Personal Interview round is conducted to check the interpersonal skills of aspirants, whether applied for B-school Admission for MBA or a Job Opening. A Personal interview is generally the last step to know well the candidate to select for B-school admission. Personality traits that cannot be uncovered through Entrance tests, GD or WAT are evaluated here.
While many B-schools have either replaced Group Discussion (GD) with Writing Ability Test (WAT) or added another component like Group Exercise or Case Discussion in the pre-final stages of their selection process, still Personal Interview has remained as the key and final component of the selection process during MBA admissions. The selectors try to understand the kind of person the candidate is, what are his/her interests, motivation, aspirations etc.
Hence, there are certain parameters on which the caliber of a candidate is judged such as communication skills, presentation of self and more. Besides normal etiquette like formal dressing, punctuality, your overall performance during the interview may make or break your chance into your dream B-school. In this article, AfterGraduation brings you seven key tips to crack Personal Interview at top B-schools.
1. Drive the Interview Yourself
While the questions asked in the interview may vary from candidate to candidate, it is important for you to gradually invite the questions from your areas of strength as the interview progress.
For PI it’s very important to try and guide the personal interview towards your strength. So it’s important to identify your strengths i.e. topics which you are comfortable with and try and guide the discussion towards those topics.
You also need to prepare answers to the basic questions in such a way that it again prompts questions on your strong areas as interviewers mostly pick questions from your answers to the previous questions.
2. Be Prepared with ‘Must Know Questions’
The interview began with the clichéd questions on Why MBA? Why MBA after Engineering? ‘How will it relate to your goal’, ‘how does your academic background relate to your goal’, ‘how relevant your experience’, ‘why do you want to join a particular institute ‘and how will the career path go. The interview mostly had questions related to interests and hobbies and what you expect to learn from MBA.
You should be well prepared with the basic questions revolving around your thought process about your career, life and ambitions. The interviewers may also grill you on core-academic knowledge and may go deep into questions related to your work experience. Besides this, few questions may also be asked on your general interest and hobbies.
3. Reflect Confidence
During Personal Interview, you should reflect confidence while answering to different questions. Interviewers often tend to cross-question you even on your right answers just to check your confidence on your own answers.
A good knowledge base including that of current affairs and economic scenario helps boost your confidence during the interview. The interviewers were particularly impressed by knowledge of Indian economy and economics and about the fact that you should read well and up to date about the current economic scenario of the nation. Also the confidence level while answering the questions is very important.
4. Positive Body Language and Approach
Your body language and approach during the interview should reflect positivity. Your smart response and right answers must be supported by your positive expressions, constructive approach and attentive nature during the interview. Your sitting posture should be formal throughout the interview.
Body language, communication skills, and good sense of humor can take you places in an interview. It is also important to have a positive attitude. The interviewer in most cases is looking for how you approach a question rather than whether you know the correct answer or not.
5. Update Yourself with Your CV
During the interview, interviewers also tend to pick questions based on the information that your CV carries. Interviewers expect you to be fully prepared with minute details on any information that you provide in your CV.
It is alright to not be able to answer some questions with regard to current affairs and academics but the inability to answer questions about oneself is unpardonable.
ALSO READ: 9 Things Never Say During A Job Interview
A candidate should remain confident about the facts mentioned in their CV. Generally, one should be prepared with current affairs and business topics thoroughly and able to explain and justify CV details. The mock PIs’ may help aspirants to find the probable question based on their CV.
6. Be Honest to Yourself and Interviewers
During PI, you are also tested for integrity of your basic characteristics like honesty. Your honest approach during your interview also makes your responses natural.
You should be fully prepared with arguments to justify whatever you think is right. One needs to be honest with oneself and one needs to think objectively to the basic questions. There is no right or wrong answer in an interview; it depends on how the candidate offers his responses. The interviewers expect honest answers without any bluffing.
AfterGraduation also suggests that it is better to skip the question which you are not sure about. An answer which you yourself are not convinced may invite unnecessary counter questions which may embarrass you further and hamper your chance in Personal Interview. Your honest admission that you are not sure about a question may not carry any negative weight on your PI performance.
7. Be Cool and Polite
Your coolness and politeness during the interview also brings positive impression on your interviewers. During the interview, you should stay cool and never look stressed. If you are not confident of an answer, try to skip it. In case, you are countered on a particular question repeatedly, politely stick to your answer if you are confident on the same.
In some cases, while you might be correct with your answers, you must not outrightly reject interviews’ views to your response. Instead, you should listen to them carefully and put forward your response with better argument. AfterGraduation suggests that sometimes, interviewers may also be wrong with some information, but you should not directly point it out. Instead, you should try to convince them politely about the correct information.
AfterGraduation advises MBA aspirants to “Stay confident and calm. Maintain proper body language and meet the eyes of all interviewers while talking. Do not let stress get to you and remain relaxed as much as possible. Be pleasant and happy”.
All the very Best to MBA Aspirants. Please post your Feedback or Comments regarding this article, on our Aftergraduation Forum.