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How to prepare and score in GDs and interviews for IIM MBA admissions
This article gives the best guidance tips on how to create a good impression during the group discussion round while applying for admissions to an Indian Institute of Managament. You will also get the best tips on how to answer questions during the personal interview round for MBA admissions.
One of the most sought after educational programs in India is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) due to it being a plus point to have in one's C.V. when appearing for a job interview. What's more, students eagerly await the call from a top Indian Institute of Management (IIM). If you are one of those lucky ones, it is time to get set for the group discussion and personal interview rounds which are part of the MBA admissions process in India. While a few IIMs no longer have the group discussion round, others still have it as part of the admission procedure.
Top 6 tips for Group Discussion round of MBA admissions
Develop good communication skillsPunctual
Most students feel they should develop a high degree of skills to be able to speak English fluently during the group discussion. Actually what is important is not your language skills but your communication skills. That is, you need to be able to get your views across to the others in the group in a manner which they understand. Perfect English is not what is so important!
Develop the ability to listen and participate
Never for one moment forget that the discussion is a group discussion and not a one-man show! You should not launch into long speeches, dominating the discussion in such a way that nobody else really gets a word in or in a way that everybody tunes out. What exactly you are speaking is far more important than for how long you talk. Equally essential is to lend an ear to what others say. This does not mean that you merely be a passive listener, but be a frequent participator. Learn when to step into the breach to say something and when to pause and listen.
Develop the skill to take both sides
Many students are under the impression that one should only present one point of view on a group discussion topic and not waver from it at all. How wrong they are! The very word 'discussion' implies that it is a conversational type of talk wherein a person can say anything for or against something. You may have been part of debate competitions in school – in that, there is a group of students who express views for a topic & another which speaks against it. A discussion is nothing like that at all. In fact, by giving your various views on a given topic you are showing your versatility.
Develop analytical speaking skills
You should not constantly let out a stream of views which are just hot air. Whatever you say must be supported either with hard statistical facts or some kind of example. Just as the content of this article has been brought out through points, so also in a group discussion explore aspects of a given topic with good content. Related to this is linking – when varying views are put across by others, you can try to link them together & put forth your own points.
Develop the right verbal tone
During a group discussion, it just won't do to stand up and yell out your point of view! You may just be aiming to get the others to hear what you have to way, but being over loud will simply backfire as you are then projecting an aggressive image of yourself. You could, though, assert yourself and try to calm others who are all talking at one time, thereby showing your leadership ability. This, again, should be done in a firm tone of voice without being overbearing.
Develop good non-verbal body language skills
The members of the group are likely to show respect for your views if you project good body language. It creates a bad picture to stand up and talk then slump back into your seat and slouch. An equally poor image of yourself is given if you are constantly gesticulating wildly with your hands, talking at a fast pace, looking everywhere except at the other members of the group, etc. You should come across as being alert at all times and having a positive attitude through your non-verbal gestures – your facial expressions, eye contact, the manner in which you stand, etc.
Now let's move to an equally important feature of MBA admissions in India – the personal interview round.
Top 3 tips for personal interview round of MBA admissions
Know your institute
Sure, you are all excited at getting the call for the MBA program at your favourite institute; but do you really know anything about the institute?! You never know what the interviewer may ask about the institute, so better read up in advance when it was started, how it came to be set up, perhaps who are the famous alumni, etc.
Know your course & its scope
You also need to know exactly what the MBA program you are pursuing will include in terms of the subjects and the individual concepts which are included in each semester.
A question you can expect is why exactly you are pursuing that course for which you are seeking admission & not any other. Hence, you should be able to speak intelligently on what exactly is the scope of that particular MBA program & how it would help you in your career as opposed to another MBA program ( you can compare 2 similar MBA programs and explain why your prefer one to the other).
Be professional and polite
You must remember that, with the MBA degree in hand, you will be entering the corporate sector which lays great emphasis on professionalism. Hence during the interview for MBA admissions itself it is essential to come across as a professional. What you need to be:
Polite & courteous but not aggressive
Honest without bluffing
Enthusiastic but not overbearing
Natural without speaking in a funny accent
Clear about what you are saying without using slang or over-using funny comments at an attempt to be humorous.
All of the above should, as in a group discussion, be conveyed both through verbal and non-verbal skills. Verbally you could come across as smart & witty but if you do not maintain eye contact, are constantly fidgeting and are generally making a poor physical projection, you are creating a negative image of yourself.
Acing the group discussion and personal interview round for admissions to an MBA program in India is not too tough! It is quite a cake walk actually if you simply remember the basic rule: be your own self & act naturally without trying to bluff your way out or project yourself as who you are not.
Read related articles: Group discussion Interview IIM admission MBA admission
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