Clearing a management entrance examination is a great feat and millions of students all over the world hope to achieve this. The competition is very tough and it really takes a lot of effort and preparation to make the cut for the leading business schools in India. A lot of students unfortunately believe that the entrance examination is the only crucial step in the selection process and just because they have secured a good rank, they will get admitted in the B school of their choice. This is not true at all and the students who slack off after their entrance exam results may jeopardize their good rank during the entrance examination. After clearing off the entrance examination, the next step in the selection process is usually the Personal Interview. With the Personal Interview, the students can congratulate themselves and be assured that they are moving forward their candidature towards admission in the business school of their choice.
The Personal Interview at a business school entrance is a very common practice by the business schools to gather more insights about their prospective students. With the Personal Interview the business schools measure the student’s fitment in the business school and determine if the student can proceed in the admission process. The interview is a terrific opportunity for the students to make a good impression and convince the B school of their ambition, determination, drive and confidence. There are many reasons for the business school to conduct an interview, such as:
- A useful screening process to determine the strengths of the candidates
- Gathering more information about the candidate
- Take a decision on borderline cases
- Set mutual expectations about the process forward
There are some specific steps that you can take to perform better in this crucial stage of the admission process. Read the below points to get a few ideas that can turn your interview into a success.
- Do the research: Look out to gather more information about the business school selection criteria. This will come in handy since every business school has a different identity and selection process. You would like to know if there are any other rounds that are likely to be conducted at the B-school. For example, it is often a widespread practice for the business schools to club exercises such as group discussion to the personal interview process as a method of evaluation and elimination. Some other methods of evaluating a candidate may include simulations, role plays, case studies and extempore. These methods get the B school additional information about the candidates so that they can make their decision.
- Prepare for the likely questions: The next thing to work upon in the interview preparation would be an extensive list of likely questions that are likely to spring out. Preparing for these questions help you gain the much-required confidence as well as give you clarity of thought during the interview. Frequent questions for the personal interview include:
- Tell me/us something about yourself?
- Why do you want to do an MBA?
- What are you expecting to gain in your tenure at this business school?
- What made you choose this business school instead of another one?
- What makes you a suitable candidate to be accepted in this management education?
- Tell me/us about your weaknesses/development areas?
- Dress and act professionally: Do take care in dressing up in a suit or a formal shirt and a trouser. This helps you in nailing your first impression and helping you put your best foot forward. You would like to portray yourself as confident, smart and in-control. Do not forget to polish your shoes and wear a mild perfume. Apart from dressing right, it is also imperative that you act in a professional way. Do try to reach the venue well in advance with at least 30 minutes at hand to give yourself time to settle down before you go in. Do maintain good eye contact and smile appropriately throughout the interview since it is a clear sign of confidence.
- Practice throughout: Once you have everything that you could think of written down on a piece of paper and the clothes ironed and ready, you need to bring yourself to be comfortable in your own skin. For this, the best technique is to practice and appear in mock interviews. The mock interviews can be conducted by your peers and family members but it does make a difference to have someone experienced interview you. This helps in getting the right kind of feedback which you can integrate to make your performance truly impressive. Go over the details mentioned in your CV minutely and try to anticipate the most relevant part that can give rise to challenges as well as winning points.
Keeping in mind these points, the students can prepare to get in the most prestigious and top business schools in India such as IIMs, XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT Ghaziabad, ICFAI Business School etc. Since this is something at which you only get one chance to succeed, prepare well and give it your best shot.