Securing a seat in the top B-School has never been such intense. The applicants today are so strong and polished that admissions committees have to lay down more layers of tests to make crucial admit decisions. A group discussion demonstrates how well you work along with others which eventually becomes an important component of the business school experience.
Group discussions may be conducted in a different manner in different MBA Schools, yet the objective is to figure out how applicants work together and solve real-world problem scenarios. During GDs, follow certain basic tips by the experts to perform well. Therefore, if you’ve been called for a group interview, here are a few things to remember.
GD: Do's and Don'ts
A person's sense of dressing speaks a lot. Do not go in a crop top and jeans and T-shirt trail when going for a Group Discussion. Dress in smart formals for Group Discussion. Also, make sure that you are comfortable. Dressing up nicely boosts your confidence level and increases your chance of making a good impression.
Try to open the GD. Do not be disheartened if you cannot as someone else gets the chance, but if you do, it is a big plus point. But it will only be favorable if you have understood the topic clearly. Even if you do not speak first, make sure to frame your argument well for your turn. Focus and demonstrate your knowledge, but be on point and make it fruitful information for everybody around.
Keep calm and relaxed. It is just a GD not a matter of life and death. Maintain eye contact with everyone, they are just as nervous as you are.
Let others speak
Give others a chance to speak. Do not cut them off. It does not give a good impression. Wait for your turn to present your arguments. Listen carefully when others in your group speak and make use of any opportunities to either turn to or refer to other members’ points.
Be polite. Use simple language to convey your thoughts. Do not be dominating. If you do not agree with someone’s argument, put your point forward in a calm and respectful manner.
Propose to recap when the conversation reached the endpoint and the group gets to benefit from the quick recap
Sometimes, it is easy to get carried away and we just end up speaking nonsense. Try to refrain from that. Do not keep going just so that you can get extra time, hence, extra highlight. It would not work if your argument is not strong enough anyway. Stick to the point and once you are done presenting it, kindly give others a chance to speak. Put your group’s goal forward instead of trying to get an airtime
In most of the IIMs and colleges, Group Discussion carries substantiate weightage. Every college has a different weightage for GD so it is a little difficult to tell exactly how much score you can get in GD. But it can range from 10% to 20% and if it is a part of Personal Interview (PI) and Written Ability Test (WAT), it carries a joint 50% weightage.
To emerge a winner in the Group Interview, speak after you get a grasp on the topic. The trick is to follow the rules, express logical views, to be clear and assertive but not aggressive. Enter the discussion to make your point. Do not drop easily, make multiple entries.
Each member may have their own personal views and it is important to know both sides of the argument. If the discussion is moving forward in a direction, you can take a totally opposite view, change the direction of the conversation but remember the rules and do not make others uncomfortable. You may become the center of the discussion. If you have some really clear thoughts about the topic, you can present them and defend your viewpoints. E.g. Topic-Liberalization: Many people will defend it since much has been written about it in newspapers and magazines. If you think otherwise, bring in an opposing viewpoint carefully without offending or negating others. There is no reason why you will not be shortlisted.