how i can build my confidence level and be fit for
interview and GD.tips for GD+interview in company
Answer / biswajit das
Preparation needs to be focused around two basic areas:
• Develop the power of conviction and expression.
• It is important to display abundant confidence in
your personality, fluency in the English language; no
examiner takes outbursts in vernacular language kindly; and
a good grasp over general awareness and current affairs.
Structured data collection
No amount of prepackaged reading material can provide all
the knowledge one needs to possess. Knowledge can be
acquired from several sources – newspapers, periodicals,
television, panel discussions and even the World Wide Web.
Keep abreast of happenings around by subscribing to a
newspaper of general interest, a business daily, a magazine
like THE COMPEWTITION MASTER, and surf the Internet
For each article you read, try and form an opinion of your
own, which may or may not be in agreement with what is
being said by the author. Substantiate the opinion with
reasons based on facts. This exercise of analyzing
situations is extremely useful while discussing issues in a
Acquiring knowledge alone is not enough. The acquired
knowledge needs to be retained as well. Students in the
past have adopted a practice to maintain a file clipping of
major business and political happening on a day-to-day
basis. Such a file can be referred to for refreshing memory
before the D-day.
Confidence in public speaking is a key attribute. Interact
with peers regularly and organize mock group discussions at
least once every other week. Pick up lead stories from a
daily to discuss and let a couple of people from the group
act as observers to give a feedback on performance at the
end of the discussion. As the Internet assumes a leading
role in modern –day economy, this year could see a
substantial number of questions and discussion topics
entered on information technology and e-commerce.
Rules to follow in a GD
Be an early bird: While sitting in a GD, try and be amongst
the first three to speak up. Do not wait too long to make
your entry into the discussion, it may be too late and
someone else may have already voiced your ideas.
Quality counts: The most vocal necessarily do not make it
through a GD. Attempting to hog the limelight by not
allowing other members to contribute to the discussion
would only earn negative points. It is the quality of
contribution and not the quantity that carries weight.
Originality of ideas leaves a positive impact on the
examiner. It may be easy to rephrase what another person
has said, but such glib talk seldom appeals to the
Healthy Argument: During the GD, do not try and pull your
peers down by raising your voice or gesticulating .Enter
into a healthy argument within the group if you disagree
with someone else’s opinion. Disagreement should not be
taken personally since everyone is entitled to his / her
Be attentive: Never try to change your stance during the
GD. Do not be a fence sitter. Have an opinion and
substantiate it by reason.
Be sure about what you say in the GD and remember it. The
panel may toss a question or two on some statements you may
have made in the GD during the interview.
The normal time allocated for a GD is around 30 minutes. As
soon as time is over, one of the observers would end the
GD. Sometimes, each candidate is asked to sum up the
discussion very briefly. Hence be attentive right through
the discussion and be prepared to summarize if asked to do
so. If you so desire, keep a small pad with you to jot down
bullet points that may emerge out of the discussion.
Opening and closing: Opening a discussion is a high risk-
high return strategy. In most GDs, the opening speaker is
the person who is likely to get the maximum uninterrupted
airtime. The reason is simple – most other participants
will still be trying to understand the basic issues in the
topic, or are too nervous to speak and are waiting for
someone else to start. Therefore, the evaluators get the
best chance to observe the opening speaker. Now this is a
double – edged sword. If the opening speaker talks sense,
he/ she will get credit. If, on the other hand, the first
speaker doesn’t have too much sense to say, he/ she will
attract the undivided attention of the evaluators to his
shortcomings. He/she will be marked as a person who speaks
without thinking and merely for the sake of speaking. Also,
he /she may be marked as someone who leads the group in the
wrong direction and does not make a positive contribution
to the group.
So, remember, speaking first can make or mar your GD
performance depending on how you handle it. Speak first
only if you have enough sensible things to say. Otherwise,
keep silent and let someone else start.
Try and summarize the discussion at the end. In the summary
do not merely restate your point of view; also accommodate
dissenting viewpoints. If the group did not reach a
consensus, say so in your summary, but remember, do not
force a consensus unless asked to by the evaluators.
Forcing a consensus could end up working against you.
Entry Strategies: Identify the way to enter the discussion.
In a loud GD where there are three or four aggressive
participants and where a number of people want to speak at
the same time, it becomes difficult for most others to get
a chance to speak, at the same time; it becomes difficult
for most others to get a chance to speak. This is the most
frequent problem encountered by participants. There is no
foolproof solution to this problem. It is crucial that you
speak. Some guidelines on interjecting in a loud GD are
given below. You will have to decide yourself which one is
Enter the troughs: Every GD has its highs and lows. There
are times when the noise level is high and times when it is
low. You could wait for the lows and time your interjection
then. However, there have been GDs where the one waiting
for lows, could never speak.
