How should one prepare for MBA interviews?

After competing in the most competitive exams of the country, you are among the top talented and lucky students who have got the coveted calls of prestigious B schools. Now the second process of selection starts. After a year of continuous preparation of structured sections of verbal, quant & LRDI now is the turn of the unstructured part. No one wants to miss their chance of converting the best college by getting a hit in interviews. Thus there should be a proper strategy to prepare for this last stage of the selection.

  1. Start reading the newspaper. There are many online sources on which one can get the soft copies of the newspaper. Get abreast with the international and business news. There is still like a month before the process starts thus, one has sufficient time to get momentum with the current happenings.
  2. Editorials sum up the happenings of national and international news and provide opinions both for and against the motion. It helps one form an idea about various topics and provides a varied point of view.
  3. Subscribe to accessible sources which Finshots, AJuniorVC , Stratecherry, etc. They simplify financial news, recent events, ideas of startups etc. in a super friendly and straightforward language. In general, these sites are good to update oneself and educating one with new points.
  4. Try to make concurrent circles around you. Start introspective of how you are as a person; write down your strengths and weekness and back it with an instance where you felt the same. Donot go with generic answers and try to be as original as possible. Recollect instances from your personal and school life as a person. Then extend it to your college and work life. Recall incidents where you felt a conflict of interest, solved a deadlock, brought innovative ideas and changes, issues with a colleague and how you dealt with it. Try to make a short story out of it and with the STAR method: situation, task, action, result.
  5. Read about some common ye famous riddles. These are constant ask in most of the interviews. It is not a necessity, but you never know which knowledge can come out to be handy.
  6. Have as many mocks as possible. Take help from seniors, current institute students, mentors, etc. Varied interviews help one gauge their weaknesses and thus provide a path for further preparation. Keep on practicing.

Making notes whilst preparing for the interviews is of paramount importance as it helps you to have a structured approach to both the preparation and whilst facing the actual interviews as well.

Make succinct crisp to the point notes on any topic you study so that you know the points you have to cover and it is a very useful tool for revision as it helps you come up to date on any topic you might have forgotten or you might have wanted to brush upon.

Use highlighters or different colored pens whilst making notes as it helps you remember different conflicting points to the same argument as well. This makes it aesthetic and easy to read as well and has a positive influence on your mood.

Maintain a separate notebook as it is useful even when you are done with your interviews as it helps later on once you are in a B-School with the interview preparation as well.

Coaching class compendiums for the Group discussion/Personal interviews are a great place to start in case you are feeling lost or overwhelmed with the preparation.

TIME, Career Launcher, 2IIM amongst others release a handbook that includes all current affair topics and a set of commonly asked questions in personal interviews. It includes academic or domain-related, work experience-related questions, and even some standard answers for the behavioral questions.

You could look into them to help get some direction to your preparation and then focus on your weaknesses and try to plug them and be well rounded by the time the GDPI Season starts.

They are competitively priced and you could look into purchasing the material from at least one institute as they are pretty similar and so it doesn’t matter as to which institute’s material you get ahold of.

Alternatively, you could prepare these notes yourself which would take some effort.

Have your answers reviewed by either an industry expert or by someone who’s been through this grind before and who’s made it through as they would be able to point out logical or structural flaws in your approach.

They would help make your answers more presentable and believable which is an important aspect in interviews as you have very little time to impress the interviewer and it is of paramount importance that you need to maximize your chances with these questions.

Get specific instances from your life and always have a story with you. Interviewers are looking to select genuine people and thus are seeking truthful answers. Present your story in such a way that they are hooked on it. This way you bring the interviewers to your comfort zone thus maximizing your chances of selection.You are also relaxed when you are talking about something you are really proud of.

There are a lot of factors that might affect how your MBA interview goes and whether you are able to convert them into the final admission or not. Out of these factors, there will always be some that are beyond your control. But just like a batter in a cricket match who can score, irrespective of the pitch condition, crowd support or the skill of the bowler, a promising candidate, who has gone through various other rounds to get here, is not to be put down easily.
The preparation for an MBA interview goes on simultaneously with the one for the entrance exam (CAT, XAT, GMAT etc.). Promising and serious candidates always take out some time from their practice of quantitative, verbal and reasoning sections to prepare their personality and knowledge base for the Group Discussion and personal rounds. Some must note points are as follows:

  1. Reading current affairs magazines and newspapers daily to keep yourself aware of the important events from business, trade, commerce, government policies and international relation and affairs.

  2. Working on your vocabulary and communication skills by reading editorials, articles and novels written by columnists and authors known for their writing skills and knowledge of the field.

  3. If you have work experience, make sure you can explain the nature of your job and projects you have been part of well. Also be prepared with questions that may follow up like the most important lessons you learnt during this period and the challenges you faced.

  4. Prepare on the strength and weakness part well as these questions are asked to test if the candidates are sure about their own self or not, and any confusion while answering these questions is not a good sign to begin with.

  5. Avoid mentioning any weakness that you have been struggling for a long time. Mention weaknesses with the ways you have worked on them to reduce their impact on you.

  6. Mention your area of interests only after careful analysis. You might have common interests and any viewpoint about a topic might be asked in cross questioning. You don’t want to look clueless that time, hence prepare well and be honest.

  7. There might be question about your grades in graduation and board examinations. Be honest about them and also mention how you have tried to compensate for them in your profile through certifications and other things.

  8. MBA colleges look for people from diverse backgrounds and extracurricular activities are a good medium to improve your profile. Do mention your areas and any recent achievements if any.

  9. Last but not the least, be confident about yourself. Maintain the eye contact, smile while greeting them. Try to make your introduction interesting, mixing your personal and professional background along with your areas of interests so they find you a person they can have a decent conversation with. Maintain respect and formal nature of the conversation throughout, without looking nervous or conscious about it.