A million years ago when I was where you guys are, I too was faced with the challenge of preparing myself for GDs and interviews. Getting “placed” through the campus placement was doubly important due to the prestige attached to being “campus placed” and an absolute dearth of opportunities available in the market at that time. Imagine only five companies visited us for recruitment the year we passed out.
Preparing for GDs
As GDs demanded an insight into most current social and business issues, my habit of reading newspapers and magazines regularly helped a lot. Many of my friends and classmates tell me that I used to find GDs simple to crack due to my ability to speak (By the way, I have won the largest number of individual awards in debate in the history of my university J Boasting!!! Heh! Heh! Heh!!). I however have another opinion. Many of my classmates were great speakers even if they were not debaters. I attribute my success at GDs (and believe me, I used to succeed) to “having a lot to speak on any subject” and my “ability to listen” (I consider listening an ability).
So my suggestion to you guys would be to make a list of the important international, national, regional and business issues and read up on them. Make it a point to maintain a small file on “issues’ for quick reference before a GD or Interview.
My Biggest Make
Somewhere someone had planted a stupid idea in our head that a GD is supposed be a fish market and whoever can yell and rant for longer will be selected. Believe me, if you think so too, you could not be more wrong. A GD is a group discussion, not a group argument!! In my very brief corporate experience, I have had the opportunity to attend a fair number of meetings at all levels and believe me; it is always very civilized and decent. Quite removed from what we used to think is an ideal GD.
If the GD happens to be a case, it will demand you having a firm grasp on fundamentals in your subjects as well. I will not write about that as I feel that if you are appearing for a placement process, you will be nearing completion of MBA and you will have your fundas clear. If not, then believe me, you will not survive out there even if you do get selected anywhere by mistake.
Read, Read, Read and then Read more. ET, Financial Express, Mint, Businessworld, Business India, Visit the the site for “The Economist”, the site for “McKinsey Quarterly”, Frontline, India Today, HBR, if you aim big!!
In my next piece I will share my story on mow we handled interviews. Till then, READ.