Sunday, 9 August 2015

10 Most Common MBA Interview Questions

College_Clip_ArtSome people perceive it as “The Chance” to succeed and fulfil their dreams while others look at it like just another round of selection. While some feel confident having cleared the entrance exam as for them in their head that could be the end of their dreams, there are others for whom the written is a cake walk and they are dreading the Personal Interview.
The Personal Interview is indeed the last mile, the last stretch and the toughest round to clear in more than one ways. This is because despite months of preparation, no one can predict the questions you’ll have to face in your personal interview. But we can always guess right? And some guesses and estimates are accurate is why so many recruitment & selection processes & decisions have started to rely on your ability to come to accurate guesstimates. This is where interview questions and answers come into the picture and take your preparation to the next level. While you aren’t expected to know the answer to every question you will be asked in the personal interview, you are expected to make sense all the time. So, be thoughtful and honest while in an Interview. The round is also crucial as it gauges into your inter-personal & communicative skills & through it, the university/organization seeks to ascertain your vision as an MBA aspirant or a Potential employee.
So here are some popular personal interview questions especially for MBA Aspirants-
1. Do you know yourself? Tell us something about yourself.
This is perhaps the most commonly asked question & is a question that one should always be prepared to answer. Some of the things you can talk about here are-
a. Your educational and/or professional background that is, where you come from?
b. Your interests & hobbies, that is to do with your personality, who are you?
c. Your strengths, that is a glimpse for the recruiter into your profile and how that will benefit any organization that you work for?
Don’t repeat what’s already there on your Resume. The question is thrown at you, to test your communication skills, body language, confidence and how you make sure you are giving the most brilliant first impression.
2. Do you have a Resume with a 6-second impact? Can you walk me through your resume?
This is a very challenging question as it requires you to be aware of your strengths and key experiences. It basically tests your ability to present and talk about the highlights of your profile. Make sure your resume is making the 6 second impact for free at now!
3. Do you know where you’re headed? Where do you see yourself 5/10 years from now?
Another popular question that keeps recurring in the MBA personal interviews. You should try to be honest while answering this one. Don’t say “In your seat”! It’s outdated and long foregone. You should have a relevant and appropriate answer ready! For instance, if you have applied for an MBA in finance, you should see yourself in a managerial position handling responsibilities in the finance vertical of an organization. You can also substantiate your answer with the industry, field that you want to go into. You can also talk about a vision for your personal life or a self-actualization need here. Your ultimate career goal must be in line with your specialization and your choice to get an MBA.
4. Have you done your SWOT? What are your strengths & weaknesses?
A SWOT is a detailed analysis of your-self. It’s a cool feeling to analyze oneself like a subject. The most challenging aspect of a SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats, is the W. It’s really hard to come up with Weaknesses that you can share with the recruiter who is totally judging every word you utter. Also, need to simultaneously make sure that strengths and weaknesses are not contradicting each other. For instance, don’t say in one instant, that you are emotionally stable and then in another, point out your short-tempered nature. Also, stay away from the clichéd way of presenting “strength” as your weakness. For example: “My weakness is that I’m a perfectionist”. Come up with a genuine weakness and then quickly move on to talking about how you strive to tackle it and take it to your advantage. Interviewer is aware that no one is perfect so trying to outsmart the recruiter here is a bad idea. For example: “I can be disorganised at times & thus miss important events. I’ve started maintaining a planner & leave reminders on my phone to help me keep track of important deadlines, events etc.”
5. Do you know the purpose for your being there? Why MBA?
This answer would be tailor-made to where you’re coming from or your background. If you are a fresher, your answer could be that an MBA would be your ideal launch pad into the corporate world.
If you are someone with prior work-experience, you would have different reasons for pursuing an MBA. Answers as abstract as “To make more money”, “To gain more knowledge” should not be on your list.
6. Can you reason your willingness and potential to be where you’re applying for?Why do you want to join this B-school?
In an interview for B-school X, a person was asked to choose between X & Y while B-school Y is better than X. The candidate faced a dilemma wrt the perspective to answer such a question. Clearly, this is your chance to impress them! You should know about the institute’s history, its flag-ship programmes, ranking, placement records, faculty members etc. It would be good if you can get in touch with a few students of that institute before your PI. Apart from giving you an idea about the kind of panel you would have to face, they can give you valuable insight into the college’s academic & extra-curricular activities. Your answer should reflect that you’ve done your homework well & that you’re keen to pursue your management degree from that particular B-school.
7. Do you have a strong hold on your learning curve? Questions about the Course you are pursuing or pursued.
This is about knowing the fundamentals of your course material well. Don’t assume that there would be no experts from your field in the panel who can quiz you to selection/rejection. Be well prepared!
8. Are you well-read? Questions related to your Profession
You should go prepared knowing all about your job profile, your KRAs (key result areas), your organisation, its performance in the markets, your industry, your organisation’s competitors.
9. Are you a fun person? Questions about your Hobbies
Make sure your interests and hobbies also give you an edge and help you stand out! If you’ve mentioned gardening as a hobby, you are expected to know which fertiliser works best for rose flowers! So make sure that you have in-depth information about your interest. If you have mentioned hobbies that are genuine, this should not be a problem. But if you’ve mentioned “reading” as a hobby, just to impress the interview panel, then you better do some R&D!
10. Are you really aware or did you just get lucky? Questions from your GD
It’s quite possible that your Personal Interview panel could be the same as your Group Discussion. In such a scenario, be prepared to expect questions around your GD topic. They could probe you further about it or ask about a certain point you’d made in the GD. You should be able to defend or justify your point of view.
But, every personal interview is unique. You might or might not be asked one of these questions. At the end of the day, what matters is that you should be honest & thoughtful.

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