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Personal Interview-An Integral Part of B-School Admission Process

Published On: 10 Jan 2013 | Last Updated On: 10 Jan 2013

The heat of the B-school admission process does not end with clearing the most competitive entrance exams such as CAT, XAT and SNAP. You will have to face the final frontier-the Personal Interview (PI). Although many students successfully clear the exams and get the GD-PI calls, many fail to perform well in the interview room.

To perform well, it is essential that you understand the What, Why and How of the personal interview round.

So what does the PI test?

Personal Interview aims at understanding and knowing the candidate better. It is an opportunity to market yourself as the most suitable candidate who deserves that admit card into the reputed B-school.  The views expressed by the candidate in the application form will be put to test. You will be asked about your academic background and the accuracy of existing knowledge may also be put to test. Remember, it is not just the knowledge gained from books that will be questioned. B-schools are looking for candidates who are also well-aware of the world.

What are the key areas you should concentrate on?


MBA programs are demanding and needs you to have adequate knowledge related to the field. You should do your research on the specialization you are interested in. Do not forget to research on the institute as the most common question asked is Why MBA? Why MBA in this institution? The panel wants to know how you will cope with the demands of the program, how their program will benefit you and how you will contribute to the institution in return. Also be prepared to answer what your other areas of interest include. Extra-curricular activities also play an important role.

Clarity of goals:

Personal interview is a chance you get to emphasize on your goals. You will have to have clarity of your goals to answer the questions such as Why MBA? How does in fit your career goals? What are your plans after MBA? The panel is looking for the inner motivations of the candidate. Since there are no right answers to these questions, it demands introspection. Honest self-assessment may help you answer these questions convincingly.

Communication skills:

This is the key to success. Personal interview is all about communicating your ideas, goals and motives to the panel who is listening to you to know you better. Learn to speak clearly and be professional. Have confidence in what you say and answer to the point. Listen to what is being said and do not be afraid to give yourself some time to understand it well before you answer. Do not try answering when you have no clue and accept the things you do not know. The panel you will be addressing is experienced and will be easily ticked off with tactics used to impress.

What are the most frequently asked questions?

The questions generally revolve around behaviors, skills and attitudes of the student. The selector aims to gain an insight into the personality of the student by assessing the student in the following areas:

  • The Strengths and weaknesses of the student
  • Aim and objective behind management education
  • Stress and Time Management skills
  • Past performances and experiences as indicator to future behavior
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Personality conflicts, if any

Success in the interview cannot be achieved with inadequate preparation. At the same time it is not something that is impossible to achieve. It depends on how well you know yourself, your goals and how serious and dedicated you are about achieving them. So do some soul searching and you will be ready.

All the Best!!

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