Let me put across the significant details on Group Discussion & Personal Interview for preparing for the CET..
It is a discussion by a group of people. The discussion involves an exchange of thoughts and ideas among members of the group. Group Discussions are largely used in the selection process for admissions into institutes, where there is a high level of competition. The number of participants in a group can vary from 8-15 people. In most cases a topic or a situation will be given, and the group members will have to discuss it within a given period of time.
Reasons for employing a GD
• Value for time
GD helps in forming an opinion about a large number of candidates in a short period of time on a common platform.
• Skills assessment
GD helps in assessing certain skills that cannot be evaluated even in a personal interview (leave alone the written application form etc.). These skills include team membership, leadership skills, listening and articulation skills etc.
What is checked in a GD
All that one observes in a GD can be categorized into two broad areas: - The Content and the Process.
• The content is all about 'what' or the 'matter' spoken in the GD. Whereas, the process refers to the 'how', 'when' and 'why' of the GD.
• Both are equally important and need adequate attention at all stages.
• High quality contribution by one with no regard to the 'process' is as suicidal as another's contribution, which is high on packaging with little content.
Critical Success Factors in a GD
• Cognitive skills or knowledge
The most important aspect of your contribution to a GD is the Quality of Content (QOC), which is reflected in the points you speak and knowledge of the relevant subject you have, the supportive examples you give and data you generated etc.
• Comprehension of core idea
It is essential to deliver a high quality content. But to do that , you should speak on the topic and not deviate. It is checked whether you have identified the crux of the problem or not and whether the solutions you are offering is relevant to the problem or not.
• Logical reasoning
It includes understanding the topic, generating quality arguments, analysis and a progressive approach to a justifiable conclusion. This is one of the necessary attributes to be seen in an influential participant. Such people convey an impression of open minded and logic driven rather than that of an opinionated individual.
• Behavioural and Personality Skills
This includes certain attributes like rapport building, team membership, participation, patience, assertion and accommodation, amenability, leadership etc,. that are assessed during a GD.
• Communication Skills
You should be able to articulate your thoughts properly and you should also be able to understand what others are trying to tell you.
• Clarity of thought
In whatever you are articulating, are you following logical sequence/ order or is that you are presenting the points in some bits and pieces.
• Body Language and Eye Contact
These are some tools which check your level of confidence and whether you can work together effectively in group or not.
Types of Group Discussions
• Structured (or Default) GD
1. A structured GD is one that is most commonly used.
2. The group is given a topic for discussion with 10 to 20 minutes for discussion. The topic can be anything going under the sun.
3. There is no leader appointed for the group and the brief may or may not include anything but the topic for discussion. Here the topic of discussion is clearly defined and students know what is the objective of discussion.
• Unstructured GD
1. Unstructuredness can be built into a discussion wherein no clear instructions are given. So first of all, the students have to decide as to what is to be done.
2. The panel expects the group to achieve some objective(s) during the course or by the end of the GD, but here the objectives are to be decided by the group itself and not given by the observer.
These might include tasks such as choosing the topic for discussion, appointing the leader or a chairman etc.
An interview is a face-to-face meeting, especially for the purpose of obtaining a statement or for assessing the qualities of a candidate.
An interview tries to obtain a statement or opinion, as is done for e.g. when film stars are interviewed to get their views on any particular role, or when the Prime Minister is interviewed to get statement on the result of his discussion with another political leader.
So as a student going for interviews of management schools, we need to understand the various topics of general interest in details and should be able to discuss them intelligently.
Another purpose of the interview is to assess a person on various personal attributes like honesty, integrity, communication skills, ability to handle pressure, ability to plan for oneself, etc.
Must to do before an Interview
• Learn about the Institute
• Refresher on the subjects of you graduation or of general interest.
Tips for the Interview
1. Entering the room
o Prior to opening the door, adjust your attire so that it falls well.
o If the members of the interview board want to shake hands then offer a firm grip maintaining eye contact and a smile.
o Seek permission to sit down.
o Diffuse the tense situation with a light-hearted humour and immediately set a rapport with the interviewers.
2. Lead the Interview
o A good interviewee would be quick to settle and begin to lead the interviewers.
o The interviewer normally pays more attention if you display an enthusiasm in whatever you say.
o You should maintain a cheerful disposition throughout the interview i.e. a pleasant countenance holds the interviewers interest.
4. Be Brief
5. Don't Bluff - be honest
6. Humor- humor tends to break the monotony and puts every one at ease and also generates interest and enthusiasm.
7. Interviewer fatigue
o Mostly interviews are conducted the whole day leading to fatigued minds.
o A little humour as a starter will ease the fatigued minds. However, if you do not have the knack of humour, it is better not to get into it.
o You must be proactive in offering information about yourself as the interviewers will be willing listeners.
8. Be well mannered: show courtesy
9. Avoid slang
10. Be poised
11. Ask Question, if necessary
12. Eye Contact- maintain good eye contact with the persons interviewing you.
13. Listen carefully and answer to the point.
14. Be natural, do not pretend that you are somebody else.
I hope that has helped
"Think HR, think CHRM..