Interjecting in a discussion with questions: Normally,
people tend to take on a doubt or a clarification even if
they are in the middle of a discussion, just to show that
they know the issue in and out. The question attracts
attention towards you and gives you an opportunity to
speak. Now the ball is in your court. Fire another question
or start putting your thought across.
Enter after a person who has made a point: The success of
an interjection depends not only on assertiveness but also
on the receptiveness of others. If you interject when
someone else has just begun speaking before he /she has
made the point, it is unlikely that he/ she will let you
have your way. On the other hand, if you wait till he/she
has made at least some of his/her points, he/she will be
more amenable to letting you speak. But don’t wait too long.
Enter with a supportive statement: A useful way of starting
your interjection is by supporting a point that has just
been made. People will let you speak if they think you
agree with them or if you praise them. Try starting by
saying something like, “I agree with that point and I would
like to add…”
Alternatively, praises the person who had just spoken by
saying “; I think that is very important point…” In all
probability, he/she will let you speak. Once you have the
floor, you could either extend the argument or you could
switch tracks by saying “however, before we spend more time
on that issue we should be discussing…”
The most natural way of entering when you find that others
are not listening is to raise your voice. To be effective,
however, you will have to combine this tool with some of
the others mentioned, as it is unlikely to succeed on its
You can add quality to a GD on one of the following ways:
• Lay out the structure, which facilities discussion.
• By your analysis which throws light on a particular
• Introduce new points statistics or other
information on the topic.
Give examples to illustrate clearly certain aspects.
• Attempt to make the discussion meaningful is that
you carry the discussion forwards and ensure that
contribution made add substance and content.
• Ensure that all of you are not going off at a
tangent in your discussion.
• Summarize if time permits or if you are asked to
Blunders in GD
Many intelligent and deserving candidates often commit
blunders during the group discussion. It makes sense to
understand there problem areas so that you check them. Some
of the most common blunders are:
Aggressiveness: The most common visible feature is forcibly
trying to lead the GD. This is reflected in unnecessarily
dramatic statement, banging on the table, engaging in a
one – to one discussion with some other student, bitterly
criticisizing or passing, judgment on another participant,
raising the decibel level, maintaining a snobbish attitude,
Negativity: The choice of words having negative
connotations invariably points to the negative attitudes of
the candidate. Just don’t use them. Negativity is also
conveyed through body language (even if you are using
positive words). For example, folding your arms across the
chest, having a cynical expression of word for even the
good points proposed in the GD, nervous gestures of your
hand on your mouth etc. The best way to handle this problem
is to simply change your attitude and become more positive.
Unfocussed Behaviour: Lots of candidates try to quote data
to things they know having absolutely no relevance to the
given topic. Clearly, their aim is to try and impress. This
doesn’t work because the examiner will quickly understand
the trick and the desperation. Trying a jargon-dump is
another trick that fails.
Wrong facts: If you’re not sure about data, qualify it
with, “I think,” “if I remember it right”, “approximately,”
etc. The GD is not a test of your memory but of your
understanding and conceptual thinking. An extension of this
blunder is trying to ridicule another candidate for being
the correct details, just say it and get on with it. Let
the panelist do the judging.
Being highly individualistic: Individuality is a virtue.
But remember that as future managers, your social skill is
under evaluation. If you just can’t do anything in a group
situation, you are choosing a wrong career. Either learn to
work in a group or rethink your strategy.
A group discussion consists of:
1. Communication Skills
2. Knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject
3. Capability to co-ordinate and lead
4. Exchange of thoughts
5. Addressing the group as a whole
6. Thorough preparations
The first aspect is one's power of expression. In a group
discussion, a candidate has to talk effectively so that he
is able to convince others. For convincing, one has to
speak forcefully and at the same time create an impact by
his knowledge of the subject. A candidate who is successful
in holding the attention of the audience creates a positive
It is necessary that you should be precise and clear. As a
rule evaluators do not look for the wordage produced. Your
knowledge on a given subject, your precision and clarity of
thought are the things that are evaluated. Irrelevant talks
lead you nowhere. You should speak as much as necessary,
neither more nor less. Group discussions are not debating
Ability to listen is also what evaluators judge. They look
for your ability to react on what other participants say.
Hence, it is necessary that you listen carefully to others
and then react or proceed to add some more points. Your
behavior in the group is also put to test to judge whether
you are a loner or can work in a group.
You should be able to convey your thoughts satisfactorily
and convincingly before a group of people. Confidence and
level headedness in doing so is necessary. These add value
to your presentation. In case you are not good at it, you
might gain by joining an institute that offers specialized
courses in public speaking. For instance, British Council
Division's English Language Teaching Centre offers a wide
range of courses like conversation skills, business
communication skills, business writing, negotiation skills
and presentation skills. Mostly people attend these courses
to improve their communication skills. Students here are
involved in activities which use communication skills and
teachers provide inputs, monitor and facilitate the
classes. The course at the Centre makes you confident
enough to speak before people without any nervousness.
