Showcasing the Right Skills in a Group Discussion 119
Underperforming or Ill-Performing:
What is at Stake?
Let us first understand the term ‘underperforming’. When a candidate
deliberately does not perform well with an objective to get rejected,
it is called underperforming. You must be wondering why anyone
would do that! It is observed that some students appear for GD only
because they have been asked by the placement committee but they
are not interested in the job profile or company, or they have some
other career goal in mind. In such cases, these students deliberately
underperform so that they don’t get selected without realizing that it
not only aects their performance but also mars the institute’s reputa-
tion. Let us understand this with the help of an example.
Real-life Case Situation
Himesh Verma, a promising entrepreneur, started his venture a
year ago and was looking for some interns for eective online
promotion and website development. Himesh mentioned his
requirement to one of his friends, Raj, who was a faculty at one
of the leading B-schools. Raj connected Himesh to the place-
ment committee of his institute. As a result, Himesh was invited
for the summer internship placements. As part of the placement
process, an initial round of GD followed by an interview was
scheduled. There were 20 students for the GD. Himesh decided
to conduct two rounds of GDs with ten students each. In the
first round of GD, Himesh was shocked to see that the students
were hardly speaking. He thought that the participants might be
nervous, so he encouraged and probed them to contribute and
speak. Despite continuous encouragement and giving enough
time and opportunity to express their views, Himesh was dis-
appointed to see students’ lack of interest and enthusiasm for
the activity. After the GD had got over, he did not shortlist any
candidate and canceled the other GD thinking that it would only
be a waste of time. He left the place with the impression that stu-
dents of the institute have extremely poor communication skill
M04_Campus Placements_C04.indd 119 8/29/2016 5:55:20 PM
120 CAMPUS PLACEMENTS: Ensure You Don’t Remain Unplaced
In the situation discussed in the case study, the impression car-
ried by the observer or evaluator was that all the students of Raj’s
institute have poor communication skills and have not been trained
on participating in a GD. Apart from rejecting all the members of
the group, the company canceled the GD scheduled for the remain-
ing groups and also blacklisted this institute for future campus
placements. Thus, it is important to understand that participat-
ing to underperform is a waste of time for all the people, directly
and indirectly, involved in the activity and may leave an extremely
poor impression of all the students, the concerned institute, and the
and should be trained well for handling the placement process.
He conveyed this feedback to the placement committee as well
as to his friend, Raj, and also mentioned that he would not like to
recruit from this institute in future.
Raj felt embarrassed with the feedback as he was involved in
training students for placements. After interacting with the stu-
dents, he got to know that the students were not interested in join-
ing the company because it was a start-up and was a very small
company. As per the placement rules, they had to sign up and, if
got selected, had to take up the internship. Therefore, they decided
to deliberately perform badly in the interview to get rejected.
Company ocials prefer to go back to the
same campus where candidates have per-
formed decently in the GD earlier. Chances
of selecting more candidates from such a
group increases vis-à-vis the group where a
lot of screaming and shouting takes place.
–Rajan Vij,
Senior Investment
Banking Professional
M04_Campus Placements_C04.indd 120 8/29/2016 5:55:20 PM

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