CAT 2016: IIM Interview Preparation Tips

Dhanshri Sharma updated on : 31 Jan 2018

If your dream is to get a seat at one of the IIMs, then preparing for the CAT 2016 exam is just not enough. Read more to know what else you should do to ensure admission in the B-school of your choice.


You must have read a lot about how to prepare well for CAT 2016, or you must have been through plenty of articles on CAT 2016 exam pattern or tips for CAT 2016. But here’s a chance today for you to prepare for the next most important thing – CAT 2016 interview.

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a popular management admission test, which is conducted every year by one of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). This year, the exam is being conducted by IIM Bangalore.

The CAT 2016 entrance exam will be taken by a large number of management aspirants on December 4.

CAT 2017 to be held on November 26, 2017. Check Details on CAT 2017

Aspirants who aspire to get admission in one of the  top ranked management institutes of India need to appear for CAT.

Candidates who qualify in this national-level management admission test on the basis of scores will have to apply in their choice of CAT accepting colleges and appear for the institute’s separate admission procedure.

The CAT final selection procedure usually includes Personal Interview (PI) round, Group Discussion (GD) or a Written Ability Test (WAT) and a Personal Interview (PI) round.

The key to clear the CAT personal interview round is to be honest and to be prepared to handle a variety of questions from any sphere.

While the questions asked at CAT interviews are common, the ability to answer with spontaneity and confidence is what the candidates should look at when preparing themselves.

Remember the interview can go on from 5 minutes to 50 minutes. Therefore, a candidate should prepare himself/herself accordingly.

Personal interview round is the most crucial stage for IIM selection. While applicants may get nervous, all they need to remember is that it is no rocket science, and that  right planning and execution can help them land the coveted seat at the institute of their dreams.



Some tips on how to crack IIM interview rounds:

1. Updated with Current Affairs

CAT applicants should keep themselves updated with the latest news around the world. Reading newspapers on a regular basis and watching news channels 1-2 hours daily is what candidates should do. Students who keep a regular track of news will have an advantage when an interviewer will ask them about their opinion on a current news topic.

2. Stay Calm

Candidates must keep their mind calm, especially during a personal interview. Try and be more confident when you’re sitting in front of the interviewer. You will also be judged on how you react to the questions during the interview.

3. Try Giving Uncommon Answers to Common Questions

Keep in mind that every candidate who comes for IIM personal interviews is well  prepared to stand out among all aspirants. You can do the same by giving uncommon answers to some common questions like, "Why MBA ?" or "Tell me about yourself". Be prepared to give unique answers to such questions. This will increase your chances of selection.

4. Never Appear Rehearsed

Make sure that you never sound rehearsed or monotonous. Modulate your voice while answering, instead of appearing like a robot. There are many questions that are common and you can prepare for them in advance. However, you must ensure that you frame your answers in an interesting manner to break the monotony. Approach the interview as a conversation, and not as a question-and-answer ordeal.

5. Answer Precisely for ‘About Me’ Questions

One of the frequently asked questions in CAT interviews is “Tell us something about yourself”. You can use this opportunity to tell the interviewers the things that are interesting about you.   Aspirants  usually talk about their qualifications and skills, which are already mentioned in the application forms. However, it will be good idea if candidates drive the interview to the topics they are comfortable with
Make a map of your life and list out any life changing moments, any inspirations, any passions, hobbies, achievements, failures, etc.

6. Prepare Well for Your ‘Strengths/Weaknesses’

Another frequently asked question is “Tell about your positives/negatives” and students should cautiously answer these questions as these might attract the interviewer’s attention to your weak points.  Try to involve interviewer in your answer and avoid telling false strength.

7. Know Your Course

The most important answer that an interviewee should know is why he/she is interested in taking up a particular course, and this answer usually helps the interviewer in making the final decision. A candidate should not come across as a  complete misfit for the course. He/she should be prepared to give a logical answer to this crucial question.

8. Don't Waste Time

Applicants are recommended not to waste time thinking about answers, Bering spontaneous is the key here. Keep in mind that the interviewer is secretly noting the time being taken to answer a question. Once the question is out, try to answer it within 5 seconds. Clarification about a doubtful question is always suggested, but don’t overdo it.

9. Understand the Question Before Answering

Candidates usually make this mistake by directly jumping on answering the question without even understanding what the interviewer actually wants to know. Therefore, students are advised to understand the question first and then answer it to avoid giving a wrong answer.

10. Don’t Brag About Yourself

Many interviewees make this mistake of bragging about themselves that makes them sound self-obsessed. Sometimes interviewers don't interrupt in order to give the candidate the impression that he/she has not spoken enough. This is just a stress/error inducing tactic. Don't fall for it!

Important Tip: At the end of the interview, leave the room with a smile on your face with a goodbye and a thank you note.

HTCampus wishes all the best to CAT 2016 aspirants for this year’s IIM interviews!

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