How to Preapare for PI - A Personal Interview round for B-schools is the most integral part of the selection process. In many of the top B-schools, the weightage of PI rounds for generating merit list is highest. Hence it is of utmost importance for MBA aspirants to know how to prepare for Personal Interview rounds. To assist them for preparation, Careers360 brings the top questions to prepare for Personal Interview or PI rounds. Previous years' CAT toppers, currently pursuing management studies from top B-schools in India share their PI experience and based on that we enlist top questions to prepare for PI rounds. Know preparation tips for Personal Interview round here in this article.

Latest: Know Your Chances, Eligibility & Required Cut-offs for getting Calls from IIMs & other Top MBA Colleges through CAT 2019 - CAT Pathfinder - IIM & Non-IIM MBA Call Predictor

Applications Open Now
Suryadatta Institute of Management, Pune
Apply
Lexicon M.I.L.E- PGDM Admissions 2020
Apply
Top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview rounds

As you begin your preparation for Personal Interview round, you must be well aware and acquainted with the question types which are most commonly asked by the panellists. Take a look at the top questions asked in PI rounds of B-schools and how to prepare for these PI questions.

How to Preapare for PI - Common Questions and Topics for PI

 

CAT Pathfinder - IIM & Non-IIM MBA Call Predictor

Know Your Calling Chances from IIMs & other Top MBA Colleges, Eligibility & Cut-offs

Start Now

Here we bring to you the top questions for Personal Interview rounds:

  • Tell us about yourself

  • What is the meaning of your name? (Typically used as an icebreaker and if you have an uncommon name)

  • Why do you wish to do an MBA?

  • What are your plans after an MBA?

  • How will your MBA support your goal?

  • How does your academic background relate to your goal?

  • What are your strengths, give examples?

  • What are your weaknesses, give examples?

  • What are your short-term long-term goals?

  • Elaborate on your work experience.

  • How relevant is your experience?

  • Why do you want to join a particular institute?

  • Which specialisation do you want to opt for?

  • What are your hobbies/interests? (Technical questions on the same)

The other topics to prepare for PI include the following:

Applications Open Now
ISME - International School of Management Excellence 2020
PGDM and PGDM RBA Admissions 2020 Open. Next GDPI/Admission Process for PGDM, RBA & PGDD Date : 1st Feb. 2020
Apply
ITM Business School - 31st Mar App Deadline
PGDM Appl. CLOSE on 31st Mar'20 | Highest CTC 22 LPA
Apply
  • Current affairs – Politics, Economics, Business, Social events, demographics, Sports, Literature, Entertainment, Awards and Recognition

  • Educational background

  • Social background

  • Work experience

  • Hobbies and interests

  • Your performance or points presented in Group Discussion/Written Ability Test

  • Your CV or SOP

Toppers’ Experience and Tips on how to crack Personal Interview rounds

 

While these are some of the common questions, the toppers share the questions which they were asked at premiere B-schools.

Ashu Airan, a student of IIM Lucknow shares his interview experience as "My best PI experience was at IIM Lucknow. The interviewers were interrupting in between and never allowed me to complete my sentences. So, I never ran out of words and that gave me an edge! Here are some questions I was asked, or rather bombarded with:

 

Q - Is this a company name (Applied Materials)?

Me - Yes and explained what my company does and my job role there.

 

Q- Why MBA?

Me – I started with a job and felt the need to acquire some managerial skills...

Even before I could complete my answer, from here onwards the interruption by the panellists had already started.

 

Q - What will you gain from here?

Me - Knowledge, faculty and alumni interaction

A sort of rapid fire on all three points.

 

Q - What you will add to the batch?

Me – I talked about my industry experience which is different and a club I had started in college. They kept cross-questioning me about the club for a while. Further, they questioned me about QFD or Quality Function Deployment, regarding my work experience, my rank in my graduation, class strength and even attendance.

 

However, they asked me a question regarding BOM which I didn’t know. I clearly mentioned it to them. But not knowing the answer didn’t make me feel unconfident about myself. Clearly, we had to move on."

 

Tackling Tricky Questions

 

Sharing a tricky situation in the PI round, Shailav Goel, an MDI Gurgaon student says, “One of the most difficult questions according to me was to tell something different about my life that was not reflected in my CV. I was not prepared for such a question hence the answer I provided was also vague.”

