MBA Personal Interview (PI) Preparation Tips by Expert
Personal Interview is known as one of the most important stages to get an admission in one of the top B-schools in the country and holds equal importance as one’s scores in CAT. an interview round provides you with the platform to express your thought process about a particular situation. Moreover, at the PI stage an interviewer also tries to see one’s response to how they react in different situations. As per the expert opinion of TIME, Amit Poddar- It is very much important for a candidate to excel in the PI round since it holds the weightage of 10-20% and can brighten or dim one’s chances of selection.
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Generally, the interview panel is composed of 2 interviewers however, there can be more than 2 interviewers too. The duration of the interview ranges from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the performance of the candidate. Read the complete article of Personal Interview (PI) to know all the preparation strategies for the same.
Know all about Personal Interview (PI) for MBA admissions
Interviews play a very important role in the MBA selection process of all management B- Schools. Most top institutes take into consideration your performance in the written test, GD, interview, academics, extra-curricular activities, and work experience (if any) before selecting you. In fact, given that the top B-Schools award a weightage of 10-20% to Interview, your performance could brighten or dim chances of selection. As the Interview is the last stage in the B-School selection process, you cannot afford to leave anything to chance.
What is an Interview
An Interview reveals among other things, how you “react” to various situations as it involves thinking on your feet. An Interview provides an opportunity to the interviewer to peep into your mind and understand your thought process. An Interview at a top B-School primarily tests the attitude of the student towards various situations, as it is ‘attitude’ that determines the level of success a person can achieve – be it in personal life or in professional life.
The persons who interview you, collectively, form the Interview panel. Normally, the Interview panel consists of two interviewers. However, there could be more than two interviewers.
The duration of a B-School Interview may vary between five and 45 minutes. The duration of an Interview has no bearing on the final outcome. Simply put, a five minute Interview does not mean that you have not done well. Similarly, a 40 minute Interview does not indicate that you have done well. What matters is the ‘quality of interaction’ that you have with the panel, irrespective of the duration of the Interview.
Most Interview panels comprise professors who work full time for that B-School. Sometimes, the panel could also include a psychologist. Of late, some top B-Schools are also including an alumnus / industry person in the panel.
While some management institutes have only one Interview, there are others which have two interviews. While the first Interview is with the panel, the second Interview would normally be with the Director / Dean of the institute.
Types of Interviews
At management institutes, you will face an Individual / Personal or a Group Interview.
In a Personal Interview, you will face a panel and answer the questions put to you, while in a Group Interview, a group of students are interviewed at the same time. In the case of the latter, questions may be addressed to an individual or to the group as a whole. One premier B-School which conducts Group Interviews is the Mumbai-based S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR).
Based on the style of interviewing, Interviews at B-Schools can be classified into two types. The first one can be referred to as ‘Non-Stress Interview’, and the second one, ‘Stress Interview’.
A Non-Stress Interview is a free-wheeling discussion with questions asked in a normal business-like manner and the interviewee is given enough time to answer the questions. In a Stress Interview, the candidate is deliberately put under a lot of stress by the panel in order to check the mental balance and presence of mind.
There are some aspects that you, as a B-School aspirant, need to keep in mind and prepare for, before taking the Interview.
(a) Dress code: As Interview is a formal occasion, you are expected to be dressed for the occasion. Men should wear a freshly-ironed formal full-sleeve shirt and trousers, polished formal shoes (black or brown), belt and a tie (knotted properly). Do not forget to sport a ‘clean look’ on the day of the Interview. Use a mild deodorant.
Women can wear salwar-kameez / saree / skirt & shirt. If you have long hair, neatly plait it or tend to it in a manner that it does not look unkempt. The bit about formal shoes applies to you too. Of course, sandals meant for formal occasions are fine.
(b) Entry into the Interview room: You may be asked by one of the panel members or one of their assistants to enter the room. At the door, ask for permission to enter, “May I come in, Sir / Madam?” Relax control. Don’t be in a hurry to rush to the table. Greet the panel (using the appropriate salutations) with a smile. On being asked to sit down, thank them
(c) Sitting posture: Sit comfortably in the chair. You may cross your legs if you wish to. Your arms may rest on the arm-rest of the chair or on your lap. The folder that contains your certificates and other documents should be kept on your lap, and not on the table. Remember, the table belongs to the panel. Avoid postures that reflect a casual attitude. For instance, avoid rocking the chair or placing one leg horizontally over the other leg.
(d) Body language: While a lot has been written and documented on body language, it will suffice and will actually help you if you can be your natural self. While you might feel that you need to ‘project’ yourself to the panel, the ‘real you’ will end up showing itself by way of your body language.
Members of Interview panels are experts who can easily spot the inconsistency between what you are saying and what your body language conveys. Use gesticulations. Lean a little forward to show the panel that you are interested in what they are saying / asking. In doing so, do not lean or rest your arms or elbows on the table.
(e) Language to be used: Use formal language and speak in English only. Some of us have the habit of mixing up English with the vernacular. Avoid doing this in the Interview. Do not use slang. Use short sentences that convey the meaning of what you wish to say. Avoid using complicated sentences and long drawn-out explanations.
(f) Conduct inside the Interview room: Listen carefully and attentively to the questions asked. If you are unable to comprehend the meaning / hear the question, request the panel member to clarify / repeat the question. Always speak in a slow, measured tone in a manner that everyone in the panel is clearly able to hear and understand what you are trying to say. There is no need to ‘spit out the answer’ for the question(s) asked. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts and then answer. Maintain eye contact with the panel at all times and convey a pleasant disposition to the interviewers, irrespective of the mental state you are in. Remember, there will be a certain amount of nervousness when you go for an Interview. But, you have to take care that such nervousness does not get the better of you.
