MBA Home » CAT »Interview Tips
Amitabh Bachan could go from being a window washer to
the chairman of a boardroom without being introspective,
but MBA's have to be. Before we jump in with questions
and self-assessments, let's get one thing upfront and on
the table. Interviewers develop an impression of you in
the first few minutes of the meeting, and spend the rest
of the interview confirming their initial impression.
Therefore, practice, practice and practice some more...
This page has all the possible tips on attending
interviews for the purpose of joining an MBA program (in
top B schools).
What to Expect in an IIM Personal Interview?
The focus of a B-school interview can range from specific
questions about your job to broad discussions on life.
Approach the interview as a conversation to be enjoyed,
not as a question-and-answer ordeal. It may be about
your hobbies - your recent cross-country trip. This
doesn't mean that the interviewers are not serious. It
just means that you're being sized up as a person and a
future professional in all your dimensions.
Try to be your witty, charming, natural self. Donot try
to put on. The interviewers will be able to see your
masks through. Students, faculty, admissions personnel
and alumni conduct interviews. Don't dismiss students as
It is important to have a good idea of "What you
consider to be your greatest strength, why and what are
some examples that show this", before you go into an
interview. Although the interviewer will most likely ask
some pointed questions, you may also encounter something
as broad as "So, tell me about yourself." These open
ended questions are usually the ones that help you lead
Either way, you should have in mind what you want to
convey about who you are before you go into any
interview. Lack of preparation is a common complaint
among interviewers, and if you are prepared, you will
stand out among your competitors.
First steps on how to approach an interview?
Do your homework
Have well thought out answers for questions such as
"What are your strengths? Why are you right for that
particular business school? Why is that particular
program right for you?"
It shows organization and forethought if you know some
specifics about the program to which you are applying
and can explain why those features fit well with your
career goals. For example, if you are applying to the
Xavier Labour Relation Institute (XLRI), through some
simple research you will discover that they are strong
in Human Resource Development. Perhaps, you have worked
with a recruitment company or have been a trainer in an
institute. Relate these in the interview.
Don't Waste Time
Don't waste time discussing things that are already
indicated on your application. You can elaborate if the
topic illustrates something about your character and
preparedness for the b-school experience, but do not be
Remember that the first impression you create is very
important. When asked to say "something about
yourself", most candidates just blurt out their
schooling, college, marks and qualifications. All this
is already there in the application. Why tell the
interviewer something he/she already knows. Ideally, you
would want to use this opportunity to show how you are
different from the thousands of other applicants, not to
blend in to the crowd.
A final word on approaching this question. After you
have said what you have to say - don't venture any
further. Don't drone. You just might say something
foolish. Sometimes interviewers don't interrupt in order
to give the candidate the impression that he has not
spoken enough. This is just a stress/error inducing
tactic. Don't fall for it. If the pause gets too awkward
for your liking, just add something like, "Is there
something specific that you would like to know about me"