For several MBA aspirants, after CAT exam result is the upcoming months become full of anxiety. In this time frame, an aspirant feels ambiguous about handling the interview to grab a seat in their desired B-School. We understand that being a novice and new to such environment, various apprehensions run in the minds of the aspirants. Hence, we have come up with a Self-Help Guide to help you prepare for B-school interview.
Read these easy and practical tips given below and feel confident and self-assured without losing time.
1. Plan your time
Typically the interview runs for 35-45 minutes, though shorter and longer interviews are common. So plan for the talk accordingly and try to engage the interviewer with your zeal. Provide clear and strong answers that will set the tone for the remaining conversation.
2. Make mental notes of some key questions
The key to success is not just thinking about answers but to articulate them by describing your career plan and future goals, and most importantly your rationale for pursuing an MBA degree from that particular B-school for which you have come.
So, in order to respond to the questions with alacrity then prepare a mental checklist, tick off each point as you make them. Preparation of such key points beforehand ensures that you don’t regret not having mentioned something crucial because it did not come up in the question and answer session. Be proactive with your selling points and wait for the recruiter to pull it out of you.
3. Practice makes a person perfect
Interviewers have the tact to identify whether you are genuine, or simply speaking out the mugged up lines. Practice mock interviews and some common questions with your friends and associates. Slowly and steadily you will reach a stage where your thoughts will get refined. You will no longer involve in beating around the bush. You will learn the art of putting forward your point in a succinct and lucid manner. This will also help you strike a chord with the interviewer and gain access to lively conversation.
In the below section we have listed some commonly asked questions during an interview:
Tell me about yourself: Your answer should be 2-3 minutes long when interviewer is interested to know about you. Talk briefly about your accomplishments and rationale for pursuing MBA. Further elaborate upon on your career goals how the degree will further your career goals. Emphasize how this degree is a critical part of your career plan.
Why you are interested in this school/program: Such questions are expected without a doubt and as a potential admission seeker; you must list all the reasons that match your career goals if you get an opportunity to pursue education from this b-school.
Why should we admit you: When this question is thrown at you, mention your academic and professional accomplishments and how they render you fit for pursuing this program. Then discuss how this specific program will help you achieve your career goals.
What are your strengths and weaknesses: Consider this question as an opportunity and mention those strengths that set you apart from others. When your weaknesses come into picture, mention those that turn your shortcomings into strengths.
Do you have any questions about the school or program: Avoid asking questions that are easily addressed by reviewing the school’s website or print collaterals.
4. Don’t jump to conclusions...Listen Carefully!
In many instances, interviewees tend to jump ahead and think about the great answer they are going to give, rather than focusing on the question being asked by the interviewer. First patiently listen to the question that the interviewer is interested to know and take a moment after the question to prepare your response. This practice will let you avoid giving a confused or incomplete response.
5. Keep to the Point
You should avoid rambling or getting things off your chest. Use pertinent examples to illustrate what you are saying, that ideally provide an outcome that speaks volumes about you. Do not pep talk with the interviewer and stay focused.
6. Drive the interview towards your interest areas
While the questions asked in the interview may vary from candidate to candidate, it is important for you to gradually invite the questions from your areas of strength as the interview progress. You must practice to guide parts of the conversation towards your interest areas. Choose your references wisely, thinking about what your story reveals about you, and you can make a great impression.
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