Personal Interview in IIMs– Tips and Guidelines

Personal Interview in IIMs– Tips and Guidelines

Personal Interview in IIMs– Tips and Guidelines

Do you know that approximately, 2.2 lakh aspirants appeared for CAT in 2016, for a meagre 2000-2200 seats available in all IIMs; simply put only 10% of the candidates could finally make it; further simply put, only ONE out of every 100 aspirant could actually ‘Bell the CAT.’ What qualities that one candidate has that 99 others don’t, become most apparent in the last and final leg of the selection process: Personal Interview.

A Personal Interview, as the name suggests, is a one-to-one interaction of the candidate with a highly qualified and discerning panel that includes College Faculty, admission personnel and alumni who are well established in the industry. After judging a candidate’s intellect and team-participation skills in previous rounds, a PI is intended to judge his overall persona- Knowledge, comfort with People and his ability to make an IMPACT.

Like in the previous article (on Preparation of GD), before we mull over the “Do’s” of a PI or its preparation, let us first look at what not to do in an Interview. So, friends, ‘Don’t’:

1) Appear nervous and or try to be what you are not.

2) Be over-confident/ arrogant/ show disrespect in any possible way toward any Panel member.

3) Treat any question as casual – because ‘you never know’; even a seemingly simple/casual question may be a stress/ error inducing tactic.

4) Don’t boast about your academic achievements especially MARKS; these can very well be seen in your Resume and/or Mark sheets.

5) Don’t go on dragging a particular point. Don’t think it is the Interviewer’s responsibility to ask another question and thereby stop you; try to achieve a logical pause; should the Interviewer want you to continue, he would ask so; or you may ask a question like - ”Is there something specific that you would like me to elaborate on”.

6) Don’t appear to be someone who is in lure of a highly paying job in an MNC, with great perks and foreign travels. Remember, this is an Interview for a higher education degree not a high profile job.

And now let us look at what it takes to be successful in an Interview. Here are a few ‘Do’s’:

1. Demeanour and Language: Please make sure your Dressing (which includes clothes, shoes, hair) should be neat and impressive (not over-the-top or distracting by any means). Remember to carry a handkerchief and a pen for sure. Your grooming, etiquette and courtesy would be under scrutiny right from your entry to your exit. As far as the Language skills go, managing one’s Accent, Phonetics and Vocabulary is also very important. Reading and watching news can be very helpful in this regard.

2. Body Language: Try to be witty and charming, though not overly so. Try to be (or at least appear) natural and confident, show that you are enjoying the conversation while still being in control. Making proper eye-contact, first with the person who asked you a particular question, and then with the rest of the members, is a good and important thing to do.

3. Portfolio: Make sure your Portfolio folder which will include your Certificates, Marksheets, Accolades, etc are laid out neatly and chronologically. Also, your credentials at work/college/ elsewhere should be given due place and be noticeable. This will not only give the impression of you being organized and serious about your candidature, it may also give leads to the Panel for a few questions (career and academic highs, dip in performance in a particular year or duration, an unusual/challenging Project that you would have executed, etc).

4. Know it All about:

a) Yourself: Please know yourself like you did never before. Everything from your strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, aspirations, to your values, habits (both good and bad), likes/ dislikes, etc.

b) Your Background: you should know in detail about your Parents, Siblings (their profession, education, etc), your residence and native place (like what all these places are famous for, the infrastructure, socio-political situation, some particular issue that is ongoing at that time and its potential solution in your opinion), your school & college, place of work, a particular high/low about these places, etc.

The idea behind questions based on Self and or your background, is to gauge how well you know yourself and how ‘awake’ you are with respect to your surroundings. Such questions if prepared well for, can give further leads to the Panel and direct the Interview in your comfort zone.

 

5. Preparation/ Doing your Homework:

a) READING: is a must-do, and as I’ve always said, should be done religiously even before you have planned to appear for CAT. Increase your knowledge about current affairs, business & markets, cross-countries’ relations, sports. You are expected to not only have knowledge but also an opinion regarding the various issues facing the world today and a potential solution as per your point-of-view. Reading newspapers, current-affairs and Finance magazines, watching news and discussion-based programs will help you do just that.

b) Knowing the Institute and Degree: It is extremely important to read enough about the Program you are applying for, and the particular Institute hosting the Interview for you. Be prepared for questions pertaining to them: “Why MBA”?, “Why IIMA”?, “What do you know about IIMA”?, etc. You should appear to be both serious and aware of the degree and the Institute you are applying for.

c) Attending Mock PIs: “Practice makes a man perfect”, shall always be true and applicable. So enrol in an MBA Preparatory Institute that have GD/PI sessions on a full-term/part-time basis. These institutes offer a number of practice sessions, and provide individual feedback, analysis, tips for handling FAQs, and ofcourse suggestions to candidates which helps them prepare for Personal Interviews.

