April 23, 2010

Preparing for MBA Interviews: Tips

Dear friends,
Till now we have talked about the ways and tips to get prepared for Group Discussion which are conducted at various B-Schools. But only GD is not the barrier which an MBA-Aspirant needs to cross. There is one more hurdle to face, the last step to cover, the final challenge for each and every MBA-aspirant; its Personal Interview. Almost all the B-Schools conduct personal interviews to select the candidate. The purpose of Conducting Personal Interview (PI) is to meet each applicant and acquire additional information beyond the academic related data derived from transcripts and personal references.
As Personal Interview is very important for getting selected in the college, so the aspirant need to be very careful and well-prepared for it.
Here we have discussed about personal interviews, how to start, how to face it, what to speak, and other related things.

The Personal Interview includes questions related to yourself i.e. your introduction, academics, work experience, general awareness, hobbies, career goals, and your strengths and weaknesses. These are the expected fields; still experts say that the flow of PI depends on the candidate too. It’s the answers of the candidate which make the interviewer to decide the next question.
Not going so far, lets start about how to face PI, its questions and how to answer.

Introduction
It has been observed that almost in all the cases of PI, an interview commences with the question; “Please introduce yourself.”
It seems to be an easy question but please don’t take this lightly.
The manner in which you answer this question is very important. It is the first window that the panel has into you and serves to set the first impressions. Always remember, it’s your first impression, and you know the value of first impression. We don’t feel that we need to explain.

Keep in mind the following points about your introduction:-
  • Try and do more than just repeating the details that you have filled in the form that most institutes give to candidates before. The interview-the panel already has this with them.
  • They want to know something extra and unique that has not been mentioned. But please don’t try to show off by telling a lie. You will be caught.
  • Highlight your achievements and unique qualities.
  • Try and structure your introduction. For example, you can first talk about your family background, then academics, then hobbies and interests etc-don’t mix them all up.
  • A good idea may be to write down the major points that you wish to cover in your Introduction. This will make sure that you do not miss anything you wanted to cover.


Academics
Candidates, especially freshers, are strongly advised to revise their Academics. They could certainly be asked the fundamentals/ basics of the subjects that they have studied during their graduation and the applications of these concepts/ theories.
I have seen that often candidates are asked to specify their favorite subjects and are asked questions on these.
Think about all the practical applications that you have learnt. This is particularly important for students from an Economics/ Commerce background, who could be asked about latest developments from the world of business and how these relate to the subjects that they have studied. So, keep reading all the news and events related to business.

Work Experience
For candidates with work experience, besides asking about your role in the company where you work, the panel could ask questions on the following aspects:-
  • Major competitors of your firm.
  • Its strategy; and about the industry in which it operates.
  • You could be asked about how recent major developments in the sector where you work may impact your company
  • Be ready to be able to express your opinion about the future possibilities/ outlook for your industry.
  • In addition, I suggest that you remain aware of some basic facts and figures about your company and the industry in which it operates.

General Awareness/ Business Awareness Related Questions
You must try and read a newspaper every day. The word ‘every day’ here is important, for it may not be enough to pick up the newspaper only on weekends or only twice or thrice a week. Similarly, just glancing through the headlines may not be sufficient, for you will struggle to grasp the details of major events/ developments.
Besides a newspaper, a good ‘general news’ magazine with a sufficient level of detail (such as ‘Frontline’) may be useful.

Career Goals
Spend some time genuinely thinking about your career goals: do not just mug up something to repeat during your interview.
The frequently asked question is- “WHY MBA?”
Be prepared to answer this question. If you don’t have an answer, you can read about the detailed answer to get help at the following link:-

http://mbainformer.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-mba.html

I suggest you read a little about the MBA course. Why are you interested in studying the subjects that the MBA course offers? While you answer questions pertaining to your career goals, you could talk about the subjects that you are interested in or the methodology used in the MBA course-for example, the use of Case Studies, ‘live projects’ with companies, the summer placement experience, interactions with people working in the corporate sector through guest lecturers etc.

Hobbies/ Interests
  • Be genuine: do not invent hobbies! I also suggest that you read a little about your hobby or interest area.
  • Next, keep track of the latest important developments in your area of interest. It could be a change of rules in a sport, for example. Or some Indian doing well at the world stage etc.

Your Strengths and weaknesses
Once again, be genuine about these. Also, be ready to be asked to substantiate what you say with examples: the panel could ask you to describe situations when you demonstrated certain strengths. For weaknesses, you could also speak about how you are trying to address them.
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2 comments:

  1. Thank you MBA Informer for all this useful information.
    OM
    Ghazaibad

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanx mbainformer.tk for nice artycle.
    ravi
    Indore

    ReplyDelete

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