Cracking PI and impressing admission committee.
Many of you may have already got through to your dream campus and many wondering why in spite of best of the efforts have not been able to crack it. While there is enough of opportunities and life beyond MBA here is some suggestion towards decoding the PI.
It is not uncommon to see that students getting a call from top B-school,have messed it up at the PI. An average student prepares for more than 6-12 months to do well in exams like CAT and XAT. They fail to realize that getting a good score is only half the battle and do not focus enough on the PI.
Often we receive queries on PI like:
1. What is the criticality of PI? What attributes are seen as basic? What is seen as managerial skills? Decision making/ Analytical bent of mind / People management/ Team player / Adaptability / Managing pressure (Handling a tough or irrelevant question)
2. What can be done to improve skills for PI?
3. What are some of the common mistakes that should be avoided?
Well. We have tried to get some tips from Prof. Shekhar Chaudhuri, former Director IIM Calcutta and currently Director at Calcutta Business School, Kolkata who shares his views on GD/PI objectives and also gives few suggestions.
The purpose of conducting Group Discussion is:
- Evaluate communication skills
- Evaluate the candidate’s ability to work in a team
- Evaluate leadership skills
- Evaluate a candidate’s ability to think and argue a point logically
Some suggestions are given below which candidates may like to keep in mind for improving their performance in GD.
- Candidates should try to be assertive while being polite. They should avoid getting into verbal fights
- They should be willing to listen to what others are saying
- They may make useful interventions in the GD by paraphrasing what others are saying
- A good summary of other’s points of view and extrapolating from that could be an useful intervention.
- It is not necessary to always counter a point made by another participant. Elaborating and explaining the point made by another participant could also be an useful intervention
- It would be useful for candidates to start participating in the GD in its early phase
There are several objectives for which B-Schools conducts PI. Some of the important ones are:
- Evaluate the candidate’s ability to think logically
- Evaluate a candidate’s ability to communicate clearly in an one on one situation
- Assess a candidate’s capability and desire to undertake management studies that requires the ability to study many subjects simultaneously under considerable pressure
- Evaluate a candidate’s personality and leadership potential
- Assess a candidate’s social orientation and soft skills
The above mentioned qualities of candidates are attempted to be assessed through a variety of means. Generally, candidates are expected to have a good understanding of the subjects covered in their under graduate degree courses. Involvement in co-curricular activities in school and college is given due weightage; work experience after graduation is a plus point and general awareness of social, political, economic aspects are considered important. Candidate should be able to keep their composure and not get flustered by a volley of questions from the interview panel. They should be able to argue their points logically with good reasons. Preparation for GD & PI should begin a year or two before the candidate decides to go for management education. Mock GD & PI sessions with experts would be very useful. Candidates must study on their own to acquire relevant knowledge by reading and discussion with peers and if possible persons who have studied at some of top management schools.