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PI Preparation Tips for MBA Aspirants | Personal Interview Tips| Expert Speak | Alok Bansal

Post MBA entrance exam and Group Discussion, one major challenge that every MBA aspirant face is "Personal Interview (PI)" which is your entry ticket for admission to your dream B-school. Our expert, Mr. Alok Bansal will provide you real and practical insights on how to face the interview panel, how to talk during the interview, what to prepare for the PI and how to ace the MBA PI round.

Dec 31, 2019 12:15 IST
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Post MBA entrance exam and Group Discussion, one major challenge that every MBA aspirant face is "Personal Interview (PI)" which is your entry ticket for admission to your dream B-school. The PI round is a basic test to judge your personal, and academic abilities that helps the interviewer analyse if you deserve to be a manager post you complete your MBA. Therefore, our expert, Mr. Alok Bansal is here to help you prepare for the PI round that you will surely have to face before the final shortlist is announced.

MBA Interview is all about 'Preparation'

Mr. Bansal says that for every candidate it is important to understand that after the MBA entrance examination, Personal Interview is a crucial milestone to crack for getting admission. An interview is all about preparation, preparation is the key. And therefore, it is equally important to gain an understanding of the self. It is because every interviewer generally kick-starts the interview with the question "Tell me something about yourself". Experience of the 90 per cent interview panelist has suggested that candidates find it confusing and difficult to answer this question.  

Therefore, he suggests that candidates must introspect about their traits, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, and other details which help the interviewers know your personality. To make it simpler, you can talk about 3 major aspects to answer this question comprehensively:

  1. Where do you come from? (past background, family, academics)
  2. Where are you today? (What are you pursuing and why)
  3. Where is that you want to go? (Why you want to seek admission in MBA)

If you are able to answer these three questions smartly, people are able to understand you, know your goals and find out if their goals are in alignment with your goals. Once you are able to guide someone about your interests, background, and other relevant aspects, you would be able to come out with flying colors.

Important Tip: In a nutshell, each candidate gets around 55 to 60 seconds to give an impression or make statement about themselves. Grab this opportunity while that ball is in your court to guide the discussion.

Find out your 'strengths and weaknesses'

Apart from giving an overview about your personality, the panelist at the B-school wants to find out more about your personality. Therefore, you might be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. It is another way personality profiling and corroborate it with the goals that you mentioned.  

Work out your strength and weaknesses by introspecting. Your strengths are going to portray your determination however; the weaknesses that you mention will exhibit the scope of improvement. Thus, talk about your weaknesses in a  manner that you are working to improve on it.

Important Tip: Aspirants generally ask that "should I speak the truth or should I speak somewhat truth?" Mr. Bansal believes in a philosophy that being slightly diplomatic in answering that question is a wonderful way of dealing interview like a pro. Understand what kind of truth is mandatory to be told and what not. 

Focus on other areas as well

Don't be surprised, but yes, your hobbies hold relevance to the interviewers at the B-school. It is because if you tell that you like gardening, working for a NGO, and singing, they would gauge your personality from through this aspect also. A person's hobby helps him/her unwind during tremendous pressure. And, the pressure will be happening in the corporate world or otherwise. So the panelist at B-school would like to understand, how will you take care of those pressures?  Another reason to make acquaintance with your hobbies is to know if you actively participate in extra-curricular activities because that shows you creative skills.

Important Tip: While you talk about your hobbies, you can also mention about summer internships if you have undergone any. You can also focus the discussion on your favorite subjects, high and low during academic years as it portrays your proficiency level in particular subjects.

Brush up General Awareness for PI

Now that the panelists have known enough about your persona and traits, they would also like to judge you on the basis of your general awareness. It has been noticed that even the wittiest of the candidates often fail in answering the simple questions such as "who is the vice president of India?" Group discussion and extempore rounds are conducted because the selection committee is not interested in knowing the width of your knowledge but to test if you are aware about current happenings. Once you will be the manager of tomorrow, managing a diversified group with shallow knowledge will make your job challenging.

Important Tip: Prepare around the important happening and read newspaper regularly or subscribe to online forums and channels that will keep your current GK updated.

Why Personal Interview (PI) is the key?

Mr. Bansal shares an exemplary example from one of the stalwarts of the Bollywood stating that "if Amitabh Bachchan can rehearse 20 times before uttering a dialogue, why can't you and I prepare in front of a mirror for an interview and I can post questions to myself in front of a mirror and I can answer them myself?"

If you are able to master this art like a celebrity, you would experience a huge difference in not just your appearance but the way you talk with the interviewer. We are sure that these tips with help you crack the PI round for selection to your targeted B-school.

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