MBA Admissions- Common PI Questions which can help you crack it
As GD / PI dates come closer, are you all prepared with these set of questions?
While these questions may all seem to be generic in nature do remember these are critical and important for the interviewer, be it someone from internal admission committee or someone from industry who has been invited to be part of the interview panel. Remember it is not an easy job for them to decide for or against a particular candidature and no one would like to lose out on a deserving candidate.
Listed below are some common interview questions curated from various interviews held during shortlisting and selecting process of MBA Admission in Top Business Schools including IIMs.
1. Tell us something about yourself. (Or similar)
This is primarily an introduction cum Ice breaker. This is when one makes the “first impression”. Try to avoid sharing what is already in the document (or sound like as if you are reading out your resume) which is already in their hands and in all probability they may have gone thru it before you enter the room unless you seriously want to highlight something specific.
Greet. Be calm. Settle down well.
Establish eye contact with all present.
Make it interesting and brief.
2. What are your key skills/ strengths? / What is your weakness? / What is your achievement?
3. Why do you think we should have you in our college? / Why should we admit you? / How will you add value to the campus if chosen?
They know as much as you why you have applied and why they have called you. You’re scores and other selection criteria matched, hence you are where you are. First one sounds bit direct, personal and controlling, second one a polite version of the first one but objective of the question remains almost same – to look deep inside you.
List out your strengths, skill sets and not so strong areas. You are aspiring for an MBA which itself says that your intent is to develop on skills – technical, business and soft skills.
No bragging and boasting.
Also Read: Cracking PI and impressing admission committee.
Think of ways of how can you be a part of various activities which goes on in the college when you are asked ‘How can you add value’. Example if you are good in communication you may say that you can be part of the Marcomm team or the Placement Team or win in debates and competitions for the college.
4. Why do you want to join this College?
Very similar to the last question (#3) but while the last one was about your qualities and how you fit in is what they may want to know, here it is more about your thoughts on why you shortlisted this college.
Speak out your mind about the good things and positive data you may have collected while shortlisting/applying. If you have any first-hand information or known anyone who has been an alumnus, you can refer how he/she may have influenced you to opt for this college.
Also Read: 10 Parameters to evaluate before selecting the right Business School
Cite other advantages you may have and from why you qualify.
Don’t say this college offers great placements and the average CTCs offered are really good and hence I would like to be here (even if it is the reason for you in selecting that college).
Do not exaggerate or go overboard to please. No desperation.
No show off which may indicate as if you have many offers in hand or that you may drop out later.
5. Where do you see yourself five years down the line? / What are your career goals? / What are your short-term goals? / What are your long-term goals?
Share your passion, dreams but remember to remain realistic always.
I want to be a CEO in my own start-up is fine but I want to be a CEO of an MNC (and own a Chartered Aircraft or a Yacht) is something which you may aspire for, but it may not go well and sound unrealistic and arrogant.
Short term goal – after I get an admission in (this college) I shall give my best to learn and develop myself, strengthen my skill sets which is required for making a mark in the professional world.
Long term goal - may be very subjective. Often it is seen that the goal also changes after certain period of time depending on various factors. There may be new goal by that time.
Setting up one’s own start-up or expanding family business may be some of the definite long term plans for some.
6. Why MBA? / Why marketing/ finance/Business Analytics/HRM/ETC. specialisation? / Why this particular programme? What is your expectation from this MBA programme?
For fresher’s it may be seen that campus placement did not go as per your aspirations so you have decided to go for MBA.
Candidates with work-ex may be seen in way which is more considerate as it is mostly about developing oneself for career path, learning managerial skills, acquiring business acumen.
About why a particular specialisation – you can relate it with your area of interest and past experience (if any) adding to it the fact that you see yourself doing better in that area compared to other areas and you find prospects in that area to be good for yourself.
7. What are your hobbies and interests?
Whatever you love to do (now don’t say sleeping or chilling out or Pub G) or have a passion for and want to pursue. Can be some sports or which indicates you are into fitness or that is your stress buster.
It can be made relevant to work too, like – interested in political analysis which may reflect your analytical bent of mind.
Remember, what may seem to be a boring and clichéd question can lead to your persona, which is the objective of this question.
8. Who is your role model? / Who inspires you? And why?
Try to relate it with your passion. What is that quality of that person that you want to imbibe towards life. It can be anyone not necessarily a renowned personality; can be someone from the family or someone you know whose personality traits, values and beliefs you carry or want to acquire.
It can also be something like I do not have any particular idol or role model as I believe every individual may have their own plusses and minuses so I try to see that quality and make a self-note.
9. What is the difference between a good manager and a good leader?
There are many scholarly articles which you may find in the net. Ideally there should not be any difference between the two roles. But practically not all managers are leaders. Managers may manage and run a business well follow process, protocols and SOPs but may lack leadership qualities which a situation (not mentioned in the SOP) may demand.
A manager can be excellent performer when it comes to functional level while may not be great when it comes to strategic decision making.
Note, in business leaders and managers, both are required. Not every manager turns out to be leader is the reason why organisations across the globe spend a lot on leadership trainings.
10. What is your biggest failure or challenge? / What have you learnt from your failures?
Instead of a subjective response try to pick incident(s) from life which may have been a bottle neck towards achieving something you aspired for and then explain how you are working on it towards overcoming it.
This is asked to understand behavioural traits. Remember no one is perfect including the people in the interview board and they too are aware of it.
11. Do you want to ask or know anything (about the college)?
You must have already done your homework ran a fact check but still in case you have anything specific apart from what is already there in the FAQs, feel free to ask unless it is about placement data!
Apart from these generic questions if you have any other queries please shoot here. We shall bring in experts from academia and/or corporate and have their responses or set up a direct chat interaction for you all.
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