Personal Interview is generally the last hurdle that lies in the way of achieving what you have worked so hard for months. Preparation for Personal Interviews is one of the least bothered aspect by aspirants of any entrance examination. The reason I hear people give is “I’ve had enough already. Let it be. I will see. There is so much on my plate already…” That is not a valid reason if you ask me. Isn’t that’s what the institutes are looking for. How much can you slog? Sad, but True. So keep yourself motivated. YOU ARE ALMOST THERE!!!
In this article I am not going to give you what questions you might be asked this year. There will be other posts for that. My intention in writing this article is to make sure you understand the basics of the PI round, some things you should strictly adhere to. I call these “Basics of PI” and you should “Stick to Basics” at the least.
PERSONAL INTERVIEW: WHY?
The answer is simple. The panel wants to know you better as well as validate what they already know about you. The later part mostly includes asking you questions around what is written in your application form.
But in the process of knowing you better, you will be basically evaluated in the following areas, amongst other things:
Clarity of future: When you are being asked questions like Why MBA?, Why our institute?,What after MBA?,What specialization and Why?, the panel wants to know how far sighted are you and how you choose your career goals. Answers may vary. To each one his one. Be honest over here as the panel must already know all the standard textbook answers that they hear all the time.
Background check: There will be questions on current affairs. Read the months news headlines in details, especially the business and economics section. There will be questions on your academic subjects so be careful in answering what your favourite subject was in college. There will be questions on the specialization you are interested in. There will be questions about the company you work for and there will also be questions about your hobby. Again don’t make up anything. They already know and they want to know how much you know.
Communication Skills: Here you are judged on your body posture, confidence, English, how good is your listening ability, straight talk etc. This is something that comes over time with practise. But confidence is the key.
BASIC PI TIPS
Confidence: This is the key to cracking Personal Interviews. Answer with confidence. But where does confidence that everyone is talking about come from? It comes from practice, it comes from dressing and grooming appropriately for the interview, it comes from having an inside-out knowledge about every single detail on your application form. And it also comes from reading newspapers and watching news and improving your spoken English (Have you tried mirror talking?).
Know the Institute: Make sure you do your home work on the Institute,as that will help you answer a lot of questions. Also that will help you to be prepared with a set a questions to ask the interviewer as well, which is always very healthy and portrays curiosity and preparedness.
Know your resume: Like I said before, have an inside-out knowledge on every single detail on your application form like your company, your work profile, hobbies, academics, favourite subjects and even that certificate you got in school(What was it about?).
Know the world around you: What I mean is that go and find all the major headlines in the past 1-2 months and read them. Also focus more on the Business page and make sure you know about all the latest mergers. Current affairs is still the major area of interest of most of the Interviewers.
Communication & Behavior: In an Interview you are expected to behave in a certain way. Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by the interviewer. Address with Sir and Ma’am. A simple thing as not making eye-contact could give the interviewer an indication that you are extremely nervous , lack confidence , have a shy personality etc. So you cannot do that. Who wants that in a future manager!. A positive body language like not fidgeting too much and sitting relaxed (not too much) also can do wonders. Do not ever give excuses or show anger or say bad about your school, professors or your workplace. When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and again make eye contact.Say Thank you and Depart gracefully.
Be Honest: Do not lie. Either in the admission form or at any time during the interview. If you do not know the answer to a question, say you don’t know politely. but don’t just speak out the first thing that comes to your mind. Answer with honesty. Trust me, if you have reached this far, you have everything it takes to be manager. You don’t need to lie to get there.
Mock Personal Interviews: You already know the major questions that are asked in all the interviews world wide. Why not prepare a mock questionnaire (with answers of course). You will be in a better position to answer very difficult questions easily with confidence. This really works!!!
Best of Luck!!
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