Now with the CAT 2014 Exam over, it’s time to gear up with the preparations for the next level to get admission to a Top B-Schools accepting CAT Scores. While you have prepared to display your leadership skills in the GD, it is also important to focus on the Personal Interview(PI) where your communication skills along with intellectual qualities are tested.

You cannot just go and impress the interview panel of a top IIM or B-School, rather you must know how to tackle their witty and twisted questions to impress them. This article will help you gather information on the key factors to tackle the PI rounds of B-schools by experts and toppers of various IIM’s and b-school.

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How to get started with PI prep?

Personal Interview (PI) is a vital component of selection process at B-schools. Besides the other steps of the selection procedure like GD and WAT, PI or Personal Interview remains intact as the key component of the selection process during MBA admissions. Kudva mentions, “The selectors try to understand the kind of person the candidate is, what all are his/her interests, motivation, aspirations etc.”

There is no particular methodology to prepare for PI as the more spontaneous and clear you are, better would be your performance. Since PI rounds will also include questions on your graduation subjects, work experience, current affairs etc., an overall preparation would be necessary.


Approach for PI:

Get answers to the common questions - To start with, list down the most common questions which are asked in the PI rounds. Introspection is very important for the PI preparation. As Himaghna Banerjee from SP Jain says, “The important part of preparation for PI involves structuring the answers to the common personality related questions”.

Sandeep Manudhane, Chairman, PT Education suggests asking the following questions to yourself as part of the introspection exercise.

  • Who are you?

  • What do you want from life?

  • How far have you come so far?

  • What excites you really?

  • What depresses you to death?

  • What do you like about your country?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • What would you really like to become one day?

  • How much money do you want to make?

  • Did you really study? Prove it.

  • Which movies do you like? Why?

  • Can you sing / dance? Do it.


“The PI section of any IIM or B-school is structured in a way which can test the candidates on different parameters like, Current affairs, Educational background and Personal Interests, or maybe a general discussion on the GD experince and your goals ”, shares Jyotsna Chadha of IIM Rohtak.


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Have clarity on your MBA aspirations – The inevitable question in the PI round would be ‘Why MBA’. Prepare the answer carefully so that it does not sound like a mugged up answer. It must be an honest answer to be given with conviction. As Gautam Puri mentions, “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.” 

Apart from the ‘Why MBA’ question, also prepare for other pertinent aspects like ‘Where do you want to see yourself 5 or 10 years down the line?’, ‘Why do you want to take admission in this B-School?’ etc. “Also know a bit about what to expect in the B-school and the different specializations offered by the B-school. B-schools desire mature students who are able to think independently and are tolerant of differing views on an issue. You should be able to recognize the pros and cons of any issue,” says Kudva.


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What does the PI test?

In the PI rounds, the interviews get up close and personal with you. You can be asked anything under the sun, but to streamline, you can refer to your CV which includes your education, work experience (if any) followed by your hobbies, likes, dislikes, opinion on current affairs and last but not the least, your performance in the GD and WAT rounds. The interviewers can very well ask you to justify your views or actions displayed in those rounds.

Strategies to crack PI


Based on Experts analysis and toppers insights, below are a few strategies to crack the PI rounds of a B-schools management admissions.

A. 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. Amir Khan from IIM Rohtak shares a question being asked in the interview which was to check his positive approach and confidence. “There was a question on estimating the number of 100 rupee notes in all the ATMs of the country. I found this question a bit tough since I was not aware of the method of answering such guesstimate questions at that time but it was fun analysing the same. In the end I understood that it was not the answer that mattered but the approach I took to arrive to an answer”, he said.

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B. 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. Experts suggest that you should be fully prepared with arguments to justify whatever you think is right.Toppers also suggest 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. Jay Mehta of JBIMS says, “A candidates honest nature and confidence is the key. There were some ‘I don’t knows’ during the interview, which the panel appreciated as I was honest towards their questions”.


