Stress and interview go together like peanut butter and jelly when it comes to the Personal Interview Rounds of an MBA School’s selection process. This is because (1) MBA is not a joke. It gets very hectic and stressful. You will have multiple exams on the same day, midnight surprise quizzes, long lectures that you would have to prepare for beforehand etc. (2) MBA graduates when letting out in the wild encounter very stressful conditions under which they might have to take crucial decisions. Most of the panellists are professors of that college and they do not want to stress you out and enjoy that but rather test if you will be able to cope up with all that stress. So here is what you can do to prove to the panel that you will be able to squish stress as easily as a pulp!
- Smile: Stress interviews are to test how you react during stressful times and whether you can let stress not affect you when you are making decisions. What better way to prove the panellists that you are cool, steady and confident in that situation than smiling. The right amount of smile goes a long way to project you positively.
- Keep your eye contact fixed: Once you start rolling your eyes or look down/ up thinking, the panellists will know that stress has hit you. I know this is hard, but it comes with practice. No matter what happens, keep your eye contact fixed to them. This projects a good confidence level.
- Maintain good posture; DO NOT slouch: Most of us have a natural tendency of shivering hands, sweaty palms, tapping legs and what not. It is not wrong. Everyone faces this. All these are symptoms and indications of being nervous and sadly it is often perceived as you are scared and timid. A good upright posture with hands clutched on your thighs (like how newsreaders do) can make you look confident.
- Keep asking questions - Great way to buy time: In the case you do not know an answer, you can buy time from them. For instance, “Sir /Madam, I would like to take a moment for myself to think. This is common. Instead, probe them further by asking questions around their question. This could give you more clarity, tips and more time to think about the answer. Refrain from staring blank or giving an awkward pause and silence.
- Even “I don’t know” is a right answer: It is always better to be honest than to globe around an answer that you know that you're definitely wrong about. We are all human beings and all of us do not know everything. It is completely fine if you do not know something. Confidently own up to it that you don’t know as it takes a lot of courage to do so. At the same time seem eager to know what might be the right answer.
Remember guys, it is not always about being right, but how you approach or react to the situation that the panel is looking out for. Once you burst that bubble of wanting to be right, you will naturally become more confident. So be yourself and rock that stress interview of yours like a pro! Break a leg