6. Leading your own Interview: It is a fact that an Interviewee leads his/her Interview. While answering a question, attempt leaving an insinuation that may prompt the Interviewers to ask you the next question. This lead should be about some professional/educational achievement, an Initiative taken by you (at work or for a social cause) that demonstrates your leadership skills or about a subject of which you have an in depth knowledge. Talking about what you know in-and-out, will give you the confidence and conviction to speak and field questions. However, this should be done subtly, and avoid giving direct suggestions to the Panel, as it may earn you negative points.

 

7. Acknowledge your weakness: Despite of keeping in mind the Do’s and Dont’s, and having done all the required preparation, there will still be questions for which you may not have immediate and relevant answers. Apologize for your limited knowledge of the issue, say you would definitely like to know more about it and would make an effort for that. Remember, you need not be an omniscient robot for IIMs, but you should appear as a candidate who:

a) is ‘AWAKE’ and ‘INFORMED’ about himself(strengths & weaknesses), his surroundings and the world in general.

b) looks at MBA as a career choice that will add value to and is a logical extension of his current knowledge and skills.

c) is a “People’s” person and can take testing situations in his stride.

 

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Comments

0 # Nishith 2019-01-30
Hello sir, I am 3rd year B.com student, I want to pursue MBA from Kurukshetra,Please suggest top B-School over there.
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0 # Shruti 2019-01-31
Hello, after b.com, MBA will be the right career option, you can find here the list of good B-Schools in Kurukshetra- MBA in Kurukshetra
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0 # Rohan 2018-12-26
Hello Sir, May I know the specialisation in MBA and also suggest some good B-Schools in Ramanagara ?
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0 # Shruti 2018-12-27
There are various specialisation in MBA i.e. Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, etc, find some good MBA colleges Maharishi Institute Of Management, 29th K.m, Bangalore Mysore Road, Bheemanahalli, Bidadi-562109. Ramanagaram Dist.(08-09) ; Jnanavikasa Institute Of Technology
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0 # Lakshay 2018-11-14
Hii, I am from Nizamabad, please tell me the duration of B.Ed course
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0 # Jagan 2018-11-15
Hello, Good to see that you are from Nizamabad, the duration of B.Ed course is 2 years
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0 # Himmat Older than three months
Hii, plz suggest me What higher studies options are available after completion of MBBS in Balaghat?
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0 # Mukesh Older than three months
On completion of MBBS, for being specialised in a specific field, candidate will have to take up MD or MS course in Balaghat with appropriate specialization.
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0 # Rohan Older than three months
Hello, I have done my B.tech from Warangal with Electrical stream, now i want to do M.tech, Please suggest how I can get good college for M.tech
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0 # Shruti Older than three months
It's good that you are looking forward for M.tech from Warangal, for getting good college you should have to give GATE exam, which is entrance exam for M.Tech
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0 # Himmat Older than three months
Hii , I am from Namsai,Can anyone tell me about complete selection procedure about IITs and NITs and at which time exams for these are conducted?
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0 # Pallavi Older than three months
Hello, good to see that you are from Namsai, for IITs and NITs, you have to give entrance exam, For NITs JEE Main is the entrance exam and for IITs JEE Advanced is the entrance exam
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0 # Vivaan Older than three months
Hii, I am from Surat, plz tell me Is there any provision that one can pursue any other management degree or diploma in IIMs without appearing for any entrance test ?
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0 # Jagan Older than three months
No, for getting admission in IIMs for management course, you should have to clear entrance exam, but there are many other MBA colleges in Surat where without entrance you can take admission
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0 # Himmat Older than three months
Is there any age restriction applicable to apply to the B. Ed course, plz suggest good b.ed colleges in Ahmadnagar as well
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0 # Pallavi Older than three months
Most NCTE recognized institutions from across the country require that applicants must have completed at least 18 years of age in the year of admission, some b.ed colleges in Ahmadnagar are Gokhale Education Society s College of Education and Research ; Vidya Pratishthan's College of Education ; Rayat Shikshan Sanstha's Swami Sahajanand Bharati College of Education
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0 # Vivaan Older than three months
I have secured 55% marks in 12th ,I think its too low to get admission in any good engineering college in Madhubani,If you know about it please suggest me
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0 # Jagan Older than three months
yes, your percentage is very low, I will not suggest that you should choose engineering as a career, but still you want to do engineering you can try for private college in Madhubani, they will admit you.
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