Personal Interview is an extremely crucial and in most cases the last step in the selection process for admission in MBA at management institutes, irrespective of the selection criteria – MAT, CAT, XAT and other management entrance exams. Candidates are assessed on their personality traits, verbal communication skills, ability to think on their feet, and overall presentation. Questions may be based on the candidate’s academics, professional experience, hobbies and interests, or even current affairs and social issues.
It is bit natural to feel nervous at such a decisive juncture of one’s management education dreams. However, experts and veterans advise candidates to exude confidence in front of the interview panel as the first step in cracking the round. In this article, we discuss a few tips that can help you sail through this key selection process for MBA admission.
- Be on time and dress formally. Being late for the interview is an offense you cannot commit after clearing all the hurdles to reach this round. Also, since you are aspiring to become a manager, you should dress accordingly. Your appearance and your sense of punctuality will add up to form an overall impression of you in front of the interviewers.
- As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression. The way you walk in for the interview, greet, take your seat, answer the questions or even maintain eye contact, say a lot about you as a person. A polite, yet cheerful countenance, speaking with clarity and to the point, maintaining good eye contact with the interviewer but not staring/glaring are some of the important pointers of presenting yourself at the interview.
- Your body language should pronounce positivity. Shifty eyes, slouchy posture, fidgety hands speak of your nervousness. While speaking, sit upright and lean slightly forward to portray your involvement in the conversation. Do not move your hands too much and do not rest your hands on the table. Your answers to the interviewer’s questions should be supported by a positive body language.
- Interview Questions may range from generic ‘tell us about yourself’ to penetrating posers related to work experience to career and life goals to your opinion about ‘freedom of expression’. Whatever the question is, you should answer in an unbiased manner, without getting dogmatic or critical. The most important part of your response is honesty. Please remain true to yourself, bluffing will definitely not take you anywhere in the interview round. If you are not sure about a particular question, say so, but do not answer out of context or drift away from the point of discussion. A witty and positive approach to your answers will set you apart from other candidates.
- Some management institutes require you to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP) during the Admission Process. There could also be a Written Aptitude Test (WAT) in the Selection Procedure. Interview questions could be based on the content that you have submitted in the SOP or the WAT. So make sure you are knowledgeable enough to be able to speak on both contexts if questioned by the interviewers. Questions might also arise from the responses that you give during the Group Discussion Round.
- Interviewers may also pose in-depth questions regarding your personal and professional achievements, and your academic specializations. Again, it is best to stick to the information provided in your resume and not bluff regarding your accomplishments. In case the interviewers call your bluff, all your hard work will be undone in minutes.
- In preparation for the Personal Interview round, you must keep yourself abreast about the latest news in the context of world politics, business, sports etc. more than being knowledgeable about current affairs, it is expected of the candidates to have a say about these news items. In case you have mentioned a particular sport as your interest in your resume, be sure to know the details about the same. Revise prominent topics related to your specialization field. If you have professional experience, then make sure to be able to explain your role and contribution lucidly.
- When talking about your strengths and weaknesses, do talk about your weaknesses with such positivity that shows your keenness to improve. Moreover, practice speaking in a confident and assertive manner in front of the mirror regularly to try and identify mistakes and rectify them.
Exams Similar to MAT 2018
All said and done, it is after all your self-belief and humility, clarity of goal and how you communicate all of these to the interview panel will actually help you sail through the interview round for MBA admission.