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11 tips to win group discussions and personal interviews

January 13, 2009
The group discussion stage forms an integral part of the admission process to most IIMs. It tests you on several aspects. The GD is an excellent platform for you to showcase your communication skills, reasoning ability, ability to be a team player and also your leadership qualities. All of these are essential in order to be a good manager.

The weightage that the GD carries in your final admission decision is also significant, ranging from 15-20%. More importantly, the GD is your first opportunity to make an impression on the panel that will be interviewing you later. First impressions always count, and you don't want the panel to have any negative preconceived notions about you.

The GD can follow any of several formats. Usually, the groups are of 8-11 people. The topic is given at the start. At this point, the panel may ask you to write on the topic for 5-10 minutes and then discuss it, or to gather your thoughts for a couple of minutes and then start. In either case, there is absolutely no excuse for not carrying a pen and paper into the GD room. If you are required to start after a couple of minutes, quickly jot down some points that seem relevant to you. Concentrate on thinking of as many points as you can at this point instead of trying to frame the points in your best language. If you have more time, you can present the points in a more coherent fashion. However, remember that substance is always more important than style. This does not, of course, mean that you should write abbreviations, sms-language, or use poor grammar, but there is no point in being unnecessarily verbose.

Photograph: Ranjan Basu/Saab Pictures

About the author:

This article has been authored exclusively for by Gaurav Bhattacharya. He is a CAT 07 100%tiler and currently pursuing his MBA from IIM-A. You can watch live video GD-PI preparation tips from experts and IIM alumni, prepare for current affairs and general awareness and discuss current issues on

Also see: 10 ways to be a happy employee

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