In case of questions which leave of tongue-tied, it is best to either confess about your ignorance on the topic/question or give a witty reply. Anusha Ramachandran, an IIM Shillong student, while sharing her PI experience at IIM Indore says, “I was grilled on automobile engineering, and I did not know the answers. I politely told them that I did not have an answer. They were quite hard to me and kept asking me more questions from the same subject. Finally, they moved on to the next topic.”

 

There can be unexpected questions as well where you may not sure how to articulate the answer. The key is to frame your answer based on related themes and direct the conversation accordingly. Meghna Duvvuri, an IIM Calcutta student used to work with Samsung, in the camera team. While she had expected questions about cameras and technology related to that and her work experience, one of the panellists asked her “Why millennials are in love with taking photos?”

 

Sharing her answer, Meghna says, “This wasn’t a question that I had expected, but since I had recently read an article about millennials I could successfully navigate the discussion in the way I wanted to. It’s impossible to prepare for every question that can be asked in the interview, but making sure the basics are covered and keeping calm is of utmost importance. This way, the interview can be turned into a discussion and a level of comfort is established between the interviewers and interviewee.”

 

Candidates' geographical background can lead to a plethora of questions. Hence, acquire some basic information on your state such as historical relevance, political or social scenario, about famous personality belonging to the centre etc. You might also be questioned regarding the development of your state or city. Ashish Shrivastava, a student of IIM Lucknow, who belongs to Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh was asked ‘Why does encephalitis only spread in Gorakhpur?’ This was an unexpected question for him and needless to say, he faced trouble answering this question. He also shares,

In the IIM Indore Interview, I was asked to list 10 train stations between Bangalore and Gorakhpur. I could not answer that one as well, so the Interviewer asked me to draw the map of India and show the location of Bangalore and Gorakhpur on it and list the states in between. Thankfully, I was able to do that!”

 

Sharing her experience, Julie Bania, a student of IIFM Bhopal says, “While preparing for interviews we generally concentrate on preparing too many questions on technical aspects and course-related questions, but we forget to prepare some basic questions from school subjects or native place and general knowledge. Some questions thrown at me included ‘Name some common trees found in your state, some animals or names of national parks, sanctuaries and hills or rivers in your state etc.’ Although these questions were not difficult, my mind went blank and I answered few names I knew.”

Sampling the above instances, while preparing for a personal interview, candidates should be ready to face and tackle questions on any topic or subject and know about themselves, their background as thoroughly as possible. 

 

How to tackle interesting questions at Personal Interview rounds

 

Although interview rounds are meant to be serious affairs and we generally picture grumpy faced professors as interviewers, at times they also ask questions to break the ice and lighten the mood of the stressed candidates. For e.g. they ask you questions about your hobbies or other areas in which you are comfortable in. Some questions can be interesting as well which allow you to answer confidently. Hence along with the important and relevant questions, candidates should also prepare for PI questions related to hobbies and interests.

 

Tiyasha Ganguly, IMI Delhi student was asked about her favourite movie and an analysis on that. She shares, "I was asked about my favourite movie since I come from a Media and Communication background. I had answered that 'La La Land' was a movie that I had loved. I mentioned about how the storyline depicts the characters going through a lot of difficulties and insecurities after which they finally achieve their goals."

 

Talking about his Personal Interview at IMT Ghaziabad, Arko Biswas, a first-year student of IIM Raipur shares, “Among all the interviews, I had the best experience at the Interview in IMT which had two panellists. Upon entering, even before a handshake, I was fired a question.

 

P1- Do you know the name of the person whom we just interviewed?

ME: Yes sir,‘Arkojeet’.

P1- Why should we even interview you? He already has a Jeet after Arko.

ME: What’s in a name, sir? It is all about the person.

P2- You say name does not matter?

ME: Not exactly, it matters in some respects. Like for the celebrity star with huge stage names, it does matter to some extent. I then gave examples of stars and brands.

P1: Say, your name is changed to Dinanath Biswas, you become the CEO of a company.  How would you feel about it?

Me: After few days a child is born, his parents name him Dinanath. I will know his parents aspire him to be a successful business man like me, hence the name. I will give a new name to the market and hence a new brand will be created.

P1: Very Well!”

