It’s a matter of hardly a month by when all the major b-school entrance exams will be over and the candidates will anxiously await their results. Once the results are out, the alarm bells for getting their act right in the Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds will start ringing for many. And just like one’s morning alarm tone, the tone of the GD/PI rounds is also not mellifluous to anyone’s ears.
The reason behind saying what I said above is that the phase of GD/PIs becomes more uncertain and uncontrollable than even CAT. The interviewers and the GD panellists flummox the candidates by coming up with questions from a wide array of topics, preparing all of which becomes a herculean task. However, there’s one thing which they expect a candidate to know without fail – themselves. Yes! They feel an immediate aversion from a candidate who fumbles in his thought and word even when speaking about himself/herself.
In such situations, a candidate’s resume can act as the saviour because it’s considered to be synonymous to the candidate himself/herself. Keeping this in mind, here are a few pointers to up one’s resume game and better handle the storm of GD/PIs:
- Articulation matters: The way one articulates an achievement on his/her CV can make a huge difference. For example, merely writing ‘School Topper’ is far less effective than writing ‘Topped a class of say 90 students’. You can magnify the impact of your achievement merely by playing with words while being truthful of course.
- Balance your CV: Not always a master of one is preferred to a Jack of All Trades, at least not in b-school admissions. It’s good to highlight your forte in your CV but falling into the trap of devoting more than 50% of your resume space to one of your strengths while completely ignoring other spheres of your past life won’t take you far.
- Select well: In the quest to stuff one’s CV with a lot of ‘first in X, second in Y, third in Z’, one makes a mistake in thinking that only ranks and numbers do the magic but the reality is that they are no longer a differentiating point. Instead, a plain simple point stating something like a value-adding certification or even just participation in a challenging event can talk a lot more about you than flashing your ranks in frivolous events.
- One line at a time: Now that you’ve made an impressive resume, it’s time to know each and every point inside out! Do justice to your resume preparation by allotting ample amount of time to pondering over what all questions can an interviewer possibly ask after reading any point of your resume. For example, if you were the coordinator of a Nukkad Naatak event in your school/college, then you can expect some factual questions like the pioneer of Nukkad Naataks in India as well as some leadership questions like how did you manage a fussy team member et al.
- That one dreaded question: Yes! The allusion is to the ‘Tell me about yourself’ question which is the most obvious yet the toughest question to crack. The least that you can do to frame a good answer to this question is to not read out what’s already written there on your CV. Don’t forget that they themselves have your CV in their hands, probably from some 10 minutes before your interview even got started. Tell them something fresh, something that talks about who you are and not what you’ve done.
If followed religiously, then the aforementioned pointers can set things straight at least for the resume part of one’s interview and get the ball rolling on the topics to follow. All The Best