Archive for the ‘MBA’ Category

Soft Skills Needed

“Soft-skills” refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make someone a good employee and a compatible co-worker. Companies value soft skills because research suggests and experience shows that they can be just as important an indicator of job performance as hard skills.

Every entrepreneur thinks that his/her product, services will change the world. They might but the change has to begin closer to home. By focusing on your behavior, knowing doing gap, attitude and soft skills, you begin to inspire others to pay attention too. When your team and key people in the company learn to pay attention to soft skills in addition to hard skills, your chances for success go up exponentially. Soft skills alone won’t make you successful either. They have to be balanced with having the management team with right hard/professional skills, creating a human resource management system that supports your team would multiply your chances of success. When you have all the three factors optimized, the human capital in your company begins to pay rich dividends.

Core Competencies for Success:

While skills are good to develop by themselves, integrating them into a systemic practice makes you develop new competencies for success. Competencies allow you to integrate your skills and knowledge in the context of new projects. These six competencies are useful in all stages of company and in fact, could be very useful in personal life as well. When you start something new, keep these six competencies in mind and consciously apply them in your work and life and soft skills become integrated with your professional skills over time.

  • Be clear and intentional about what you want
  • Be aware of what is going on around you and inside you
  • Have empathy for one another
  • Appreciate what you have and what others bring
  • Know your limits and stretch beyond them
  • Let go of what does not work

Soft Skills contribute to:

  • Leading People
    • Leading a team, leading yourself, conflict management, interviewing and selecting new members, delegation, coaching, networking, developing others
  • Managing Activities
    • Product quality, workplace safety, customer care, fund raising
  • Managing Resources
    • People, finances
  • Managing Information
    • Decision making, problem solving, meeting management, persuasion, presentation skills

Soft Skills helps in:

  • Soft skills help advance your career.
  • Soft skills empower you and create opportunities.
  • Soft skills not only improve your career, they also offer personal growth.
  • Soft skills help you grow beyond money motivation.
  • Developing professional ethics is vital to your career.
  • Control co-worker’s perception of you as a professional and an expert in your field.

How to improve Soft Skills?
It all starts with YOU

  • Acting like a leader
  • Being open to do things differently
  • Avoiding your comfort zone
  • Showing your weaknesses

Understanding your team

  • What are their needs?
  • What are their fears?
  • What’s in it for them?

Justifying project to

  • Team members
  • Customer
  • Sponsor
  • Vendor

Effective communication skills

  • How/When/What to Communicate
  • Non Verbal Queues
  • Multi Cultural Needs
  • Team Management

Understanding what skills you have

  • Identifying skills gaps
  • Stretching existing team members
  • Delegation
  • Bringing the best out of each team member
  • Finding the creativity within your team

Conflict Management and Negotiation Skills

  • Healthy conflicts
  • Sources of conflict
  • Identifying your tendencies
  • Refining your negotiation skills
  • Negotiating with customers, team members
  • Developing WIN-WIN scenarios

Making tough decisions

  • Is it time to make a decision?
  • Tips to making decisions
  • Consensus vs. Unilateral decisions
  • Assessing resource performance challenges
  • Handling resource performance challenges
  • Severing a vendor relationship
  • Escalation approaches


What is group discussion (GD)? As the term implies it is a discussion by a group of people, which involves a free exchange of thoughts and ideas among a members of the group.
Listed below are some pointers to be kept in mind for being effective in a GD:

  1. Be Natural
    • The best mantra is – “be your natural self’
    • See GD as just an extension of any other situation you encounter in normal routine.
  1. Must Speak:
    • The first principal of GD is that you must speak
    • Before you start speaking, think through the major issues in the topic.
    • Jot down points on the paper or mentally work out the framework for analysis.
    • If you do not understand the topic, ask the group what the topic means and accept your ignorance, or else wait, maybe the meaning will become clear after a few minutes of the discussion.
  1. Opening and Closing:
    • Opening a discussion is a high risk-high return strategy
    • Speak first only if you have sensible things to say. Otherwise keep silent and let someone else start.
    • Try and summarize the discussion at the end.

4. Be an active listener:

    • Carefully listen to others’ contribution to avoid pitfalls. It is very important to listen at every stage of the discussion as it will benefit you.
    • It prevents you from repeating something already said.
    • Help you take the discussion forward where another participant has left off.
    • Help you understand a topic of which you were ignorant, before the first speaker defined it.

