A former BTech student from Bundelkhand Institute of Engineering and Technology (BIET) Jhansi, and a first year MBA student at IIM Shillong, Archit Garg is planning to specialise in finance in his second year. The 23-year-old’s future plans involve a stint in the corporate world, which he says, will enrich his experience and knowledge of business know-how before pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams. As the MBA community prepares for the Personal Interview sessions that are scheduled to take place in the coming days, Garg speaks to PaGaLGuY about his preparation strategy and experience giving Personal Interviews (PI) at various MBA institutes.
“I started my preparations for the much dreaded ‘Personal Interview’ rounds by brushing up my basics of finance, marketing, and economics. I also revised some of the subjects that I studied during engineering. Along with all the knowledge that I tried to acquire during my preparation, I paid special attention to craft answers that were attractive. It becomes essential to know oneself inside out in order to frame answers for questions that are specifically directed to knowing your personality.
During my interviews, I was not asked GK questions that required factual answers. The questions tested my awareness of the business world and world economy in general. The questions revolved around recent mergers and economic policies. Since I had work experience in IT, I was also quizzed on sector-based knowledge.
I appeared for around 8-9 interviews during my two-year stint with CAT. The interviews varied depending on the institute I was being interviewed for. The panel asked questions ranging from my academics, work experience, general awareness, and personality. There were a couple of interviews which focused more on academics.
It is always better to know the panelists before you enter the room as it will help you have an idea as to which topics will be focused on more. It will also give you an idea regarding which areas you should be careful.
My experience of personal interviews was overall quite satisfying. An interview lasted for about 15 minutes on an average. The panelists tried to grill me on my opinions on a few matters and even tested the depth of my knowledge. So it is highly advisable not to fake or lie before the panellists as that can backfire.
PI forms the most important part of the selection procedure with it being given the highest weightage among all the other components. This is the case in most B-schools, if not all. Even simple and routine answers like introduction, strengths and weaknesses, etc should be given in a manner to impress them.
During my interviews, I always avoided giving monotonous answers to the questions and tried making the interviews more interactive. To conclude, I would like to say that a bit of nervousness is fine, but one should remain calm and composed during the personal interviews in order to create an impression.”