Answer These 3 Questions Well And Get Selected In Any B-School
A personal interview or the PI round of any b-school is the only stage of selection process where an applicant can drive process according to themselves. An interview is all about ‘You’ and this is where the trick lies; you can mould the interview in the way you want to, but this is easier said than done. While you would have hardly given 4-5 management interviews in your life, your interviewer might have taken more than 1000s of interviews of applicants like you. Therefore, it is very much necessary to be prepared for the interview. Every question in the interview is an opportunity for you to put your best side in front of the interviewer; to put the best side out; you should know the motive behind every question. Here’s a list of important interview questions and approach needed to answer them:
1. Tell me about yourself:
You would find this open-ended question in almost every interview. You can use this question to project yourself the way you want to. Everything you say in this answer should have a story linked to it. Don’t give mundane details like hometown etc unless it is interesting. For example: If you have lived in multiple cities, you can say I have lived in these 5-6 cities, I have learnt a lot from this experience and it has made me adaptable. Use this answer to show your achievements, show that you have a hunger to learn and perform. For example: If you have coordinated any of your college fest then use numbers to add credibility, just like – I headed fest of xyz college where we managed to get sponsorships worth ‘x’ lakhs, footfall of ‘y’ thousands and free PR worth ‘Z’ lacs in newspapers, this shows my people and organisation skills.
If you are someone with Work-ex then this is the answer where you can show your learning. For example: You are an IT engineer with 2 years of work-ex, you should tell about your ability to work in cross-functional teams, lean ideas suggested, handling of difficult client facing situations.
You should convert your achievements into baits, so that interviewer would ask you next question from the points mentioned by you only.
2. What are your strengths and weakness:
To me, this has been the most difficult question ever. Its answer lies in how thoroughly you know yourself.
Being honest, hardworker, smart worker etc is expected from every individual in any b-school and can’t be considered to be the strength. If you have conducted fests in your college well then you can say that you organisational skills as your strength as you kept many people on the same page while conducting the event successfully. If you are someone with work-ex in a client facing side then you can that being solution oriented is your strength as you have to deal with a client with tough deadlines and complex problems.
Same is the case with weaknesses: Be honest but not too much, as it can get you out of the process. Don’t say things like Workholic or you push yourself too much, the interviewer will catch you the moment you speak these words. Also, don’t use weaknesses like I can’t work in teams or I am short tempered, as these would be the last characteristics one would want in a b-school student.
3. Why MBA?
This question is your ticket to admission if you use it well. This is the question where interviewer wants to know your interest in the MBA program, is it a well-thought decision? Do you know your interests? Have you read about the institute very well or not?
Tie your story really well in this question. You can use phrases like career growth but not direct words like a hike in salary. MBA is a 2-year process which would transform you, you should very well know what all things are you expected to learn from the program.
In your answer, with subtlety, mix why ‘x’ institute in which you are interviewed would help you in achieving your long-term and short-term goal. You can also mention several USPs of the particular b-school in your answer, like: Design thinking and entrepreneurship course by the institute will give me an edge in corporate career ahead.
If you answer these 3 questions well, your selection is sure shot!
Best of luck.
Sachin Mandot is a student of PGDM (2016-18) at IMT Ghaziabad and member of Student Team of InsideIIM. He actively writes about b-school life, politics and anything that catches his attention. For feedback and queries, write back at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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