http://testfunda.com/examprep/websitepages/gdpilessons/TheoryModules.aspx


shreyans asked, Sir I got low marks in My 12th around 84% ,,what do i need to tell them if they ask why so low marks
Aziz Manva answers, Tell them the trurth. IF you scored well in latter years, it shows that you learnt from your mistake and have improved well - a good managerial trait in an aspiring manager.


Sheetal asked, What are the major tips to remember during a GD
Aziz Manva answers, Be calm, know that you are here to gain those 17 marks, ensure that you speak a couple of times throughout the GD. give others a chance to speak, if possible lead or atleast facilitate the discussion, come out with original points/ data and also build up on others points/data.


abc asked, Hi Aziz i am not very good at my vocabulary skills. Will it hinder my chances in getting a good score in GD and PI. how can i overcame this problem?
Aziz Manva answers, Good vocabulary is a nice to have but not a must have quality during the GD PI. Speak in plain and simple words . The important thing is to communicate clearly


Amol asked, What is the tough ness involved the cet PI
Aziz Manva answers, It ranges from smooth, nice interviews to stress interviews. The important thing is to keep your calm and wits about you.


Dodo asked, I don't gave a genuine answer for "why MBA". I have well rehearsed conventional answers but I don't sound convincing enough. The real answer is that I am not getting the kind of salary that I want with my plain graduation. How to say this in the PI?
Aziz Manva answers, Be true about your salary and state that MBA is a stepping stone to the higher echelons of management - you can take more responsibilities and vie for bigger growth opportunities (you have implied salary growth too without stating it) but lack of MBA is hindering progress. If this resonates with your current status, then tweak it to suit what you are and present it accordingly


gaurang2k asked, Sir, how to act when the topic twist and getting no idea?
Aziz Manva answers, Listen to what others speak and then build up on that.


Dodo asked, I have a problem speaking fluently in English. Is it ok if I speak in Hindi if I want to express myself more clearly?
Aziz Manva answers, some phrases, famous quotes in some other language is fine. But not the entire GD in Hindi. We don't know how the panel will perceive it.


Amol asked, Any inovative method to overcomt the nervousness?????
Aziz Manva answers, practice more GDs, and just before entering the GD room think of the most beautiful and enjoyable moments that you have had in life. Relive those moments mentally and you will calm yourself down. Ditto for PI


shreyans asked, sir i want to get admission in IIMA ,,my 10th marks are 85% and 12th 84%,in BCOM ihave got 65%, i am Pursuing CA,i got 80.5% in foundation & 56% in Inter (1st attemnpt),what do you suggest,should i clear CA 1st and get work ex or sit for CAT 1st
Aziz Manva answers, Keep your fulltime job, take CA final and give a shot at CAT this year. ALthough difficult, multi-taskers are positively looked upon by the IIMs.


gaurang2k asked, sir what to do if i dont have any idea of topic? does its good to copy of others speak and modified the same?
Aziz Manva answers, It helps to listen first, after a couple of minutes if you still can't think of some original ideas/ data then it helps to build up on other people's ideas.


123rohan asked, I do have a Problem in the English Language ? Do i have to Join Some English Grammer calsses to learn it .. while preparibg for the exams
Aziz Manva answers, Learning the spoken language is a calibrated process which takes time and effort. If you are preparing for academic year 20112 - 14, it may help


gaurang2k asked, Sir, how you become leader during GD by accepting(agree) or opposing?
Aziz Manva answers, Please watch all the videos here for experiential learning http://testfunda.com/examprep/websitepages/gdpilessons/VideoGDPI.aspx


chetan asked, Hello Sir,is it OK to just only summarize the topic at the end??....
Aziz Manva answers, It will help but also try to participate throughout the GD if you want to maximize your scores. With the written test being low on scores, GD & PI scores of 34 may be a ticket to some of the best b schools/.


shreyans asked, dou teach online only,do u have centres in kolkata
Aziz Manva answers, TestFunda courseware is available in Online, CD and print format.. we are also introducing LIVE 36 sessions covering all important topics, check it out on testfunda.com


Swapneel asked, I've scored 64% in Diploma,but my Engg Score is below 60% due to some tragedies.My MAH MBA CET score is 83 with 87 %tile.What should I do next? Any guidance sir?
Aziz Manva answers, IF you have time on your side and want to get into the top schools, give one more shot at CET in 2012


Amol asked, sir which qualities they see in the candidate in GD PI ?????????
Aziz Manva answers, Please read the post below for qualities in a GD. For PI - clarity of purpose and goals, knowledge about current affairs, academics, balance of judgement and opinion, ability to perform under stress, seriousness and professionalism, general demeanor and character.


shreyans asked, sir what do one need to do to get into IIMs how much work ex is required
Aziz Manva answers, Need to score well in CAT. As of now, freshers are welcome and get admissions in all the IIMs.


archish asked, I am an OMS candidate. My score is 132 with 99.75% percentile. Do I have a chance to make it to JBIMS.
Aziz Manva answers, Prepare and perform well in GD and PI. Prepare with a focus on the perfect score - 17 + 17 = 34. You have good chances of being in Bajaj.


Swapneel asked, Sir,What kind of questions can they ask in PI? Any examples from previous yrs?
Aziz Manva answers, 1. Tell us something about yourself 2. Why MBA 3. Which specialization, Why? 4. Why should we consider you a good candidate (your strengths with real life examples) 5. What are your areas of improvements (weaknesses with real life examples) 6. What are you doing to overcome them? 7. About your family 8. Pick up one subjcet from your final year on which we should ask you Qs (then Qs on that subject) 9. Where do you see yourself 5 years, 10 years fro now?


Aziz Manva says, Thank you all for participating in the chat. IF you have any further queries, feel free to mail me at support@testfunda.com Wish you all the very best for your GD-PI round.