by Vivek Agarwal, MDI Gurgaon
The cut-off for MDI Gurgaon during my time was 94.5%ile. Just like other B-schools, MDI is also moving towards a selection model that lays more emphasis on your profile and interview performance.
The selection process for MDI consisted of 3 steps which were non-eliminatory:
#1 – Group Discussion
#2 – Summarising the group discussion
#3 – Personal Interview
1 – Group Discussion
My GD had 12 members and two invigilators. The topic given was – “Should cricket be made the national sport?” You get around 5 minutes to collect your thoughts. This is the time when you should jot down bullet points for both in favor and against the topic.
Because of a large number of people in the GD and no moderation from the institute’s end, fish market like situation is what you can expect. In such a case, it pays to put across your point loudly and assertively. One standard technique that I followed was to raise my voice to gain an entry and speak normally once I had everybody’s attention.
Another smart strategy that you could follow, is to wait for people to voice their opinions and then challenge the most accepted one. This would result in people addressing you, hence you getting more chances to speak. However, this approach is advisable only if you are confident enough to defend your viewpoint.
It helps to relate to real life examples, for e.g. I had said while defending the proposition that cricket should be made the national sport, that if you had a son, what will be the first sporting equipment you would buy for him, a bat or a hockey stick. These kinds of real life instances from personal life not only silences the group members but are also more relatable with the invigilators.
2 – Summarising the GD
Next, you get 15-20 minutes to summarize the GD on a sheet of paper. The time given is just enough to complete writing a good summary, so be fast and concentrate. During writing the summary, remember the interviewers do not want your opinions about the topic but what the group actually discussed during the GD. So cover points on both sides of the topic that were discussed.
However, it is acceptable to end the summary with points you wish the group would have discussed upon to enhance the coverage of the topic. This would let the examiners know that you can think of more perspectives than those that have been already discussed.
3 – Personal Interview
Interviews at MDI can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes and you could never be sure about the reason for the same. The standard way in which interviews started in my time was to ask the interviewee that whom did he/she like the most and the least in the GD and the reason for the same. While answering this question, ensure that you do not over-glorify or demean anybody. Be logical and neutral.
The next standard question was to mention two of your hobbies and how did you/could you have applied the learnings from these hobbies to better perform in the GD. The interviewers then grilled me on my hobbies.
Since I had worked for 10 months with Axis Bank, they went deep into the banking industry with questions like NPAs, their restructuring, current levels of NPAs in public/private/big/small banks. MDI is known to dig deep into either your academics or work experience so you need to know your domain inside-out.
Finally, remember I have 94.5%iler in my batch and know 99.5%ilers who could not convert the call. The selection process is critical in becoming a MANDEVIAN (Management Development Institute).
Vivek Agarwal is a student at Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon.
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