Soon after the announcement of CAT 2019 results, all MBA aspirants devote themselves to prepare for the second stage of the selection process. And why not? The rounds of WAT/GD and PI accounts for more than 50% of weightage for the final selection of candidates. The most important of all is the Personal Interview or PI, especially if you want to convert an IIM call. The PI comprises a weightage ranging from 30 to 50% for most of the top management institutions in India. Several of your skills, like communication, analytical, etc. are tested in the Personal Interview round.

Thus, performing well in this crucial stage requires preparation and practice. 

How important is the PI round for my selection?

The PI round is very decisive for your selection. It is the last stage of the selection process and thus accounts for more than 30% weightage in top MBA colleges. One should start preparing for the PI round well before the declaration of CAT Exam results. The Personal Interview rounds test various skills like reasoning, analytical, communication, and composure. Most importantly, it tests your attitude and how well are you able to perform under pressure. The PI round determines whether or not you are suitable for admission in a top business school. Sometimes, even 90+ CAT percentile scorers cannot convert an IIM interview call. Consequently, your final selection depends greatly on your interview performance. 

What is asked in PI?

The interview panel of an MBA college usually consists of three to four experts. In a period of 15 to 25 minutes, a candidate can be asked questions varying from National politics to your favourite hobby. Your first answer is very significant as it steers the direction of the interview for the next 15 to 20 minutes. The interview will progress depending upon your answers. For example, if the first question is something like ‘Tell us something about yourself’, you should be ready to answer any question that the panellist might ask you based on your reply.

What are the topics I can prepare for my PI?

The interviewer can ask you questions of all kinds. From listing out your strengths to questions related to your academics, you can be asked to answer on any topic. It is necessary to prepare a short answer for all the probable questions the interviewer can ask. Here is a list of top 32 topics that you should prepare for your interview:

  1. Tell us something about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to study in this college?
  3. Tell us about your biggest achievement so far. Why do you consider it to be so?
  4. Why do you want to pursue an MBA degree?
  5. What do you want to do after completing your MBA?
  6. List out your five strengths.
  7. Highlight your biggest weakness?
  8. What are your long-term goals?
  9. What other calls did you get?
  10. Why did you choose this institute over others?
  11. Why did you opt for Marketing/Finance specialization?
  12. What are the things that one should not do in the workplace?
  13. Why do you want to become an entrepreneur? (If relevant)
  14. Tell us about your work experience.
  15. How do you cope with your failures?
  16. What are the values you can add to your class?
  17. How will you define your personality?
  18. What are your hobbies?
  19. Have you ever handled a leadership position?
  20. What are the important things you learnt while pursuing your graduation?
  21. What made you choose an MBA after graduating in Science/Tech/Humanities background?
  22. What is your town/city famous for?
  23. What were your favourite subjects at graduation?

General Knowledge

  1. What is your take on social media?
  2. Are you aware of the current political scenario of India?
  3. What do you know about the USA-Iran crisis?
  4. Explain NRC/CAA.
  5. What do you know about the recent trend of Indian economy?
  6. Your views on Climate change?
  7. What is the prime cause of forest fires in Australia/ Amazon?
  8. What are the most pressing world issues at present?
  9. What do you know about the abolition of Article 370?

MBA Personal Interview Tips

  •  Greet the panellists with a smile.
  • Always answer, politely.
  • Keep your introduction formal and short.
  • Do not exaggerate. The panellists are experts, and they will know when you are cooking up a story.
  • You can say “I don’t know” if you are unaware of the answer.
  • Be confident with all your answers.
  • Do not defend your point of view aggressively. Always sport a smile. 

Always remember that the PI is to assess how well you can present yourself under pressure. All top MBA colleges have their techniques to select the right candidate. Hence, some interviewers tend to pin-point excessively to analyse your reaction. Maintain your composure even when the panellists are pushing you to answer the uncomfortable questions. If you want to convert a call, you have to show the panellists that you can remain positive even if your interview isn’t going the way you wished. If you believe in yourself, you can be victorious. 

Stay connected with fellow students on PaGaLGuY for CAT 2019 Discussion.

All the best for your PI!

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