As we all are aware that PGDM/MBA admissions process to various B-schools is underway and for admissions to various B-schools, GD-PI is a must and candidates are judged on the basis of their performance in GD-PI rounds. This time due to Corona, many top B-schools are still conducting online GD-PI rounds. But many students get nervous when they hear about GD-PI round and make some common mistakes during GD-PIs. The most common mistake candidates actually commit is that they do not speak up during the entire group discussions and personal interviews round because of nervousness or of fear that what other will think if they committed a mistake while speaking. But they do not realise that making mistakes while speaking is not the biggest mistake rather the biggest mistake really is not speaking at all. One should never be scared of making mistakes rather should take experience and learn from their mistakes.
Here are some of the common mistakes made by candidates appearing for GD-PI rounds:
- Not being well-prepared – Not preparing well-in-advance for the GD-PI rounds is a huge mistake which candidates should avoid. Candidates should practice for these rounds at home with family or friends by planning mock GD & PI before actually appearing in these rounds. This would help them to better understand the possible mistakes that could be made by them during GD-PIs. Moreover, lack of general knowledge on various topics could hamper their chances of clearing group discussion round if the GD topics is based on certain recent news. So candidates should read newspaper, go through current affairs/ latest news etc. to perform well in group discussion round. Surf interest for what could be the possible topics of group discussion and prepare for some of them. Also look for the personal interview questions that are generally asked during the entrance exam interview and try to practice such questions standing in front of the mirror as it would help improve their confidence. Work on enhancing the verbal as well as non-verbal communication skills. This is a common mistake candidates make whether GD-PIs are offline or online.
- Poor internet connectivity –The biggest drawback of conducting online GD-PIs is that it requires internet connectivity. Thus a proper internet connectivity and good internet speed is a must during online GD-PIs. Poor internet connectivity offers a new challenge to candidates as they might not even get a chance to speak and may lose the opportunity if internet connection gets lost in between.
- Not taking online GD-PIs seriously – Many candidates take online GD-PIs lightly but should understand that online GD-PIs are more difficult to be judged than the offline mode as the interviewer will have to see and judge all the candidates virtually. Even online GD-PIs require the candidates to look presentable and be formally dressed like professionals. Background noises should be avoided. Thus candidates should sit in a room where there is no one expect him to avoid distractions or disturbances if any.
- Avoiding camera mode on – One of the biggest mistake that candidates generally do now-a-days is not switching on their camera during the GD-PI rounds leading the coordinator or the interviewer to ask the candidates to keep their camera on again and again giving the negative impression to the interviewer. Thus candidates are advised not to keep their camera off unless until asked by the interviewer to do so.
- Engaging in different websites: As soon as the topic of discussion is given to the candidates they start surfing on the internet taking the advantage that GD is being conducted online and the interviewer will not know. This is where candidates commit a mistake as the interviewer by the movement of their eyes is able to judge that candidate is involved in unfair means. Same is the case when personal interview is conducted.
- It’s a discussion, not a debate – Candidates should understand that the actual meaning of group discussion is discussion on a topic and should not confuse it with debate. So the discussion should be healthy in a polite manner rather than shouting at each other or interrupting other participants to prove your point. Instead carefully listen to the views of the other members in the team.
- Rush to initiate even if unaware about the topic – Every candidate in the teams appearing for group discussion is in a rush to initiate the discussion as soon as the topic is given even if they are not aware about the topic. Candidates are advised to avoid this mistake. Although the candidate who initiates the discussion gets noticed and bonus points as added advantage but speaking on a topic without the proper knowledge generally gives a negative impression. So, be an initiator if you have knowledge on the subject matter otherwise be a listener first and listen to what others say, understand the topic and be the third or fourth speaker.
- Conclusion does not mean concluding what you said rather it also includes what others said – Many candidates are not able to conclude the discussion in proper and right manner and end up summing the discussion with the points they assume to be correct or focus only on their point of view. So, when asked to conclude the discussion, take initiative and conclude the discussion in such a manner which combines for and against views. Concluding the discussion in a good manner by briefing the points of for and against of the topic gives the impression of you being a good listener thereby adding the extra points.
- Not realizing the importance of body language and gestures – Candidates must realize the importance body language and gestures have during group discussions and personal interviews whether offline or online. The way you sit, you interact with others using hand movements, maintain a proper eye contact etc. plays a critical role in performing well in these rounds. So candidates must ensure that their body language and gestures should give positive signals to others candidates as well as the interviewer during both group discussion and personal interview. Body movements and gesture matters a lot even in the case of online GD-PI as it shows the level of dedication a candidate has.
Being confident might help but being overconfident or being too nervous is definitely not going to help in performing well.
These are the some of the common mistakes which should be avoided by the candidates while appearing for the GD-PI rounds as this might increase the chances of being selected.