The Power Of Storytelling | How To Crack MBA Interviews

Is a CAT score enough to get into a premier B-school? Is your curriculum vitae enough to land you at your dream job? If these are the questions that run through your mind, then the interview scenes are surely daunting you. So how can you make a mark in the interview arena?

Let’s start with the golden question: Tell me about yourself – Do you answer it in the most conventional way of going by the chronological order of events? Well, there is nothing wrong with the approach, but is it really making a mark? Imagine the recruiter who has scanned several CVs that more or less look alike, is now going through the trauma of lending his ears to the same repetitive answers, over and over again. After seeing 30 other candidates, what is there in your answer that will make him remember you?

Differentiation is the key

What if you were a dancer and instead of answering the golden question in words, you decide to pull off a performance right then & there. Seems weird? It may, but ask yourself – Will the interviewer remember you among the 30 others he interviewed – Certainly yes! I’m not suggesting you pull of this stunt to make your way through the interview. The idea is to figure out your own way of differentiating yourself from the 30 others.

Your story is your answer!

So what is so unique about you? It’s your experiences – your stories!

Think about the numerous stories you have lived, speak it out, and connect the dots. It could be a conversation with your dad or something that your sibling told you about. It could be your passion for playing chess or towards technology.

Stories add credibility

I was once asked to prove my hard-work and dedication. I didn’t turn to my grade-sheets to highlight my high CGPA as I knew the interviewer would have certainly noticed that. Instead, I treated it as an opportunity to unravel another story. This is what my answer looked like:

“Since my childhood, I have been a person who would always remain confined to his books. College life too headed in that direction but then came an opportunity to dance in an annual cultural event. I signed up for it. I performed, not just once but for four consecutive years. I went on to choreograph performances and motivate others to perform. And guess what sir, we won in the final year. The reason I was able to achieve it was because this was something I really wanted to do and I gave my heart out for it. Sir the job that you offer is what I want to do and I believe I can do it.”

Keep 5-10 stories in your armoury. The idea is to give away as much information as possible. Show that you are versatile and an all-rounder. The reference of my dedication towards dance worked well in showcasing different aspects of my personality – That is the key! Let your stories speak for you!


Mehul Kothari is an MBA student at IIM Lucknow. He is a public speaking enthusiast and a passionate storyteller. He has won several public speaking contests conducted by Toastmasters International and has the ‘Competent Communicator’ title to his name. He completed his graduation in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from NIT Surathkal and has an experience of working at Morgan Stanley as a Senior Technology Analyst for 3 years. At IIM Lucknow, he is a part of Team Disha, the placement mentorship committee responsible for mentoring over 900 students. An aspiring consultant, Mehul did his summer internship with the The Boston Consulting Group and bagged a pre-placement offer from the consulting firm.


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