CAT Personal Interview is the final door and of course the most critical step to enter the top IIM’s and B-schools. Despite months of preparation, Interview sometimes, can really get out of hand. So as you start your preparation for PI session, it is very important to be well aware and familiar with the types of questions that are frequently asked by the Interview Panelist.
Tell Me About Yourself – “Who are you?”
Any interview starts with the most frequently asked question – “Tell Me about Yourself”. This is one such question that you should always be prepared to answer. It is usually asked to test your communication skills, body language and level of confidence. So do not bore the panel by repeating what is already mentioned in your application.
Remember to be brief and clear. While answering, make sure you mention these three aspects of your life:
- Educational and professional background (if any)
- Family Background
- Interests and Hobbies
Try to tell them something that is unique about you and link it to your management studies. So if this is the first question directed at you, make sure you do a good job answering it.
What are your strengths & weaknesses?
You must prepare yourself properly for this question as it can be a tricky one to answer. If you have not evaluated yourself yet, then now is the time for self analysis. You must ensure that the strengths and weaknesses do not contradict or even overlap each other. Be careful about the “Weakness part.”
Also, keep in mind to not present your strength as a weakness. A smart way to tackle this part is to come up with a genuine weakness and then immediately mention about how you have planned to overcome it.
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
Be honest while answering this one. Try not to lie. This question is generally asked to understand whether you are a good fit for the job or not. Do not end up saying “at your position” because that is a monotonous one. It does not make any sense until you justify and prove it.
It is important to note that you do not need to give details on personal life rather focus on professional growth. However, success in personal life and achievements also provides a quick look on what you would be doing 5 to 10 years later.
What is there in your CV?
This is when most of the candidates just lose it. Ignorance about your own achievements and accomplishment sounds foolish when you’re not able to answer what is mentioned there. Therefore, be thorough with everything that is written in your CV as it will portray your strong memory power.
What do you do in your free time? (Hobbies/Interests)
The answer to this can be both – serious and funny.
If you’ve mentioned anything as a hobby, just to impress the interview panel, then you should better do some R&D! But In case you have mentioned genuine hobbies, then that should not be a problem. Give those kinds of answers that the interviewer would enjoy listening to.
Why did you choose MBA as a career?
This is the question where you can link future to your past. The ideal answer to this particular question depends on your background – whether a fresher, who just completed graduation or a working professional with experience.
Answers like “you’re looking for challenging job in a reputed firm” or “want to earn lots of money and status” — don’t really work. You must convey that you have made a rational and informed decision about your career choice.
You should mention that MBA would be an ideal launch pad into the corporate world. Talk about your career objectives and the value addition that MBA would provide you. Never make it look like you took it out of curiosity or boredom.
7. Why do you think the chosen area of study will benefit you?
Analyzing the qualities required for different specialization can equip you well with an appropriate answer. Tell them how that particular field is suitable and appealing for you. You need to show case that you meet the standards and characters of the chosen area that will help you enjoy the work.
Why do you want to join this school?
This particular question offers you a chance to impress the Interview Panel. Before you appear for the Interview, you must do a detailed research about that particular B-school. Know about the institution’s history; placement records and ranking. Once you are done with the basic information, prepare for how it has fascinated and inspired you and how your admission in that college will make one of your goals to come true.
Your answer should reflect that you’ve done your homework well and that you’re keen to pursue your management degree from that particular B-School.
Why should you be selected?
You have to be extremely clear while answering this one. Do not be shy about expressing yourself confidently, but at the same time avoid being self-centered. Your focus should be on making them understand that you are absolutely fit for the profile of the student they are looking for. Make them believe that you are hardworking, dedicated, and loyal. Highlight your critical thinking, social abilities and leadership qualities. Show them you have the capability to handle difficult and stressful situations. At last tell them how you can contribute to their work.
Do you have any questions for us?
This is the last and most crucial question that may affect the decision of your selection. Remember to never say “NO”! You should be willing to show interest and ask them about the Institution’s history or anything about the academic profile. Don’t ask any unnecessary questions.
This will give an impression that you definitely gained some knowledge and learned things from the interview. Never initiate salary related inquiries as your curiosity should not be reflected as part of your greed, Right?
Once you reach towards the ending of the Interview, have a smile on your face and greet them goodbye with a thank you note.
In the end, no one can predict the questions you’ll have to face in your Personal Interview as every session is unique. But, you are certainly expected to know the answer to every question that you will be asked in CAT Personal Interview.
Educolada wishes you “All The Best.”
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