Many brilliant students with
excellent test scores find ‘Personal Interviews’ (PI) nerve wrecking. In fact PI
serves as a weak point for most students. What students must understand is that
a personal interview is aimed at assessing a candidate’s clarity of thought,
future goals & ‘fit’ with the B-school. PI should be used to highlight your
strengths and achievements. Below are the steps that will help you achieve just
Confident: Even if you are nervous, you must appear calm
and confident as you enter the room for the PI. Your confidence assures the
interviewer, that you are there with a purpose. Appearing confident gives a
message to the interviewer that you have well thought out goals. The initial 30
seconds hold the key. Enter the room with confidence, greet the interviewer
with a smile/handshake and confidently take your seat with a straight posture.
If this first step is done correctly, your confidence will only grow, as you
proceed to answer the questions. Make sure you maintain eye contact with the
interviewer and never lose your smile. Smile re-affirms your enthusiasm and
prepared for the questions: It is no
secret that you are there to
convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate on all counts, and
hence you will expect a question on why should they choose you. You must have
an honest and correct answer for this most anticipated question. Be prepared to
elaborate a little on your background, your extracurricular activities and what
differentiates you. You can also talk about your work experience, if any. Most
candidates anticipate the routine questions, but are not prepared with firm
answers, and hence they end up confused and miss the opportunity.
Also, talk about your goals. Be
clear why you think you are the best candidate. Read the newspapers and be
prepared to answer questions on general knowledge/current affairs.
honest: It’s of utmost importance that you remain honest not just to
the interviewer, but to yourself as well. Speaking in an untruthful manner may
land you in a precarious situation. The interviewer always knows from
experience when a candidate is lying. Besides, false claims cannot be easily
justified. Be prepared to explain your viewpoint with specific examples. This
shows that there is clear evidence, and backs up what you are saying about
yourself. Make sure all information on your resume is also correct.
Your honest admission that you
are not sure about an answer may not carry any negative weight on your PI
performance, but lying about it surely will.
Positive: Make sure when you talk or give answers you
portray things in a positive light, and not appear dejected or cynical. Being
positive in your outlook will help you divert your responses towards your
strengths. You will be able to talk positively about yourself, without sounding
biased towards others. This way you will get a chance to highlight your
strengths to the interviewer and keep your confidence up.