Stressed about B-schools Personal Interview preparation? Check these pointers to know how you can face Personal Interview and ace it at the same time.
The season of MBA entrance exams for 2018-20 admission is almost over now. All the major entrance exams have been successfully conducted, however the announcement of results for a few of them is still pending. Management aspirants who have qualified exams like CAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT by GMAC and MAT etc. are now gearing up for preparation of further admission rounds. The admission process varies for every B-school but the general selection process comprises of getting shortlisted or called for Group Discussion and Personal Interview.
Well, the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) have precluded Group Discussion (GD) from their selection process and instead have shifted their focus on Written Ability Test (WAT) along with Personal Interview. But, GD is still very much a part of selection process for a lot of other Management Institutes of the country.
Having a good score and a high percentile in entrance exam can surely be a plus point for seeking admission in one of the B-schools but it may not be enough. Additionally, the candidates have to perform exceptionally well at the other rounds of selection in order to get their names listed in the final list.
The students often find facing Personal Interview/Group Activity/WAT a little more difficult compared to attempting the entrance test. In these rounds, not only the intellect of the candidates is judged but their body language, approach, presence of mind, confidence all is under scrutiny. To excel at these admission rounds, candidates are often seen asking around for tips to excel B-school Personal Interview. To help all these candidates, who are preparing for IIMs Interviews and other B-schools selection rounds, we list below some very beneficial tips to face and perform well in these rounds.
How should one prepare for B-Schools Personal Interview?
The candidates must note that neither there is any secret to crack GD/PI at Business Schools nor any shortcut. With a bit of preparation and strategy, they can tame themselves to excel in these rounds. These days a lot of experts and coaching classes offer training packages to the students, where they teach them to face the interviewers and perform well at WATs. Enrolling for such programs is a personal choice at the end of the day, however we feel one can better train themselves on their own.
Even the smartest and the most intelligent candidate also need some prior preparation for the IIM Interview Process. To guide them better, some of the pointers to excel at B-schools personal interview have been mentioned below:
1. Prepare a list of questions for yourself
Place yourself in the place of an interviewer and think of the questions he/she may ask you. Jot all such questions on a piece of paper. Go through your profile, academic record, family background etc. and think of questions which can be asked from you, figure out such questions and prepare a list for yourself.
Then, try taking one question at a time and prepare a good answer for it. Stand in front of a mirror and repeatedly answer to these questions. In the mirror, note your body language, facial expressions and try to analyze your tone. Answer to the questions with a positive approach and with a happy smiling tone.
2. Strategically frame your answers
All your answers should be informative. One must avoid hiding the truth or manipulating the same. The panel is smart enough to detect lies and observe when you are speaking truth and when cooking stories. The answer to the questions should be simple and straight. One should see the personal interview as a market, where you have to sell yourself smartly. Consider yourself as a product and through your answers, project the best you have and you are capable of. Put your best skills and abilities on the table.
Also, preparing these answers in advance will leave no room for regretting later that you would have spoken this and that as an answer to some question. Prepare well to have clarity in your mind that what all is needed to be answered to some particular question and what all is needed to be hidden.
3. Strictly avoid hiding the true facts
As mentioned above, the people sitting on the interview panel can easily notice when you are lying and when not. Candidates must never hide the true facts or manipulate the same as they may help them in the short run but can harm them later on. The truth comes out anyways, sooner or later and a single lie can turn your career upside down. So, the candidates are advised to present the truth only.
4. Be sure of your career plan and goal
It is important to have clarity of thoughts and your aim. Have a set career goal for yourself and have the answers ready for some of those tougher more specific questions, about a career change you made, why do you want to pursue this field, where do you see yourself in 5 years, how can this degree help you achieve your career goal etc. Prepare all such questions.
5. Focus on having a lively conversation with the interviewer
Practice and practice some more to reach a stage where you are clear about the point you want to make and you’re no longer pre-occupied with finding your words. If your goals and motivations are clear, you can expect a lively conversation and lots of good questions by the interviewer. This will help you to interact more with the interviewer.
6. Be a good listener
Interrupting and making a point may not be a good idea always. This is one of the common mistakes that the candidates do during the interviews. They cut the interviewer in order to justify their point or explain their side of the story which results in creating a negative impact. The candidates must practice silence, they should develop the quality of being a good listener and should allow the other person to end what they are speaking and continue making your point thereafter.
However, in group discussion, this is not the ideal scenario. The participants have to cut others in order to make their point. Well, then also there are certain rules for the game. One must interrupt at the right point and with a valid point of argument. Silly and objectionable points must be avoided along with unnecessary interruption during the GD.
Other Tips to Face Personal Interview at IIMs and Other B-schools
The personal interview is organized to have face to face conversation with the shortlisted students and to judge their capability and also know them deeply. The prime objective of the personal interview process is to check whether the match of the institute and the candidate is effective or not.
How to tackle Business Schools Personal Interview?
Apart from the above-mentioned tips, follow these to ace the PI process -
- Dressing sense
The first impression comes from the candidate’s dressing sense. It is extremely important that the candidate must look professional and wear a formal outfit. A two-piece suit comprising of a formal blazer and trouser worn with a nicely ironed shirt is one of the best formal attire for boys. However, girls can either wear a sober color saree or a suit, which can be traditional Indian wear or a western wear again comprising of the same as mentioned for boys.
The clothes must be clean and well ironed. Also, the candidates must comb their hair well and present themselves smartly.
One of the vital ingredients is the confidence level of the candidate. It is imperative for the candidate to be confident. They must maintain eye contact with the interviewer. However, there is a thin line between being confident and over confident, candidates must maintain the line between the two.
Also, don’t ask what questions were asked to the previous candidates. Your questions will be different and your perspective is different. This will only reduce your confidence.
- Body Language
The candidate’s body language is quite important for their selection. The effective and the best body language encircle smiling face, eye contact, active listening etc.
Tips to crack B-Schools Personal Interview - Types of Questions Asked
Some of the most frequently asked questions have been illustrated here. The candidates are suggested to prepare such questions before attending the actual Interview Process.
- The first priority of the interviewer is to ask the questions related to academics. For instance, the most favorite and the least favorite subjects. The aspirants are required to prepare well for such questions and should be able to answer some general questions asked from them. Remember, that the persons you are sitting before, have IQ better than the 99 percent of their peers.
- Then the interviewer moves towards the internship and work experience section. The candidate must know all the details of the industry where he has worked.
- Sometimes the interviewer asks some weird questions like framing any situation and asking how much tax he should pay. But the candidates are advised to handle these questions with extreme care.
- Also, the interviewer can ask any questions from the current topic and may completely try to confuse the student. In such situations try to laugh the stress off or just say what you feel in a light manner.
We hope these tips will prove beneficial for your personal interview preparation. Candidates must give their best in these rounds and should stay motivated and positive. If you feel nervous, close your eyes and concentrate on yourself for a minute. Say it to yourself that you have been able to pass through all the hurdles till now. You passed the exam which is one of the toughest exams all around the globe. You can deal with anything, and you will definitely feel the surge of energy in yourself.
Give your best and leave the rest. If you won’t be able to make it to your dream B-school then say to yourself that something better is waiting and I shall get there soon.