Firstly initiate the GD.  Try to be the first one to step in and lead the discussion with your POV on the topic. Of course this doesn’t imply you shoot of your mouth when you aren’t clear on the topic or know little about it. Remember measured silence is better than a loud noises signifying nothing!

Always  allow others to speak . It will be tempting to cut in and speak your mind, especially when you feel the other person is talking crap and your view point is infinitely better (and mostly you will always feel that!!). But be gracious and let your group member finish the point he/she is trying to make. Listen carefully and patiently, make your points. Remember it’s a GROUP discussion, not an individual platform to vent your points. And while making your points, be clear and concise. Don’t think that this is a verbal boxing ring, where raising your voice will make your point of view the accepted one , rather be logical and factual in your thinking and put your point across calmly and with dignity.

You also don’t need to get into too much detail on the subject. Just cover the main points of argument, and move on.  Time is limited and the GD is not the place to show off the reams of research work you have done.

Finally, be positive and be confident. No wishy-washy statements, no furtive glances, just be sure of yourself in the group.

Now for the interview process. Everyone knows that interviews is the surest way of finding out what your real worth is – how much do you know and how much you can get by pretending to know. I don’t need to get into the obvious about knowing your subject, current affairs etc. It’s a given. So just a few key pointers on how you should behave.

An interviewer, I have always felt, is the litmus test of your personality. They know you know the knowledge from the books, but now during your one-to-one interaction they want to see whether you are somebody who can walk the talk , get a real feel of what makes you. First things, be confident, and look directly into the eyes of the interviewers. Sifting eyes or looking down is a sign of uncertainty.

Be and appear enthusiastic. A good smile right at the start sets the tone for the interview. Answer questions clearly and to the point. There might be questions that you might not know the answer to. Its ok to admit and say : “Sorry, I am not entirely aware of this…” and move on. Again appearing overtly aggressive in pushing your point-of-view will get you nowhere. While its always good to say what you feel, don’t get drawn into an argument for argument’s sake.

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