Knowledge and Ideas Regarding a Given Subject
Knowledge of the subject under discussion and clarity of
ideas are important. Knowledge comes from consistent
reading on various topics ranging from science and
technology to politics. In-depth knowledge makes one
confident and enthusiastic and this in turn, makes one
sound convincing and confident.
Leadership and Coordinating Capabilities
The basic aim of a group discussion is to judge a
candidate's leadership qualities. The examiner withdraws
and becomes a silent spectator once the discussion starts.
A candidate should display tactfulness, skill,
understanding and knowledge on varied topics, enterprise,
forcefulness and other leadership qualities to motivate and
influence other candidates who may be almost equally
Exchange of Thoughts
A group discussion is an exchange of thoughts and ideas
among members of a group. These discussions are held for
selecting personnel in organisations where there is a high
level of competition. The number of participants in a group
can vary between 8 and 15. Mostly a topic or a situation is
given to group members who have to discuss it within 10 to
The purpose is to get an idea about candidates in a short
time and make assessments about their skills, which
normally cannot be evaluated in an interview. These skills
may be team membership, leadership skills, listening and
A note is made of your contributions to the discussion,
comprehension of the main idea, the rapport you strike,
patience, assertion, accommodation, amenability, etc. Body
language and eye contact too are important points which are
to be considered. .
Addressing the Group as a Whole
In a group discussion it is not necessary to address anyone
by name. Even otherwise you may not know everyone's names.
It better to address the group as a whole.
Address the person farthest from you. If he can hear you
everyone else too can. Needless to add, as for the
interview, attend the group discussion in formal dress. The
language used should also be formal, not the language used
in normal conversations. For instance, words and phrases
like "yar", "chalta hai", "CP", "I dunno", etc. are out.
This is not to say you should use a high sounding, pedantic
language. Avoiding both, just use formal, plain and simple
language. Hinglish, (mixture of Hindi and English) should
Confidence and coolness while presenting your viewpoint are
of help. See that you do not keep repeating a point. Do not
use more words than necessary. Do not be superfluous. Try
to be specific. Do not exaggerate.
Start making preparations for interview and group
discussions right away, without waiting till the eleventh
hour, this is, if and when called for them. Then the time
left may not be adequate. It is important to concentrate on
subject knowledge and general awareness. Hence, the prime
need for thorough preparation. Remember, the competition is
very tough. Only 460 candidates make it to the final list
from 2.75 lakh civil service aspirants each year.
It may so happen that you are called for interviews and
group discussions from three or four organizations but are
not selected by any. The reason obviously lies in your not
In a group discussion you may be given a topic and asked to
express your views on it. Or in a case study GD, students
have to read a case study and suggest ways of tackling the
problem. For this you should have a good general knowledge,
need to be abreast with current affairs, should regularly
read newspapers and magazines. Your group behaviour and
communication skills are on test, i.e. how you convince the
others and how clearly you are able to express your points
of view. You should be articulate, generate ideas, not
sound boring, should allow others to speak, and adopt a
stand on a given subject. During the course of the GD this
stand can even be changed, giving the impression that you
are open to accommodate others' viewpoints.
Additional marks may be given for starting or concluding
Points to Remember
• Knowledge is strength. A candidate with good
reading habits has more chances of success. In other words,
sound knowledge on different topics like politics, finance,
economy, science and technology is helpful.
• Power to convince effectively is another quality
that makes you stand out among others.
• Clarity in speech and expression is yet another
• If you are not sure about the topic of discussion,
it is better not to initiate. Lack of knowledge or wrong
approach creates a bad impression. Instead, you might adopt
the wait and watch attitude. Listen attentively to others,
may be you would be able to come up with a point or two
• A GD is a formal occasion where slang is to
• A GD is not a debating stage. Participants should
confine themselves to expressing their viewpoints. In the
second part of the discussion candidates can exercise their
choice in agreeing, disagreeing or remaining neutral.
• Language use should be simple, direct and straight
• Don't interrupt a speaker when the session is on.
Try to score by increasing your size, not by cutting others
• Maintain rapport with fellow participants. Eye
contact plays a major role. Non-verbal gestures, such as
listening intently or nodding while appreciating someone's
viewpoint speak of you positively.
• Communicate with each and every candidate present.
While speaking don't keep looking at a single member.
Address the entire group in such a way that everyone feels
you are speaking to him or her.
General Tips To Overcome An Interview
TYPICAL QUESTIONS THAT AN INTERVIEWER WOULD ASK
1.Tell me about yourself
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to
have a short statement prepared in your mind. Be careful
that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work/Study-
related items unless instructed otherwise. Talk about
things you have done well at your college and how you
wanted to perform in the first job.
