About MBA : The Post-test Process Process


Vijith Pujari
All the top institutes conduct a personality assessment of all candidates before final selection. Each institute selects a fixed number of students from the written test (the number of such students, and score cutoffs, vary for each institute, and are not made public). At CareerLauncher, we make our own estimates of numbers and cut-offs for each institute (which are very accurate) and use this information to help our students in their practice tests.

This personality assessment is normally a 2-stage process - the Group Discussion and the Personal Interview. Some institutes have additional testing (for example, FMS conducts an extempore speaking test).

Group Discussions

What's a GD ?
A "group discussion" is just that - a discussion by a group of people. Typically 8-15 students sit across a table and are asked to freely discuss a particular topic, while their discussion is observed by a panel of evaluators. The discussion topics could be on virtually anything of general interest (see examples) - be it world politics, sport or business.

How are you evaluated?
Participants are evaluated on a variety of skills - teamwork, leadership, listening & articulation skills, to list a few. This is a rather subjective evaluation process, where as many as 15 participants are judged based on their performance in a 20-minute Group Discussion.

Typically, you are evaluated on

What you Say:
Your comprehension of the core idea, the quality of your arguments, your knowledge of the subject, your clarity of thought.

How you Say it:
Your teamwork, your persuasion skills, your body language, discussion etiquette

Types of GDs
Structured GDs:
The most common form of GD -- a topic is provided, the time limit is set, broad rules are given, and participants are left alone to discuss it. No leader is appointed however, that is left to group dynamics.

Unstructured GD:
Here, no clear instructions are given. The participants are expected to decide the objectives of the discussion on their own. These can be particularly unsettling for many students, and it is good to go prepared for such a situation.
There is no surefire way of GD success - remember, it is a subjective elimination process. And a lot depends on the topic you get, the other people in your group, and of course, the perceptions of the evaluating team.

How on earth do you 'prepare' for a GD ?
Rather than leave it to chance, Career Launcher has researched and polled GD topics normally used across institutes, taken extensive exit-interview feedback from participating students, spoken with evaluation teams across institutes, and have developed a training process that has worked wonders for our students. Read what students have to say about out GD training

The Personal Interview
Nothing scares a student more than a personal interview with a senior panel of experts ! For most graduates, this is the first serious selection interview they have faced. And the pressure that a 'bad' performance can make all your preparation go to waste, is enough to make most people nervous.
Most institutes follow a similar format for the interview. A panel of 3-5 interviewers meets the student in a closed room. Normally these interviewers are from different disciplines, most are normally professors at the instutute, and occasionally behavioural psychologists are involved to observe how you interact.
The interview itself is totally unstructured and depends entirely on the 'style' of the panel. After all, this is an elimination process, and they will compare your responses to those of other students they have interviewed.

Typical questions in an interview could be:
Why do you want to do an MBA ? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now ? What is your favourite subject in graduation, and why ? Why should we select you ? What is special about you that qualifies you to be a good manager ?
However, this can vary from institute to institute, from day to day, from panel to panel.

There is a lot of merit in going adequately prepared for the interview process, and practice certainly helps. As this is the final selection step, it must be given as much importance as the previous two steps.
At Career Launcher, we have a long history of helping people train for and face interviews. Our Personality Development Programme has converted even the most shy and under-confident students into articulate and confident personalities, ready to face the toughest interview panels. See what students have to say…