Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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How to crack an MBA Admission Interview

MBA interviews can be daunting to say the least and requires a lot of preparation on the candidate’s part. If you want to be successful in a B School interview and want to secure the odds of you being selected in the MBA programme and finally get into a career of your choice, you need to prepare for the Personal Interview effectively. For nearly all B Schools, the PI is the last element of the admission process and holds significant weightage. It’s not only your knowledge that is evaluated but the kind of person you are and what abilities you possess as a future manager matter as well. Let’s take a look at some effective principles you can apply to your interview preparation to increase the odds of you being selected in the B School of your choice. 

Identify possible questions:
There are plenty of coaching institutes and other publishing houses that come up with books that detail interview experiences at top B Schools. Knowing what might be asked at a B School interview will allow you to be prepared for the interview better. Some B Schools are completely dynamic and it’s hard to identify a pattern but most institutes stick to a tried and tested format and you can safely trust your instincts and prepare for the commonly asked questions. 

Be prepared with your coursework:
MBA interviews are not your average job interviews and it’s very likely you will be asked questions on your last qualification. Ensure that you have the concepts of your subjects clear and you also need to be able to apply your knowledge in real life scenarios. Many interviewers tend to ask case-study type questions and you should be thorough with all the key concepts you picked up in your graduation or any other professional course you have pursued. 

Do not succumb to pressure:
Many students are put through a ‘pressure test’ at interviews. If you notice that your interviewers are constantly criticising every point you make and if you firmly believe that whatever you have stated is correct you should not change your viewpoint just to please the interviewer. Interviewers often try to identify candidates who do not succumb to pressure and can keep calm even when they are thrown repeated questions. You might be grilled for no reason and you need to be calm no matter what. If you are able to pull through a grilling phase effectively and can prove to your interviewers that you can take managerial decision under pressure and do not change your beliefs even if the tides turn against you. 

Breed positivity: Being positive always and the ability to learn from mistakes are two qualities that make a great leader. You need to be able to show your confidence and positivity. Every time mistakes are pointed out or you are offered suggestion in the interview you should accept them with a smile and consider them to be constructive feedback. In no case should you be arguing with your interviewer. It’s not the answers that show you are positive or not but the approach you take. You should keep your body language in check and avoid any kind of aggressive reactions to anything.

Think about what you add to your CV: You should always carry a CV with you to the interview so the interviewers can have an overview of your skills and capabilities. If you mention that you are good at something, you might be asked to prove it. You should be able to answer anything that’s asked to you based on your CV. You might be asked for justifications based on what you put down on the strengths and weaknesses sections or questions related to your hobbies. 

Know your weaknesses: One of the most daunting questions that are asked in MBA interviews is ‘Tell me about your weaknesses’. It is often a deciding factor in interviews and you should be able to put an honest representation of your weaknesses to the interviewers. You should know what your weaknesses are and show the interviewers you know how you cope up with them and have been able to overcome them. We all have weaknesses, but being able to put them aside and using them as our strengths is a quality of great managers and that is something that B School panellists look for. 

Pull the interviewer towards your comfort zone: If you want to crack a B School interview you should know how to make the panellists play into your strengths. If you are able to have full control of the interview and make the interviewers ask the question that you can answer comfortably, then you will be able to sail through the interview with ease. All interviews have a logical flow that is followed and you need to be able to make the right moves so the interview plays out just the way you want it to.