2. Why Should We Employ You?
For this question, your answer should list out strengths
that you feel are relevant to the job. Given below are some
answers which could help you with your answers. However,
structure them to suit your requirements.
I have good co-ordination skills
Good analytical skills
I can persuade people to see my point of view, and get the
My greatest asset is my ability to motivate people
Even during emergencies, I do not loose my cool
I have good entrepreneurial skills
I have consistently met my deadlines and targets
Can say “no” to people when required to do so!
I am very co-operative with my sub-ordinates, and would
like to see them grow
I am a good team player
I am very flexible, and have the ability to work hard under
difficult work conditions
I have the experience and knowledge relevant to this job
(Here, give appropriate details and examples)
3. Do You Have Offers From Other Companies ?
This is of course a difficult question to answer.
Obviously, you must have applied to other companies if you
are looking for a job or would have some offers from other
companies already. Therefore, do not lie that you have not.
However, you are on thin ice here! The interviewer could be
checking your honesty. On the other hand, he/she may also
be trying to find out how focused you are - are you
applying randomly, or is there a well-planned strategy?
Whatever your answer, it should match your career goals.
4. What Salary Are You Expecting?
Try not to get into salary details early in the interview.
If pressed, you could say that it all depends on the job,
and would like to talk about it after a job offer. Say this
in a convincing tone. In case you are asked this question
in your latter interviews, give a direct answer. Do not
sound apologetic while quoting the figure you have in mind.
SALARY EXPECTATIONS :
1. How much do you expect?
If you have done your homework, you would know how much
other people in similar jobs are paid. Quote the range
2. How much do you think you are worth?
Work out how much you should be paid, given the market
value of the job and your skills. If you can bring some
extra skills to the table, do not hesitate to ask for more
than the market value.
3. What kind of a culture are you comfortable with?
It is better to be frank about your preferences. Your
interviewer will get a clear idea about your expectations.
4. Which is more important to you-salary, perks or growth
This one will reveal the real you. So be sure what you are
going to say. Above all, be true to yourself. If you think
this is a negotiation move, then say clearly that you will
never sell yourself short.
5. What do you know about our company?
Do not give your opinions about the company. Stick to
reported facts that you have gathered from newspapers and
so on. Talk about the product portfolio, size, income, and
market perceptions of the company. Also it is better to
refer details about each company before going for the
interview from Freshersworld.com or PlacementWeek.com
6. Why should we choose you over someone else?
Talk clearly about problems that you have solved in your
College/Project Team and highlight the quality required.
6. Your qualifications are excellent, but you may be
overqualified for the position we have to offer?
Point out that more experience can never be a drawback. If
you are multi-skilled, then highlight the fact that a
company on the fast-track needs multi-skilled people. It
needs people within different departments to work together.
Also emphasise that the company's future growth will be an
exponential function of your experience.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK :
Interviewers usually round off by giving you an opportunity
to ask questions. Treat it like a welcome opportunity.
You could ask questions like.
a) Tell me about your company.
b) Now that I have outlined my career goals, do you think
you can offer me the opportunities I need?
c) What kind of training and learning can I expect in your
d) Describe the work culture and the management style of
e) What is the long-term vision of your company?
As a fresher, current position and status can impact the
way you are interviewed. Fresh Out of College
The basis on which you will be judged is your academic
background, family background, and interests.
If looking for your first job, ensure that your previous
experience, even if it is part-time, is noticed.
Mention projects or responsibilities you may have
undertaken. This will indicate your area of aptitude.
You should be willing to put in regular hours, in line with
the company's policies. The interviewer needs to know
whether you can be punctual and put in full-time work.
In case you have applied for the post of management
trainee, you should display an ability to adapt, and
indicate all-round interests. Moreover, you should have
good interpersonal skills.
You should be enthusiastic to learn, and show commitment
towards the organization, as the company will be spending a
lot on your training.
Bring with you :
a) Copies of your resumes
b) References and letters of recommendations.
First Impressions :
There is a common saying that minds are made up within the
first 5 minutes of an interview. So keep in mind these
important first impression indicators. Walk in the door as
if you already work there, carry yourself as though you
feel perfectly comfortable with the situation. Arrive on
time or a little early. In the waiting area, politely tell
the receptionist who you are meeting and in a friendly way,
ask where you should sit. Take slow, deep breaths to help
you remain calm and focused. When introduced to the
interviewer, have a firm, but not painful, handshake.
Smile. Have good posture when sitting or standing.
Introduce yourself in a relaxed, confident manner. Have a
well-groomed, professional appearance. Project a feeling of
confidence. Bring extra copies of your resume, some thing
to write on and something to write with.
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