Some of the key qualities that you, as a B-School aspirant, are expected to possess are:
Good level of knowledge
Clear understanding of core concepts of various issues
Clarity of thought
Personality, attitude, and the way you react to situations
Thought process in terms of career planning
Types of questions asked in an interview
Before getting into the types of questions that you could possibly be asked in an Interview, you need to understand that the job of an Interview panel is to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for that particular B-School. In this regard, they may put 'any question under the sun' to you and you are expected to answer such a question. On being asked personal questions, you are expected to answer in a mature manner, and not take the "this is a personal matter and since I do not know you personally, I cannot answer this question" – Neither are you expected to give flippant answers to seemingly innocuous questions. While you may not know it, every interviewer asks questions with a sense of purpose. Make sure that you answer every question with sincerity. Not doing so could jeopardise your selection prospects.
Tell us something about yourself.
Why do you want to do a course in management?
Questions related to personal background
Questions related to one's personality (strengths / weaknesses)
Questions on academics
Questions on career planning
Questions on GK & current affairs
Questions on hobbies and extracurricular activities
Questions on job profile and other organisation-related matters (for those with work experience)
Essay writing (WAT/AWT)
Over the past couple of years, various b-schools have included 'essay-writing' in their post-entrance exam selection process. Different IIMs have different names for the Essay (writing skills) task.
(IIM Ahmedabad calls it AWT; IIM Bangalore calls it 'Note'; IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow and IIM Kashipur call it 'Written Ability Test'; IIM Trichy calls it 'Written Analysis Test'; IIM Raipur, IIM Rohtak, IIM Udaipur and IIM Ranchi call it 'Written Analysis'; IIM Calcutta calls it 'Writing Ability Test'; and IIM Kozhikode calls it 'Writing Task').
You could be presented with essay tasks to be carried out in periods ranging from 10 to 30 minutes. As such, the number of words in a typical essay could be in the range of 250-350 words .
Paragraphing the essay becomes very crucial over here and you are expected to divide the essay in three parts: Introduction, Body and the conclusion.
Remember the basic elements of communication that have relevance here, namely, clarity of thought, empathy, and effective expression. Also keep in mind that a step-by-step method, with a checklist, would ensure efficient use of time spent on an essay.
The step by step process of writing an essay can be understood by the acronym CODER:
C- Collect ideas
O- Organise them
D- Develop them
E- Express them
Apart from all this, the GDPI -WAT process can throw surprises as well. So be cautious and prepare for the best and be ready for the worst. Take it as a challenge and try to put the best foot forward.
All the best!
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Questions related to CAT
I am student of Shivaji college,DU,pursuing BSc[Hon.] Mathematics, I have scored 95.2% in class 10th,92.6% in class 12,if I score 8.5+ cgpa in my graduation and maybe good percentile in CAT exams,what exactly is my chance of getting a call from iims?
see your overall academic record is really good. however apart from this you have to bring a high score around 99 percentile in cat exam to get calls form top iims. however cutoff score changes every year and it depends on certain factors like number of applicants, questions difficulty level, seat matrix, students category and so on. however keep doing the hard work and you would get success. however I would suggest to apply for others management exam like MAT, XAT cmat as well.
to know about management entrance test follow the below link:
10th - 63% 12th - 69% graduation - 95% cat - 98% which Colleges can I get ????
I hope you are doing good . With reference to your query , I would like to know you that at your percentile your chances are very high to get call from some top buisness schools . However you have below 75 in 10 thand 12th which can reduces your chances in some buisness schools ,but hope for the best . Some names of the business schools are:-
1 . IIM indore
2. IIM luckhnow
3 . IIM calcutta
4 .DMS, IIT Delhi
5. IIM kohzikode
Hope you found this answer helpful. Good luck for your future
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mu 10th and 12th percentage is 95% each and graduation may be 8.5 - 9 CGPA ,so wt should be my cat percentile to get in to a iim,,(am not a hard worker /bad in focusing and reading)
Assuming your are a General Category Aspirant, from Engineering Background, having a strong academic record, you should secure atleast anywhere around 99 Percentile, to secure a Call from one of the IIMs as well as between 98-99 for CAP. Incase you are Targetting IIM ABC, you need to raise your targets to anywhere above 99.5+ for better chances and prospects.
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For more information about IIM Percentile Cutoffs do follow the link below
hey there im a neet aspirant from kerala belonging to ews cat . how much mark will be required for me to get a govt seat for bds in kerala ?
As we go through previous year's cut-off then it shows that under state quota for EWS category for government BDS seat one needs to secure at least 520-30 or more marks in NEET out of 720 marks as we saw an increase of around 25-30 marks in institutional cut-offs in 2020. So if you are targeting for NEET 2021 then your aim should not be less than 520 out of 720 marks especially for Government BDS seats in Kerala.
Note that the above prediction is made on the basis of previous year's cut-off and the cut-offs are bound to change every year depending upon various factors such as the number of candidates appearing in an examination, the number of candidates qualifying an examination, difficulty level of the paper, and so on.
To have a list of all those colleges which you can get based upon your marks, category, and state you can use NEET College Predictor because it will make you comfortable while choice filling in counselling :-
If you are preparing for NEET 2021 then to help you in your preparation we have some resources which you can access from the link given below :-
I hope this information helps you.