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MBA Preparation: What are stress interviews and how to tackle them
Stress interviews are perhaps an MBA candidate's worst nightmare. It comes in myriad forms - ranging from moderately offensive to downright brutal. Ever since the GDPI rounds have started across all MBA colleges in the country, PaGaLGuY users and MBA candidates have been discussing their stress interview experiences. But what is exactly a stress interview?Stress interviews are described as a setting where the interviewee, in this case, the MBA candidate, is put through immense psychological pressure to assess how does he/she perform under stress.PaGaLGuY approached several MBA aspirants to find out if they were made to undergo stress interviews so far. Elaborating on his experience, 24-year-old student Ayush, said, "I faced stress interviews at both Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) and Symbiosis Center for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD). I was countered at every step. For instance, in the NMIMS interview, when I was in the midst of explaining why I wanted to join the institute, I was stopped midway and was told to join Chetana College of Management or Jamnalal Bajaj Institute Of Management Studies (JBIMS) instead.Rea D, who had her Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM-I) interview recently, is confused about the way her interview went. "I'm not sure if I should call it a stress interview. The panellists were hostile and aggressive throughout the interview, and it definitely did not seem pleasant," she said.
PaGaLGuY user, by the username @baddybatman was too extremely distressed with the manner in which his IIM Calcutta interview was conducted. "No questions on academics, work experience, or current affairs was asked. I was only asked why I wanted to do MBA, following which they continued to grill me for 25 minutes. They were clearly making a point that I wasn't sure why I wanted to do MBA and that I wouldn't be admitted in the college," he said.
Are all of the aforementioned experiences, instances of stress interviews?MBA expert and GDPI panellist in several MBA colleges, Prof Sidharth Balakrishna is of the opinion that students, more often than not, are unaware of what counts as a stress interview. "Very often, I ask my students if they've had a stress interview and after probing a little, I come to know that they were asked four or five questions to which they had no answers and therefore felt it was a stress interview. Let me tell you that doesn't account for one," he said. After speaking to a couple of students, he observed that they perceive it to be a stress interview when they are not allowed to complete an answer and are asked a question even before they finish. "I would like to tell students to not bother too much about it. It could be that the panel members are checking if you'll have prepared well. Perhaps they want you to answer a particular question and once you've done that in as many words as possible, they want to move on to the next question," he said.Additionally, he mentioned that candidates on some occasion, accuse panellists of being rude and aggressive in their approach with them. "In this case, my advice to students would be to not lose your patience and composure. The panel members want to judge if you are able to handle difficult situations in a calm and composed manner. Do not get stressed out. If anyone has spoken to you in a slightly aggressive manner that does not mean you get provoked. Be calm and answer the question," he said. He added that if a candidate is being asked two-three questions at the same time then he/she must state that he/she would like to answer the first question and then move on to the others. "Once again, the main point is to make sure that you don't lose your cool and do not feel that just because you have been cut short, the panellists are deliberately trying to give you a tough time," he concluded.
MBA GDPI Testimonial: How IIM-C student, Sumeet Kalaskar, cracked the PI round
In this interview, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) student, Sumeet A Kalaskar shares his experience on the most important stage of admission process, which is the Personal Interview (PI) round. An Indian Institute of Technology graduate in Machine Learning/Data Science, Sumeet shares his personal interview experience along with a few tips for MBA aspirants to benefit from.
Q. How long was your interview?
A. My interview lasted for almost 25-30 minutesQ. On the basis of what are the questions asked in the interview round?
A. We are all given a form to fill at the beginning of the entire process. The questions asked during the interview round are wholly dependent on the answers written in the form.
Q. What kind of questions were asked to you?
A. Plenty of questions were asked. Questions related to my background, short term and long term goals, kind of projects undertaken during graduation, reason for doing MBA( which is a very important question), hobbies,favourite subject, my choice of specialisation in MBA and why, future plans, were the questions asked.
Q. What's the most challenging aspect of an Interview? Could you give us an example with respect to the experience you had?
A. The most challenging aspect of an interview is when they cross question you about something you said while you are already answering a question. For instance, when they asked me what was my favourite subject, I replied Maths, and went onto say that I taught Maths and Quantitative Aptitude. Before I could complete my statement they asked me questions on algorithms and asked me to explain a few of them.
