How to prepare for B-School Essay, GD and Interview (GD PI prep)?

If you have secured or expect an interview shortlist from a B-School, then you should now focus on your preparation for the highly competitive rigorous stages like GD, Essay, & Interview.
Over the next several weeks, focus on the following for effective GD PI prep:

(a) Academics
•   Pour over your graduation subjects. Many of you have your own favorite subject(s). If you have one, then you must be really comfortable with almost all things related to this subject. Also, throw a glance at your project work and paper presentation.
•   I was asked about my favorite subjects for which I have said Operating Systems. Certain questions were asked from the basics. I was also questioned on my minor project, regarding its applications in everyday life.
•   Purpose of these questions – To test how much you actually love the subject that you are calling it a “favorite”, to judge your applicability skills and clarity on the basics.

(b) Career
•   Think about long term plans and short term goals, even if not concrete, get a hang of things in the chosen line of activity, how your strengths (current skill set) match your choice. Also, think about Plan B.
•   The most common question – What would you do if you do not convert any B-School call. The key here is to check how serious you are about doing an MBA as well as to test about how organized and structured you are, in planning for life.


(c) Personality – related Questions
•  Evaluate your mental strengths and weaknesses; hobbies and interests; leadership qualities; co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
•  The key here is to build a story on each point. For example, if you say that perseverance is your strength, you should be able to describe an instance in which you showed this quality. In case of telling about a weakness, describe how and what you are doing to overcome this weakness
•  Generally, panelists focus more on weaknesses as that is the place where they can judge your attitude and approach

(d) GK & Current Affairs
•  Global economics: Faltering global economic recovery, eurozone crisis and U.S. economic problems and their likely impact on India and the world; Japan’s recession; plunging oil prices and effect on Russia and other OPEC countries; rise of China as an economic power.
•  Indian economy: Rise of Modi and BJP; Financial Inclusion; Different reforms and campaigns brought forward by Modi government; Rajan and his monitoring of the country’s fiscal and monetary policies (specially the interest rate policy) etc.
•  Global politics: Shale gas and crude oil conflicts; Saudi Arabia’s influence on other OPEC countries; ISIS in Iran; China’s influence on the global economy etc.
•  Others: Violence against women in India; gender related issues, including women empowerment and safety issues; GST bill and its pros and cons; e-commerce growth story in India;

(e) Work-related
•  One’s work profile, industry profile, and information about companies you worked for, learning from work, etc.
•  You should know in-and-out about the work you have done, roles and responsibilities assigned, the stakeholders involved etc. Focus is laid on the impact you and your work has created on the project/company. Also, questions on ethical dilemmas that you have faced during work could be asked.

(f) Also, work on
•  Why management career, why MBA, alternate career plan, what other calls, which school will you join.
•  Get in touch with current students or alumni of the B-school to which you have applied so that first-hand information can be obtained
•  Talking about the alumni of the B-School who are in influential positions, teaching career and background of the current faculty etc. will give you brownie points when asked about “Why this particular B-school?”

Being confident, assertive, passionate and clear in your approach would help in clearing the GD PI process. It’s all about how well you approach the given topic in GD or how well organized and structured you are in answering a particular question. There is nothing wrong or right. In short, the GD panel is testing whether you know the topic well, are able to present your point of view in a logical manner, are interested in understanding what others feel about the same subject and are able to conduct yourself with grace in a group situation. A panelist looks at a candidate with two things in his mind – would I like to have him on campus for the next two years, and, will I be able to place him with a good organization two years from now. The interviewee should thus come across as an honest, capable and sincere person.

There is no substitute to preparation. Be confident and passionate. Hope you enjoy the GD PI process and get through your desired B-School. All the best 🙂


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Arpa Mitra

It is a very helpful article. I got to understand how to start for the whole process. Nice write up.

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