The last step in the whole MBA admission process is the Interview with College panelists you apply for. It is the indeed the last mile, last stretch and the toughest round for any MBA aspirant. The basic idea of any interview is not to know if you know answers of every question asked, but how you deal with every random question and if you make some sense out in every point made. It aims to evaluate your interpersonal skills and communication skills. Another idea of having personal interview is to gauge why you want to do MBA and how much serious are you for it including potential managerial skills.
The best approach towards an interview is through preparation and regular practice. Here is a list of top questions which are asked in MBA admission interview:-
- Tell me about yourself.
You should answer this question in 2-3 minutes. Talk briefly about:
- Educational Background like undergraduate degree and specialization and institute.
- Work experience and related achievements.
- Your short term and long term career goals
- Your strengths and skill set.
Avoid repeating what’s already there on the Resume, rather try to sell with your personality and uniqueness. This question asked to test your personality including communication skills, self confidence, body language, and how you can have a brilliant first impression on the interviewers.
- Can you walk me through your resume?
This is a really challenging question as it requires an out of box answer and you need to be informed of your strengths and experiences. It is also aimed to understand and evaluate your personality and how much you are aware about yourself.
- Describe an ethical dilemma faced at work?
As you can understand, this is a situational question. You will have to relate it with your work experience and describe how you choose to ethics rather than short term gain or pressure.
- Why should we admit you?
This question is intended to check confidence level in you. You should reply this question with your accomplishments throughout your academic career and experiences which make you an excellent fit for pursuing this program, that too from this particular institute. Describe how you can contribute towards glory of the B school and they would be proud of you because of your unique talent and skill set.
- Talk about your accomplishments as a leader.
A situational question, in which Panel is interested to check the kind of initiative and hard work you did for your group. Keep ready a couple of life experiences where you displayed your leadership quality. It can be heading a team in school or college, organizing contest, event or seminar or even plans for entrepreneurship venture. Don’t forget to mention if you have been a volunteer to any Non Profit Organisation.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
It is another most frequently asked question. You can introspect about your strength and weaknesses. But, be confirmed by asking your friends and relatives before hand for the biggest strength and weakness they see in you and review your answer. Answering strength is pretty easy and you can answer confidently. Answering weakness can be of little difficulty, because you would not like interviewers to know you have certain weakness too. But, you should confidently admit your certain weak points about your personality and assure them you are working on them. Overall, they don’t expect you to be the perfect person.
- Describe your career aspirations?
The interviewers are eager to know your thought process and why you want to do MBA and what after that. Do you have a clear picture of your career? Or you are just another MBA aspirant?
- What would you do if not accepted?
Again a situational question, which you need to answer politely. Possible answer can be other business schools where you have applied and have some chance for prepare better for next year taking experiences from admission process this year. Remember, the panel is looking for stress management in you with this question.
- What are your long- and short-term goals? Why?
You should explore within yourself, where do you want to see yourself in long and short terms. It is completely your decision and to make an informed decision you should talk to your seniors or professionals who work in area of your interest to understand the work and if you would be really interested to do some of them.
- Why are you applying to business school?
The answer should be very diplomatic and reasonable. Talk about the good features of the b school and how diverse it is. Its achievement and how you match as its prospective bright student should be answered.
- What is an activity you are involved in? Why is it important to you?
Basically, they want to know activities you take active part and enjoy doing them. It can be a hobby or passion. Introspect yourself to come out with answer, how much time you spend on it every day and why you like this activity?
- Talk about experiences you have had at work.
They want to understand your personality and how to perceive things, especially work experience aspects like team work, results, professionalism, etc. Describe about your roles and responsibilities briefly followed by accomplishments while you were at work.
- Why are you interested in a general MBA program?
This question resembles generally asked question “Why MBA”. You should substantiate your decision of pursuing MBA with your academic background, career you want to be in and how MBA can help you achieving in long term goal. Regular answers can be career growth, entrepreneurship, learning business skills, getting leadership role etc.
- What contributions would you make to a group?
A situational question intended to know are you a people’s person or just an individual who faces difficulty in group. Substantiate your answer with your contribution made in different groups at work place, previous college and family events.
- What is most frustrating at work?
This question is intended to check how you handle pressure and negativism at workplace. The panel is looking for optimism and positivity rather than negative statements and complains.
- Discuss any experience you have had abroad.
Question is intended to know past experiences in your life and how you managed cultural differences. Are you a person who loves to travel and experience new things or just the opposite?
- Describe a situation where you brought an idea forward, and it failed.
A situational question, where panel wants to know how you present your ideas and your reaction when it fails. Do you feel dishearten and avoid those people or learn from mistakes and keep trying the same thing.
- How do you define success?
A personality based question to understand, what success means to you. There is no right answer but your answer should be backed by reasons.
- Do you read a newspaper? What headlines are grabbing attention these days?
The interviewer is interested to know if you have reading habit. Further, he wants to check your knowledge on current affair and general awareness. Many students want to excuse from this question by saying they used to, but because of MBA entrance exams and interviews, they left. This can be a negative answer and panel may make up mind of not taking you as you were supposed to read more of current affairs as part of your preparation for MBA GD and PI.
- Current Affair Questions like:-
What is India’s GDP? GDP growth rate?
Name three CMs who are women?
Who is the Finance Minister of India?
What’s the latest on the FDI in Insurance?
Which company announced for an IPO recently?
India’s Top trading partners.
SAARC, BRICS, G 20, other associations India is a part of?
So make an early habit of reading newspapers daily and keep yourself informed on what’s happening around the world, especially business!
- What are your hobbies and interests?
Most interviewers want to understand whether you have an interest or hobby and if you have a few, how deep is your involvement. Your hobby can be painting, travel, music, dancing etc. But make sure any word you use will attract more questions. Like if you say Music- about leading Music Composers of India, Singers, which song sung by whom? Awards for singing.
If you say traveling is your hobby, you should keep a list of places you visited in your mind and also what’s unique about that place and its culture and your experience there as a tourist.
- Do you have any questions about the school or program?
Research about the college and programs offered by it. Understand the uniqueness and history of the institute and try to formulate a few questions which shows you are deeply interested to pursue your MBA from this college and have been liking the institute as you can related it with yourself. Avoid asking questions, which are readily available on internet or admission brochures.