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Top questions to prepare for personal interview round1
Top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview
Personal Interview round for B-schools is the most integral part of
the selection procedure. In many of the top B-schools, the
weightage of PI rounds for generating merit list is highest. While
facing the interview is a tough challenge for some MBA aspirants, it
is important for candidates to give their best in PI as this round can
make or break your admission chances.
As you start your planning for Personal Interview round, you should
be very well aware and familiar with the question types which are
most generally asked by the panelists. This article gives you the
regular inquiries as proposed by the specialists and toppers so you
can be set up for your interaction with the B-School admission
Common Questions and Topics for PI
Here we bring to you the top questions for Personal Interview
Tell us about yourself
What is the meaning of your name? (Typically used as an ice
breaker and if you have an uncommon name)
Why do you wish to do an MBA?
What are your plans after an MBA?
How will your MBA support your goal?
How does your academic background relate to your goal?
What are your strengths, give examples?
What are your weaknesses, give examples?
What are your short-term long term goals?
Elaborate on your work experience.
How relevant is your experience?
Why do you want to join a particular institute?
Which specialization do you want to opt for?
What are your hobbies/interests? (Technical questions on the
The other topics which are common in PI include the following:
Current affairs – Politics, Economics, Business, Social events,
demographics, Sports, Literature, Entertainment, Awards and
Hobbies and interests
Your performance or points presented in Group
Discussion/Written Ability Test
Your CV or SOP
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Toppers’ Experience during Personal Interview
While these are some of the common questions, the toppers share
the questions which were asked to them at premiere B-schools.
Here a student of IIM Lucknow, Samir jaju shares his interview
experience as, "They mostly asked me questions on statistics since I
have worked as a Business Analysist. The panel, somehow, sensed
my preparedness or enthusiasm about stats from my introduction
that they were led to ask questions on it. Either way, if there is an
interest or a hobby that you think helps you think better as an
engineer, student, employee, human, etc., do bring it up."
Tackling Tricky Questions
Sharing an interesting, yet tricky situation in the PI round, Raghav
Pandey, an IIFT Delhi student says, "I want to open an restaurant
that serves Awadhi cuisine in Lucknow, in future. I had said it in the
SOP and the interviewer asked me whether I was a vegetarian. I
admitted. So he asked me, 'Pandey ji, agar aapka client aapse kebab
ki quality pe sawaal karega and demand karega that you taste it, will
you do it?' He killed my interview with the question."
You should be prepared for any unforeseen question on any topic
under the sun. In these circumstances, the way you handle the
question matters rather than the accuracy. IIM Rohtak student
Aamir Khan shares his predicament, "There was a question on
evaluating the number of 100 rupee notes in every one of the ATMs
of the nation. I found this question bit tough since I didn't know
about the technique for noting such guesstimate questions at that
time however it was fun analyzing the same. At last I understood
that it was not the answer that mattered but rather the approach I
took to arrive to a reply.
Talking about such question, Shubhra Pratim Halder, another IIM
Lucknow student shares how he handled such unexpected question,
"I was asked a question on the phenomena behind lightning and
thunder, which came as a sudden jar to me. Never in my
preparations, had I expected a question of this genre. However, I
kept my quiet and explained the same in an extremely layman terms
and politely conveyed on that I was not able recall it. The panel
asked me to keep thinking on those lines and come up with better
clarification of the same. It is always advised to keep calm when one
gets a jar of the blue during the interview. The facts might confirm
that the panel members are planning to check your behavioral
aspects more than your reply. So, just be yourself and stay rationally
mentally prepared for possibilities."
Your geographical background can lead to a plenty of questions.
Hence, obtain some basic information on your state, for example,
historical relevance, political or social scenario, about famous
personality belonging to the center etc. You may also be questioned
regards to the improvement of your state or city. Jyotsna Chadha,
an student of IIM Rohtak, who belongs to kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
was asked 'In what manner can cleanliness be achieved in Kanpur?'
She also shares, "In an interview I was asked some about the
population of inhabitants in UP. I couldn't give a logical estimate.
The figure that you quote is not important, thought process is more
important. For e.g., in this case, one might say that population of
India is 1 billion and 20% of that lives in UP."
Although interview rounds are intended to be serious affairs and we
generally picture grumpy faced professors as interviewers, at times
they also make questions to break the ice and help the disposition of
the stressed candidates. For e.g. they ask you questions on your
interests or other territories in which you are comfortable in. A few
questions can interesting too which allow you to answer
Talking about his Group Interview at SPJIMR Mumbai, Shray
Khurana, a first year student shares, "Our interviewers asked us, if
we had a bucket list and today is our last day on the world, what the
1 thing we'd need to do is? This induced a great deal of interesting
answers from every one of the applicants, some said they'd play a
musical instrument they never played, some said they would visit
Ladakh, some said they'd go partying etc. It made every one quite
relaxed and starting there on the interview saw a lot of passionate
discussion from everyone."