Q. What do you think contributed in your selection?
A. I presented my answers in detail, backed by numbers and statistics wherever needed. My responses weren't mere opinions. They were well corroborated answers supported with reason. By the end of it all, the panellists want to see if you have an entire plan chalked out---why you want to do MBA? How is your background going to help you in it?Whether or no, you have a well decided plan ahead of you? They like candidates who have a career plan in mind. Candidates who fail to justify their replies, find it difficult to crack the PI round. I was quite clear about the aforementioned questions as I had a well chalked out plan. Perhaps that's why I could justify my answers well and convince them with my replies.
Q. How important is GK in the PI level?
A.I was asked general awareness questions pertaining to the kind of answers I gave in the form. That is why one must be very sure about what he/she writes in the form.
Q Any tips you would like to share with candidates?
A. 1) Know exactly why you want to do MBA, and why you want to specialise in a given field. Have a well chalked out plan. Remember, institutes look for managers, not entrepreneurs.
2) Know yourself inside and out so that you can answer questions based on your personality well.
3) Justify your answers. Don't just share opinions. Give sensible and well thought out, honest responses.
4) Revise your basics, and by that I mean, all that you've studied till graduation and work experience as they can question you about it.
5) Don't stress as that will not help you give clear and precise answers.
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Here are some tips for WAT that Prof Balakrishna shares with MBA aspirants
Essay must have an introduction and conclusion besides the main body.
In the main body, present only one idea per paragraph.
Support the idea or opinion you present with facts, data, and examples so as to logically argue your perspective.
Try and analyse the matter at hand in the main body itself, rather than stringing together mere opinions
MBA Preparation: All you need to know about Written Ability Tests (WAT)
**MBA** colleges, particularly most **Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs)** are all set to commence the **Written Ability tests (WAT)** and **personal interview(PI)** rounds. WAT (WAT) evaluates one's ability to think precariously, how efficaciously one can put forth one's ideas, and develop an appropriate response within a short span of time. The topic selected for WAT is usually from current political, economic and business affairs.**GDPI **expert Sidarth Balakrishna opines that the topics of a Written Ability Test are usually similar to that of a **Group Discussion**. But, while the topics of the two rounds are similar to one another, students usually prefer the former over latter. In a poll conducted by PaGaLGuY a few weeks ago, students stated that they prefer **WAT** over **GD** as a selection and elimination process for gaining admissions into **India's top B-Schools**. In the survey conducted, not more than 159 CAT 2016 aspirants participated, out of which 112 candidates preferred WAT whereas just 47 students were in favour of GD.
**Why WAT?**IIM-Ahmedabad, in 2008, discontinued its GD rounds and replaced it with short essays. IIM-Bangalore replaced GD with essay-writing in 2010. In the following year, IIMs like Rohtak, Raipur, Tiruchirapalli, Ranchi, Kashipur and Udaipur, also substituted it with a written test. IIM Shillong on the other hand, is conducting a GD round this year after keeping WAT the previous year.Speaking about the trend of incorporating WAT as a decisive round in the admission procedure of most IIMs, former director of IIM Ranchi, Prof P Rameshan said, "IIMs never entirely dropped GD. Most IIMs conduct both WAT and GD. The Written test was essentially introduced beause ,as faculty members, we realised that students admitted into IIMs were not very good in written communication. Although, it's a different thing that by the end of the two years, a student's ability to write improves naturally, it was decided that WAT should be included."Prof. Himanshu Rai, faculty member at IIM Lucknow is also of the similar view. "Besides, with time, faculty members began to realise that it is much easier to evaluate a student through WAT than it is through GD. We realised that differentiating between candidates became difficult with GD, as most students ended up repeating the same points and turning the whole discussion into a fish market," he said.
**How is a student evaluated through WAT?
**A student is judged on his / her clarity of ideas, presentation skills, good knowledge, systematic presentation of ideas and whether or no the ramifications of the issue are properly deduced, through **WAT**, say faculty members. "Basically, by the end of the day, the evaluator is looking for a balanced representation of ideas. If you are able to comprehend, and analyse the subject topic, form your own perspective and eventually put it across, you will be able to crack this round" said Prof Rai. He further added that while students must give emphasis to vocabulary, that is not the be all and end all of the WAT process.