C.  Be Polite: Your politeness during the interview also brings positive impression on your interviewers.

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. Experts suggest 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.


D.   Drive the interview towards your strength: 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,” Soham Barman shares.

E.  Be thorough with what you write in 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.Prakriti says, “I think it is extremely important to be thorough with everything that is written on 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. 


“I believe the most important thing is to be confident when you answer questions during your PI. Prepare well for current affairs. Even if the first few PIs you appear for do not go as well as planned, do not get disheartened, and do not let that affect your performance anywhere else”, suggests Nitish Bagai of MDI Gurgaon about how to tackle and crack the PI rounds of B-school admissions. It is important to be thorough, confident and honest for a positive selection.

Also Read:

CAT 2014 Result

CAT 2014 Cutoff

CAT 2014 College Predictor

Other Feature Stories on B-School and MBA:

Life @ B-School Campus

Changes in CAT 2014

CAT Topper Interviews

MBA Internship Series

B-School Placements


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Questions related to CAT

Showing 8294 out of 8294 Questions

whats think different in a CMAT and a cat

Shiksha 28th Mar, 2020


Although both the exams are for getting into Bschools in India for post graduation but there is a huge difference between the two:

  • Cat is common admission test and cmat is common management admission test
  • Cat is one of the most popular exam in india for management given by around 2 lakhs of people and cmat is given by a lesser candidates around 50k-60k.
  • Most of the bschools & iim accept cat score and around only 400+ colleges in india iccepts cmat score.
  • Cat has a higher difficulty level and cmat is a bit on the easier side.
  • Both exams are online but the exam pattern is different. Apart from quantitative ability, verbal ability and logical reasoning that are there in both the exams, cmat also an additional section for gk & current affairs.
  • There are very few top colleges through cmat and many top colleges through cat that you can target.
  • I hope this helps.

what percentile in cat do I need if I have 84 percent in 10th and 92 percent in 12th to get into IIM Indore?

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 28th Mar, 2020

Hii Suraj,

IIM Indore is one such B-school which values your previous academic marks a lot. Your graduation marks matter too. And the stream from which you graduated. You have a good score in class 12th but an average one in class 10th. See it is just not your acads but your work-ex if any, your extracurriculars matter too.

You'll still need a percentile somewhat above 98+ if you are a student of Commerce background. Being from tech. background furthermore makes it difficult for one to get in.

You can visit the following link for more info-

You can reach out to us for more information regarding admissions entrance tests etc.

Hope it helps.



Is it possible to get elegible for mba course without work experience in s p jain and if eligible then at what cat score open category student gets admitted.

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 27th Mar, 2020


see it is not mandatory to have work experience to join 2 year mba program in sp jain, however if you opt for executive mba then work experience is necessary.

sp jain offers mba courses on Marketing, Operations, Information Management & Finance.

sp jain selection criteria is two types 1> profile based, 2> profile cum score based.

as per previous years cutoff cat overall percentile was 85. with 75 percentile cutoff in sectional. sp jain observes candidates based on their academic score, extracurricular activities, achievements and relevant work experience.


how many % required in 12th for cat

Shaurya Kapoor 27th Mar, 2020

It basically depends upon from college to college and the criteria for short listing. But if you wish to make it to the top colleges of CAT it is advised to score very high percentage of marks in your class x and class xii.

Every year the percentage needed for shortlistment is changed by the college.

The overall shortlistment depends upon your performance in class x and xii , your grades in college , extra curricular activities and your work experience.

All the Best !!!?


will i get earth science in 515 score in iit gwahati in gen cat. Or water resources

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 27th Mar, 2020


I have mentioned the previous years cutoff of civil engineering for iit guwahati below in various stream for general category,

StructuralEngineering    CE    713

Geotechnical Engineering    CE    627

Transportation Systems Engineering    CE    639

Water Resources Engineering    CE    590

Infrastructure Engineering and Management    CE    627

so you have less chances for iit guwahati.

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