Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tidbit about dreaded GD-PI preparation

Recollecting a few of the queries I struggled with last year after the unexpected IIM calls; I thought it would be a good idea to put them down here for some friends and acquaintances -

GDs: The best practice for a GD would be to join a coaching institute, merely for the reason that you would get to "discuss" with a wide variety of specimen. There are typically 3 roles you can play in a GD- 1) Aggressive 2) Passive and 3) Moderator. As I've been told and have seen from my results umpteen times, it's not about the quantity but the quality of things you say. Choose to observe the people in your group, I found the following tactics useful:

a) Catch the troughs: Many people usually tend to finish off their sentences in decreasing amplitude. This can be an ideal time for you to pick up with a loud start and make your point - but do this only if you have a point related to what was last said, or else it would just be a rude interruption.

b) Avoid the 'buts': 'But' and 'And'  are considered by some evaluators as very weak words screaming underconfidence. Use of words such as 'nevertheless' and 'whereas' add a bit more veriety and strength to your vocabulary - Try it !

c) Take notes: I was asked to summarize the discussion in one of the GDs, you never know when you might be asked to do the same.

Btw, Ahmedabad didn't have a GD as an evaluation method last year - a sane choice I completely agree with... (That's another sick aspect of GDs - shouting out agreements and disagreements just to let the evaluator how you sound like !)

PI (Personal Interview):  Just remember to be completely honest. The person interviewing you has probably been selected well enough to be 10 times smarter than you at things you claim to be smart at...

Brush up on:

1) Your bachelors' / masters' courses : Every single course on your marksheet should have added some value to your learning, remember a few salient aspects of these courses. Also, be through with core topics related to your field of interest. I was asked questions like Lenz's law- things I had learnt in the 12th Grade...

2) Your extracurriculars: If you have put it down on your form, be ready to speak about it at length and speak passionately (as if that can be faked !)

3) Current Affairs: Wide-wide topics... know that one needs to be thorough with the happenings right from 1 year before the date of the interview.

4) Some basic history / geography : I was asked to name 5 rivers running through my homestate in the IIM-B interview - give it your best shot if you can't get 5 ofcourse, but please avoid guessing and running the Ganges through Maharashtra !

5) Loads of economics: SLR, CRR, Interest rates, foreign exchange rates, Stock markets - all the variables that affect the business world - afterall, you have to show them how interested you are in the business world !

6) About your past jobs : Although I didn't have this feather in my cap, I've heard that they can get quite detailed about the kind of work you did, the organizational culture and many other debates - Reading random blogs all day at work doesn't count !!!

Best wishes

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