5. Be assertive, not aggressive:

    • Do not get emotionally involved in the arguments.
    • Do not take it as a personal affront if others disagree with you.
    • Share your reasoning first
    • Do not express your stand initially. Note down major issues’ and remember not to jump to conclusions. Instead arrive at a stand of your own.
    • Remember, you are being evaluated on how you think and not what you think.
    1. Avoid any irritating gestures, like the following
    • Do not slouch in your chair, stretch your legs out, fidget or keep shaking your legs, play with your pen or any other object and do not point at others
    • Do not block your neighbors by bending too much forward in order to be heard.

    An interview is a face –to-face meeting, especially for the purpose of obtaining a statement or for assessing the qualities of a candidate. It further, indicates a physical meeting of people.
    Tips for the interview:-
  1. Entering the room
    • Prior to entering the room, adjust your attire so that it falls well.
    • Before entering enquire by saying, ‘May I come in Sir / Madam’
    • If the door was closed before you entered, make sure you shut the door behind you softly.
    • Face the panel and confidently say ‘Good day Sir /Madam’
    • If the members of the interview board want to shake hands, then offer a firm grip first maintaining eye contact and a smile.
    • Seek permission to sit down. If the interviewers are standing, wait for them to sit down first before sitting.
  2. Enthusiasm
    • The interviewer normally pays more attention if you display an enthusiasm in whatever you say.
    • You should maintain a cheerful disposition throughout the interview
  1. Don’t Bluff:
    • If you do not know the answer to a question, it is better to acknowledge it, rather than trying to bluff your way through it.
    • The interviewer will respect your honesty.
    • In our experience, interviewers immediately take a stance of grilling a candidate if they suspect him of her of lying.
  1. Interviewer Fatigue:
    • Mostly interviews are conducted the whole day leading to fatigued minds
    • A little humor as a starter will ease the fatigued mind
    • You must be proactive in offering information about yourself as the interviewers will be willing listeners.
  1. Be well-mannered:
    • The way you conduct yourself reflects your upbringing and your culture.
    • It is good to project an air of humility
    • Over confidence is often misinterpreted by interviewees as arrogance
  1. Avoid Slang:
    • During an interview, slang will probably not be understood, and certainly not appreciated. Your communication needs to be as formal and explicit as possible.
  1. Be poised:
    • Your posture during the interview adds or diminishes your personality.
    • You should keep all certificates, testimonials and other relevant documents neatly on the table, preferably in a single file.
    • It is vital to be conscious about your posture and gesticulations as they tell a lot about our personality.
  1. Eye contact:
    • You must eye contact with the panel, right through the interview. This shows your self-confidence and honesty
    • Many interviewees’ while answering, tend to look away. This conveys you are concealing your own anxiety, fear and lack of confidence.
  1. Listen carefully:
    • It is imperative for you to listen carefully to the questions being asked.
    • If a question is not clear, it would be quite in order for you to seek clarification on the same.
    • Seeking clarification is far better than giving an irrelevant answer.
    • It is very annoying when an interviewee misinterprets the questions, and answers by saying something which is irrelevant.
  1. Be natural:
    • Many interviewees adopt a stance which is not their natural self.
    • Interviewers appreciate a natural person rather than an actor.
    • It is best for you to talk in the natural manner because then you appear genuine.


    1. Tell me about yourself.
    • This is a very general question in which you can say almost anything about yourself.
    • Prepare yourself for such a question so that you can tell about those things which are important such as basic details, your personality traits, achievements, aspirations, motivations and ambitions.
    • Remember that a two sentence answer will only convey how little there is to know about your

Q What are your strengths and weakness?

  • This is a question that has stumped many an interviewee.
  • It is asked to ascertain how much you know about yourself, since a person who knows oneself well is likely to be more effective in life.
  • Go to the interview having thought out well in advance what your strengths and weakness are and how you intend to improve on your weaknesses.

Q Tell us about your family background.

  • This question is asked by interviewers in order to determine the social, cultural, religious and economic milieu you have come from.
  • It gives the interviewer a clue about your attitudes and values
  • The best approach for such a question is to bring out not only the facts of parentage and background but also some of the good principals they have taught you. Mention family values.
    Managing yourself effectively under all circumstances is critical to your success. Tell yourself that you are as much an architect of a good interview as the panel. You will enjoy the experience with this perspective.
    And lastly,

Book Reference:

  1. How to prepare for group discussion and interview (with Audio Cassette)
    By: Prasad H.M.

Published By: Tata Mcgraw-Hill

  1. How to prepare for GD and Interview, 2/E
    By: Prasad, Hari Mohan, Rajnish

Published By: Prentice hall of India