Immediately after the declaration of entrance test result like CAT/XAT, the short lists for Personal Interview round is announced. Call for the Personal Interview shows that the selection journey is half achieved. PI round is the key to success in securing final admission to the desired institute as the maximum weightage is awarded to this round.
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Personal Interview at IIM A, B, C or FMS Delhi or any other top B-schools can revolve around your academics, work experience, extra-curricular activities, your surroundings or current events. There can be a few questions on your future plans as well. IIMs also grill candidates on recent industry and corporate happenings.
10 Tips to Prepare for Personal Interview
Be Careful While Writing Statement of Purpose
Your statement of purpose is also a good source of questions for panellists in PI round. So apart from doing lot of other activities to prepare for PI round, you should focus on your SoP and keep ready your answers on the points that you have filled up in SoP.
Keep Yourself Updated
Regularly read the news papers, watch TV news, diarise whatever you find important. You are supposed to know each and every thing. The only strategy is to gather maximum that you can.
Brush Up On Your Academics
Go through your academics well and revise especially the things in your specialization domain.
Know all About Your Native Place
Read, know and feel your native place well. You must be aware about the history, Geography and all the important things like famous places, personalities, specialities about your city.
Delve Deep About your Work Experience
If you have a work experience, you must be well aware about your role and the entire chain of system wherein you contribute with your team.
Know your Personality
Analyse and rehearse upon your strengths and weaknesses. You must be able to highlight your strengths effectively and for it must prepare well. The weaknesses should not reflect your inability to do
the work, or to improve.
Awareness About Your Interests & Hobbies
You will be asked about your interests and hobbies, so make sure that you know all about them. One of the candidates interviewed at IIM Calcutta claimed that he had interest in playing Badminton. All the past, present, shuttle cock weight, court-size, service gallery size and other things were asked, although he answered each of them satisfactorily.
Brush Up your GK
Past and present events must be well known to you. Reading is not enough, you must have an opinion framed on it. To be successful in PI round, no doubt, you have to be well prepared not only with the Current GK for interview but also with the Business GK and the social GK surrounding your local area issues for interview.
These GK questions come up during the discussion spontaneously out of your profile, statement of purpose, the interests and hobbies that you fill up in the interview form. The GK questions in Personal Interview are not tough or out of this world but your approach to answer them correctly in a witty, positive and subtle manner gives you an edge.
Join PI Preparatory Sessions
It is a good idea to attend good preparatory sessions for PI round and also attend mock PI sessions to prepare for Personal Interview round.
Getting in touch with the seniors, alumni of the B-school in regard to the nature of questions and what is expected from the candidate is also a good idea. They know how to prepare as each B-school has its own preferences. You can also get good guidance from them.
Be Positive Through Out
Even if you have all the negative thoughts about some action, policy matters – present them in a balanced manner with a positive thinking for future. Do not criticize too much the policies of the Government, B-schools, Corporate bodies etc. If you have some suggestion for their betterment, you can put them forth in brief, if required.
Do’s & Don’ts for Personal Interview
You must have been preparing for the PI round for last few months and by now should be well prepared and must have also gone for versatile reading and mock personal interviews. Adhering to following Do’s & Don’ts during your Personal Interview will help you score well in the PI round:
Do not go on speaking simply because you find a long pause after you have finished answering a question. It might give an opportunity to the interviewers to grill you on something you have inadvertently spoken. Remember Brevity is the soul of wit. So be brief and to the point. - Use simple and communicative language in an effective manner. Any wrong use of figurative and idiomatic language in conversation might get you deviated and put you in trouble.
Take the Panelists to your Domain
Try to take the interview board to your domain of knowledge and skills. When you answer a question, you may use such sentences and words on which the interview board gets curious but you are comfortable with the same. It depends on your skills how to mould the interview to your desired direction. The opportunity is to be created by you while presenting the answers to their questions.
Impress with Your Body Language
Body language is equally important as verbal communication; perhaps more. Note that you are constantly watched. So, remain upright when you sit, walk or stand. Keep a neutral expression. Don’t clench your fist or teeth. When speaking, lean slightly forward to say you are involved in the conversation, but do not rest your hands on the table.
Please do not beat about the bush. Never try to mislead the interviewers by guessing and concocting an answer. You will be caught in your own web and will lose whatever credit you earned earlier. If you do not know the answer, politely say that you do not know. If still your opinion or guess is sought, present your thought with a rider that it is what you think.
Don’t Copy Anyone: Be your Natural Self
Be natural and don’t go for copying someone. If you do, it will be like a mask through which your interviewers can very well judge you. Please do remember You are you, you cannot be he. So please don’t try to change your DNA.
The substance is that you must know how to succeed. The success will come once you know how to market yourself before the interview board. This is your approach to present yourself in the interview and the way you answer the questions, will secure your seat in your course or job.