CAT GD/PI Preparation Tips

7 Don’ts of B-School PI’s

By - Director VistaMind
• Do not lie. The risks are too high. The truth, even a sugar-coated version, is preferable to an outright lie. The panelists are usually highly experienced and would very easily see through lies. Being spotted for lying negates all the good work done in the CAT, GD or Essay.
• Do not exaggerate small achievements. Everyone, especially the panelists, knows what different positions of responsibility that most students assume at school and college actually mean. For instance, a School Pupil Leader is typically a ceremonial post with not too much real responsibility or achievements. Exaggerating them puts you at risk of being assessed very negatively.
• Do not say “I will obviously choose X institute”, especially at the interview of Y institute. Panelists are, in general, unbiased and acting in the best interests of their own institute. At the same time, careless statements like the one identified can hurt the self-esteem of one or more of the panellists and disqualify you for all practical purposes.
• Do not make statements stereotyping people based on gender, class, caste, religion, etc.. First, such stereotypes are not true. Second, the fact that you subscribe to a stereotype of this kind tells the panel a lot about you, unfortunately not helpful in securing that admission.
• Do not blame visible poor past performance on others. Taking responsibility for your failures is as important as taking the credit for your achievements. Failing to do so and blaming others portrays you as incapable of honest introspection and critical self-analysis, something essential for an aspiring manager.
• Do not offer “its x years since I completed my graduation” as the excuse for not answering questions in your area of graduation. 2 or 3 years is not sufficient time to justify forgetting what you studied for 3 or 4 years, especially if the question is about basics. A calm “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” is often far better.
• Do not argue with the panel. You need to understand the difference between being firm in your position and getting into an argument with the panelists. Always state your position, however much panelists may contradict it, in terms of what it is, how you arrived at it and why you hold it.
Do remember below 6 points –
1. Please remember – The Panel present is to select you not to reject you.
2. Answer all the questions with utmost clarity don’t bluff, sometimes it may work but many times it does not. So if you don’t know the answer a plain ‘No’ will serve the purpose more than anything else.
3. Don’t Lie – for any reason – about your family, profession, achievements, likes and dislikes. (Though it may be difficult to find out if you are lying but if you are caught, all other things don’t matter et al.)
4. Be as specific as possible. I want to get a better job is a much better answer to ‘Why MBA’ rather than beating around the bush using words like ‘knowledge, business, horizon etc.’ and end up not answering to the point!
5. Don’t talk anything bad or good about other institute. Like if you are posed with a question what if you get final calls from IIM C and B what will you do – give a balances answers like – I will be overjoyed and then weigh my options and reach a conclusion after consulting with my colleagues and teachers.
6. Don’t contradict any of your opinions mentioned in the Application Form or spoke in the GD. Facts can be corrected opinion should not be changed.
And last but not the least – Be Confident.
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Very nice presented article! I must appreciate the work. With some good ideas and point, i am also sharing a document which can be beneficial for the ones who are preparing for the CAT interview.


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