How To Ace an MBA Group Discussion (GD)
It is that time of the year again when thousands of students would appear for final battle to grab an MBA college seat. You are desperately trying to ace that MBA admission Group discussion so that you could get that college you have set your eyes on. You could use the following tips to ace an MBA Group Discussion (GD).
What parameters are the panelists judging you on?
First you have to understand the parameters that the panelists are judging a group discussion on. Why do we have these group discussion rounds in every interview?
Well the primary characteristics that any employer would judge you is “Communications”. Any MBA job or entrepreneurship trade would need you to be a very effective communicator. And please be informed that knowing a language is one thing and being able to communicate effective is another.
Group behavior and dynamics (Team Behavior)
Well an MBA needs to have all the above skills and a Group Discussion test just does that.
Now let’s help you plan and prepare how to tackle each of these points and present them in your GD. I would like to divide the GD into three parts and give you pro tips in each to Ace your Group Discussion.
Before the GD
What preparations can you before going to the Group Discussion? Well this phase is very important.
Read up newspapers and be updated on the current news. Both technical and non technical. You need to have information to be able to speak during the GD. All the other tips would fail in case you do not have the necessary information. All the hot political and non political and technical points, both local and international.
When you are handed the topic
This is another important phase and could make or break your performance in the group discussion.
Analyze the topic thoroughly . It could be all of you in the GD have the same amount of knowledge about the topic and this time you invest in analysis would help you gain those brownie points during the GD. Analyze the pro’s and the con’s. Think through the points you could present or the others could.
You only get 10 minutes in the GD. What do you need to plan for? Well a lot. What most people forget to do is that every discussion needs to have a plan, stick to the target and get to a collective conclusion post healthy arguments.
Plan for what points could be discussed. It’s not a war room, there could be multiple things and angles to be discussed, financials, pros, cons, solutions. Keep this plan ready.
During the Group discussion
It really helps if you could start the GD. If not, then do not fret, you can still gain the attention with your second entry.
What do you need to do,
- Introduce the topic. Time to present the analysis that you did.
- Present the plan. Give a direction to the discussion.
Other points to remember during the discussion
- Give others the chance to speak, only you speaking would not be a group discussion right?
- When ever you point across a point, have facts ready or present a reason or an example to substantiate your point.
- If someone puts forth a good point, then acknowledge it and appreciate it.
- Look to involve the silent guys in the groups to speak.
- Do not speak too slowly, someone might hijack your point mid way.
- If you need to interrupt someone and put your point, wait for them to pause, interrupt someone when they pause, that is the best time to go ahead.
- If the group discussion has not gone your way, and the group was way to aggressive, then the way to get yourself out there is to conclude. A good conclusion would mean that you have been listing and observing. Also it shows your communication skills.