**Tips to keep in mind for WAT**
1. Think of an apt introduction, body and conclusion before you start writing. Create a mind map
.2. Use simple yet effective words.
3. Be concise. Don't be too verbose.
4. Be well aware of current affairs.
5. Read a lot, and that too, good and relevant matter as your writing ability depends on what and how much you read.
6. There is no such thing as, 'I wasn't aware of this topic.' Management is the art of knowing many things, so be aware of what's happening.
7. Practice writing everyday. Take up a topic and write daily.
MBA GDPI Testimonials : “PI, the most vital part in MBA selection procedure,” says IIM Shillong student, Archit Garg
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.”
MBA Tips: All you need to know about GDPI
Upon clearing the written entrance examination, an MBA aspirant is expected to sit for Group Discussion (GD), followed by a Personal Interview (PI) round, both of which act as important selection and elimination rounds in the rat race to make it to the best B-school.GD can be defined as a round of intense debate that takes place between several candidates without any external interference. One's ability to put his/her point across smoothly amidst a continuous exchange of ideas and opinions between a number of candidates is what determines his / her success in this round. Personal Interview, on the other hand, is focused on getting to know the candidate better by gauging the clarity of his / her thinking process, future plans, etc.MBA colleges all over the country have begun conducting GDPI sessions and aspirants have started gearing up for these rounds to inch one step closer to gain admissions to their dream B-school. PaGaLGuY too has been publishing GDPI-based articles since a month to help students prepare for these rounds. If you've missed these, for some reason, read below, as we bring to you a compilation of all these articles:
1. Watch out for these common mistakes as you prepare for GDPI (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/watch-out-for-these-common-mistakes-as-you-prepare-for-gdpi-4785131065704448)2. How to crack the Personal Interview round to get into your favourite MBA college (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/how-to-crack-the-personal-interview-round-to-get-into-your-favourite-mba-college-5701198801797120)3. Worried about MBA admissions? Here are some tips for GDPI (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/worried-about-mba-admissions-here-are-some-tips-for-gdpi-5827288052531200)4. Sidharth Balakrishna's GDPI Tip of the Day: Be analytical than just expressing opinions (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/gdpi-tip-for-the-day-6273081532219392)5. Sidharth Balakrishna's GDPI Tip of the day: Be the first to lay down the structure of the discussion (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/sidharth-balakrishnas-gdpi-tip-of-the-day-be-the-first-to-lay-down-the-structure-of-the-discussion-5700388445487104)6. Sidharth Balakrishna's GDPI Tip of the day: Revise your academics for the interview (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/sidharth-balakrishnas-gdpi-tip-of-the-day-revise-your-academics-for-the-interview-level-5119318796795904)7. Sidharth Balakrishna's GDPI Tip of the day: Highlight your achievements while introducing yourself (https://www.pagalguy.com/news/sidharth-balakrishnas-gdpi-tip-of-the-day-highlight-achievements-while-introducing-yourself-and-what-you-enjoy-doing-5890551175970816)
So as you prepare for your respective GDPI sessions, PaGaLGuY wishes you all the very best.
Hey guys, how many of you are already done with your GDPI/WAT round? Please leave a comment about your experience. There are many students who would want to know about it.
Hi, we had started a Group Discussion/PI Whatsapp group last week, which ended last week itself. It was just for a week. I realise that I'm still getting requests by most of you to be added into the group. Hence this is another announcement, particularly for all those who for some reason or the other couldn't be included in the Whatsapp group. (mostly it was because you'll saw the notification late and hence got back late). But here's another chance. If you're interested in personal GDPI sessions by none other than GDPI expert, Sidarth Balakrishna read on...
GDPI expert Prof Sidharth Balakrishna, an IIM Calcutta alumnus and GDPI panellist of several B schools, is offering paid GDPI courses on Prepathon. If you'd like to join the course on Prepathon, our Study Counsellors will be more than happy to assist you. This course on Prepathon has theory content as well as practical sessions. For those candidates in Delhi and NCR, there is two days of mock GD sessions, and classroom sessions plus personal session on PI only for Rs 2500/-. For those outside Delhi and NCR, these can be conducted on Skype for the same price. https://www.prepathon.com/gd-pi-by-sidharth-balakrishna/pricing. If you're interested, kindly DM me your name and number...Thankyou.