Interview Mistakes To Avoid And Questions That You Can Expect

Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit themBruce Lee.

While the well known Martial-Arts legend enlightened us with this impactful thought, he was obviously excluding MBA interviews when he said this.

Here, a simple mistake could cost you an admission into your dream b-school while you watch your efforts and time spent towards cracking CAT become meaningless.

So how does one prevent their MBA dreams from being one-inch-punched into oblivion?

While myriad explanations exist on What-To-Do-In-An-MBA-Interview, InsideIIM brings to you a list of things you absolutely must not do if you wish to get into the college of your dreams, along with popular questions that may help you anticipate what may be asked.

What You Must NOT Do:

  1.  Overthink:
    While it is recommended that you approach your preparation from every angle, it is impossible to know everything under the sun. Understand that the interviewer will try to take you out of your comfort-zone, so keep your answers simple and let the confidence emanate from your words. If you don’ t know something, say so. Don’t try to be a know-it-all.
  2.   Talk too much:
    We all love to talk and hear our own voice, but an MBA interviewer wants you to be precise and to the point.  E.g., You are asked “tell me about yourself”. While a short description of your educational background and hobbies is acceptable, refrain from venturing into “….and my mom makes really good mutter paneer and that’s when I realised why I like it more than Rajma…”
  3.   Lie:
    Avoid concocting stories to impress the interviewer. Understand that the panel has interacted with thousands of students before you and can immediately sniff out a lie. Besides, lies diminish confidence while speaking. So, give relevant and true examples to make a case.
  4.  Get into an argument:
    This is a guarantee of not getting selected since it reflects on your temperament and soft skills. Remember, there is a difference between proving a point and convincing. The former tends to get aggressive, which is a strict no-no in such crucial interviews.
  5. Talk about your negatives:
    Unless asked to, avoid talking about your failures or narrating negative incidents from your life. If a thought is negative, construct it positively before speaking. E.g., “I didn’t consider anything apart from engineering because I am not good at anything else” can be structured as “With my skill-set, I found engineering to be more suitable as a career option”.
  6.    Slouch:
    Body posture speaks volumes about your personality and state of mind. A slouched, lethargic posture indicates lack of interest and nervousness. Sit up straight and avoid fidgeting with your hands.

Now that we are familiar with what not to do, let us have a look at what to expect in an interview.

Questions Commonly Asked In MBA Interviews Are:

  • Tell me something about yourself

     As aforementioned, stick to a brief description involving your educational background,  hobbies, and interests.

  • Why MBA?

     This is one of the most commonly asked questions in interviews. You must have a significant and relevant answer.

  • Why this college?

     Thorough research must be done about the college and faculty.   

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

     Prepare for an answer that showcases your ability to think forward and visualise the future.

  • How did you choose your undergrad stream?

    For this, one must be thorough with their graduation subjects and must present a relevant reason for choosing their stream.
  • GK, Current Affairs:

     These are very commonly asked in most interviews. Prepare by reading the newspaper every day and acquaint yourself with GK such as country capitals, currencies, geography etc.

  • Questions on work-experience and internships.

     If you have worked/interned somewhere, have extensive knowledge about your company, the industry, tasks performed, and skills learnt.

  • Talk me through your hobbies:

     This question is as dreaded as it is common. Prior to an interview, do extensive research on every aspect of what interests you. Explore any other topics related to your hobbies, as the interviewer may digress and talk about them.

     So, now that you know commonly asked questions, is that it?

    Well, not quite.

    Consider this:
Nikhil’s interview was going fine. He had answered all technical questions correctly and was positive that he would be selected. Then suddenly, one of the panellists asks him “What is your gotra?”. Nikhil is taken-aback. His mind goes blank and he fumbles while speaking.
Nikhil is facing a situation where an interviewer is trying to bring him out of his comfort zone and assess his out-of-the-box thinking ability.

Therefore, we have also compiled some uncommon and offbeat questions that have been asked in top colleges to give you an idea of what you can expect.
For instance:

  •         “What is the probability of the fan falling on your head right now?”
  •         “Since you are so interested in customer service, why did you not consider prostitution as a profession?”
  •         “Whom would you pick between your mother and father?”
  •         “What will you do if we don’t select you?”
  •         “What would you do if Google came up with the same idea as your company but published it before you did?”

While these questions do not have any correct answer, one must possess the presence of mind and an active thought process to analyse the question correctly and give a suitable and convincing answer. As intimidating as they may seem, such questions are rare and one must not get bogged-down with these.

We hope that this article helps you understand that while it is important to know what to do in an interview, it is equally important to know what mistakes to avoid in your journey towards your dream b-school.

Also, it is very important to not compromise on the quality of preparation at this stage. Let us help you. Try out our MBA Interview Prep Course With Deepali Naair Free Sample here. You can buy the course here.

In addition to the course, you get –

– 2 Video interactions with Deepali Naair and other course takers every month until March 31st (Hangout format)

– Review of your Career Goals Essay (Not individual b-school Forms)

It’s about your career after all. Once you are in a b-school and once you get placed, the amount that you spend on quality preparation would seem quite nominal. Your dreams on one side and a course that will help you get into your dream b-school. You decide if it is worth it!


Team InsideIIM

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I will settle with any 1 of them. They are incomplete without each other and i am incomplete without them. I have both of them, why to settle with less..?