13 tips to nail MBA Job Interview in first attempt

For an MBA aspirant, the placement season and Job Interview is full of anxiety and bewilderment. Find 13 tips to crack the MBA Job Interview in first attempt and grab the opportunity to build your MBA Career.
Nidhi Gupta

For an MBA aspirant, the placement season and Job Interview is full of anxiety and bewilderment. With an influx of myriad companies flooding the institute’s campus for the Job Interview and offering lucrative packages, students often find themselves in a dilemma of choosing the right fit for their career.

Alongside, there are other factors which keep them on jitters. Some of them include:

  • Is it the right company for which I am interviewing?
  • How much salary will be offered to me?
  • Will the salary package suffice the ROI invested in my education?
  • Will my resume impress the interview or shall I get the new one made?
  • How will I interact with them?
  • What should be my look of the say to impress them at the first glance?
  • How will I convince the interviewer about my excellent skills and capabilities?

These are just a few queries from the list of questions which constantly pings your mind even when you are sitting idle.

We believe that with an excellent profile and grades, if you take care of some basic interview etiquettes then the job opportunity will be yours without a doubt.

Read the Job interview tips to nail the B-School interview and emerge successful to begin your MBA Career.

Qualities that top B-schools like IIMs look for in an MBA candidate

Before the Interview

1. Research about the Company: MBA Job interview is a crucial phase of life for an MBA aspirant as it decides their career path. When you zero down on a company to appear for their interview, make sure that you are aware about the profile being offered to you. The background of the company and its history, new product or services being launched, their target group and aspects such as vision and mission are clear to you. These are some of the facts which should be on your tips because the interviewer might also question you about the motivation behind joining the organisation and your awareness level towards the prospective job opportunity.  

2. Find out about the salaries: This step is welcomed when you are moving out of campus for the interview. You must research about the salary which is offered to the post-graduate fresher (s). This step is recommended because the salary trends differ for various industries. When you sit for the job interview in the campus, recruiters usually declare the expected band of salary that you will be entitled to receive. But in case you are not being told the salary band in advance then do work on researching about the trends of salary in the current industry for the respective profile (let’s take for an example: marketing executive at HUL).

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3. Organise your Resume: Yes! Resume exhibits the first impression of your personality on the recruiter. Your Job resume should reflect the pool of talent and strengths that you can help the organisation grow in the right direction. Highlight your experience (if any), strengths, projects or internship undertaken, and personal details. The structure of resume should not be clustered but organised to appeal the recruiter. An example of a resume is provided below for your reference:

4. Punctuality Counts: Someone has rightly mentioned a quote about punctuality that “Beginning of a great day begins a night before”. The first impression is also likely to remain positive if you reach the venue on time or at least 10-15 minutes early then the allotted time. Your virtue of punctuality might impress the recruiter and you may get the golden opportunity to get selected for the job.

How to dress up for your B-School Job Interview

During the Interview

Here are a few tips which you must keep in check once you are at the venue of the interview and are ready to be questioned by the panel of recruiters.

5. Grace the Panel: A study by the scientists at the Universityof Illinois found that handshake encourages optimism, competence and trustworthiness in the candidate. So, keep your handshake firm, make a complete palm-to-palm grip and keep a genuine smile and eye contact with the recruiter. Do not make the handshake aggressive (means do not squeeze the hand tightly), as it indicates that a person lacks sensitivity. A limp handshake will otherwise indicate that you are nervous or unenthusiastic about the interview.                

6. Maintain the Body Posture: Body posture is observed by the recruiters when you sit for the interview. It is recommended by the experts that do not slouch on the chair when you sit as it indicates your low self-confidence. Crossed legs while conversing should also be avoided to maintain a decent body posture! Keep your head upright while conversing as it reflects your confidence and makes you appear calm and relaxed.