 

Another IIM Lucknow student Jayesh Patil shares that the most difficult question to answer was 'Why MBA'. He mentions, "The most difficult questions I faced were about why I choose to do MBA and how it fits in after having my own entrepreneurial venture. I answered that my experience at the start-up has made me realise that I don’t have a structured way to go about business. As a result, it becomes very difficult to manage things like pitching projects and converting clients. I’d like to get an academic foundation with MBA, apply those concepts and then get on with my venture again.

A lot of follow up questions were asked in multiple interviews about CEOs and start-up founders who do not have an MBA, yet they are doing well. My reply to that was that there is a considerable learning curve that goes into running a successful company and I’d like to reduce this time by getting an MBA."

 

As Shubhra Pratim Halder, an IIM Lucknow student observes, "Well, IIM interviews always have a surprise element in it. Believe it or not, the candidate gets a lot of chances to turn the board in his/her favour. It solely depends on your logical and sensible approach to answering the questions and most importantly, keeping the conversation going in his/her favour." Your approach is what matters during the PI rounds. While you may be overconfident and give an incorrect answer to an already known question, you can also tackle a difficult question with a smart answer or a direct ‘I don’t know’. While the ball is at your court, ensure that you give the best shot.

 

Also Read

GD PI WAT Tips

 

 

Applications Open Now

ITM Business School - 31st Mar App Deadline
ITM Business School - 31st Ma...
Apply
Jaipuria Institute of Management | Deadline: 31 Mar 2020
Jaipuria Institute of Managem...
Apply
Alliance School of Business
Alliance School of Business
Apply
REVA CET - Admissions 2020
REVA CET - Admissions 2020
Apply
SRM University- SRMHCAT 2020
SRM University- SRMHCAT 2020
Apply
Jagan Institute of Management Studies- Rohini  PGDM 2020
Jagan Institute of Management...
Apply
New Delhi Institute of Management - MBA Admissions
New Delhi Institute of Manage...
Apply
View All Application Forms

Popular Degrees

780 Colleges
310 Colleges
33 Colleges
29 Colleges
17 Colleges

CAT Updates and Articles

Questions related to CAT

Showing 8301 out of 8301 Questions
8 Views

Does anyone has enrolled to Takshzila online lectures for CAT 2020 please mention name.

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 31st Mar, 2020
Hello aspirant,
Takshzila online classes is one of the best options to prepare for CAT exams online. The faculties are really good at the subject knowledge and provides a clear concept clarity. There are various packages offered by the Institute which you can purchase from the following link:-

https://takshzila.learnyst.com/

The level of teaching provided by the faculty is good enough for a serious aspire to crack CAT. For demo lectures you can visit their youtube channel and free resources available on their website.

Good Luck
10 Views

I have 76% in 10th, 88% in 12th and 80% in graduation. Addition to that i have a 2 years work experience. How MUCH percentile do i need to score in cat to get a call from IIM ABC ?

Harshita Sharan Srivastava Student Expert 30th Mar, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

As per the details provided, you have decent academic record and its really good that you have 2 years of work experience. It'll give you an edge in selection process. Also, if you belong to general category, then to get a call from IIM A,B,C you should focus on getting a minimum of 98 percentile in cat.

All the best

5 Views

Hlo....mam or sir! Im Rajlaxmi frm Odisha.. How to preparation for CAT ... during bba 2nd yr... how to crack CATexam ..

Prateek Sinha 30th Mar, 2020

Prepare for the syllabus according to the weight age of each section.  Give mock tests and improve upon your timing skills. if you join a coaching class it would be good as you will get a clearer idea.

16 Views

why these exams are conducting

Aniket Sharma 29th Mar, 2020

hi lramprasad,

CAT is commencing on 25th November in 2020. So it does not need to get postponed/cancel due to corona virus. The situation should get better till November. So, we can't argue why CAT is conducting.

Please elaborate your query and provide more details so that we can help you better!!

Thanks!!!

2 Views

Can i apply for MBA at JK Lakhmipat University if i have not given CAT?

Megha 29th Mar, 2020

Hello Abhishek !

Yes ,you can apply at JK Lakhmipat University if you have not given CAT , because as per their eligibility criteria for getting admission their the candidates must have appeared in CAT/MAT/ATMA/XAT/CMAT or any other national level entrance test.

In case the candidate has not appeared for any of the mentioned tests, they will have to appear in the JKLU Management Entrance Test (MET) to qualify for the programme.

So, you can apply there by appearing in their Entrance test.

Hope it helps !

Top
The question have been saved in answer later, you can access it from your profile anytime. Access now

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books