7. Maintain appropriate Eye Contact: Eye contact is another important aspect which will exhibit the state of your mind. Maintaining an appropraite eye contatc is essential during the interview. You can see the relevance of eye contact in reading your state of mind in front of the interviewer. No eye contact with the recruiter protrays that you are untrustworthy or insecure bout your life.

8. Be Polite yet assertive: This is an important aspect of your conversation with the interviewer. They are there to listen you know and explore various nuances of your personality. It is your manners that will reflect your true personality. Be polite while answering and do not go overboard while expressing your views on a topic that interests you. Do not shout if your views are not in concurrence with your interviewer.

Do not get casual while talking to the interviewer. It might indicate your casual attitude towards situation around you. Prepare a list of questions before landing up for the interview and practise them before. Rehearse the answers or reply for them thoughtfully depending upon the company in which you apply. Do not end up in a situation that is depicted below in the ‘Savage Chickens’ comic strip.

Whenever required make use of words such as ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ etc. in your talk.

9. Be honest about your work: It is important to be honest about your achievements and work. Do not lie to the interviewer about the work that is not being done by you. If you were involved in team work for a project then recite only that part of the story where you contributed significantly. Team work is an asset which will be appreciated. Do not try to take the whole credit of work. Talk about the topics which are your interest areas to guide the interviewer in the direction in which you are comfortable to talk. This will work as an edge for you to win the interviewer and showcase you knowledge as well.

How to prepare for MBA admission interview?

10. Ask questions from the interviewer if required: Curiosity doesn’t always kills the cat. It is good to be curious when required. These days, the recruiter also gives an opportunity to the candidate to ask questions or seek clarification if there is a need. You can ask some common questions such as “Can you walk me through a typical day of an employee who is working on this profile?” in the other way you will ask about your roles and responsibilities in this profile. You can also ask about the growth prospects of this profile. Other questions such as mode of performance evaluation and organisation’s expectation from you in this profile are relevant to ask.

After the Interview

11. Do a follow-up with the HR Personnel: A follow-up call to the interviewer or someone in human resource department exhibits your continued interest in a job opportunity. As per a survey study of Accountemps, it has been revealed that HR Managers like to be contacted in the following manner:

It is advisable to consider these statistics for approaching the HR managers. Hence, we recommend that you choose either of email, phone call or handwritten note to contact the HR Personnel.

When you make a call, you can initiate the talk in the following manner and can use the below sample to continue the conversation smoothly.

Hi Mr. XYZ! This is Shweta Samant calling. I interviewed yesterday for the position of Content Writer, and wanted to thank you for taking the time to meet me. I was glad to converse with you and the panel members regarding the job profile and sharing my credentials and other details. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if there's any additional information I can provide. You can reach me at (provide your mobile no.). Thanks again, and hope to hear from you in affirmation.”

12. Do not publicise on Social Media: This is an important disclaimer. Do not ever share your happiness of interview with an organisation on the social media. It might be a possibility that your interviewer would be digging deep to understand your personality through your social media profile.

Also do not send friend request to the potential hiring manager or HR personnel. These acts of excitement and overwhelming emotions may portray you badly in front of your prospective hiring manager.

13. Prepare for follow-up Interview: The follow-up interview is in itself an indication of the traces of good impression that you left in the initial meeting. The follow-up interview is more about getting to know you on both a personal and professional level, hence this interview is expected to be more relaxed and conversational. After all, the prospective employer wants to affirm their decision of hiring you on-board.

In this round, prepare yourself for in-depth questions about your skills and traits. The interviewer might put up questions such as “If you could be an emoji, what would you be?”, “If you are given a project to work upon which requires 6 months stay away from home, will you be comfortable?” etc.  This interview will be your psychological testing determines whether you are a good fit for the company.

These were a few tips from the pool of other tips that you will be requiring to ace your B-School interview and many more to follow in life. We hope that you will keep a checklist of all the 13 tips to nail the Job Interview and grab the right opportunity for building a successful managerial career.

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