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The interview round is the final step for getting admission into the MBA program. Every year around 3-4 lakh students appear for the PI round out of which only 10--20% students are able to get admissions into the college of their choice. Only a handful of the selected students are able to crack the final interview round. The personal interview round is thus the most important round as it needs a lot of hard work and presentation skills to crack it. There are many reasons due to which candidates are not able to crack the final interview round successfully. Some of the common reasons are lack of confidence, presentation skills e.t.c. This article lists down some of the common mistakes made by the candidates and ways to avoid them.
Dominating the Entire Interview
The main objective of the interview round is to know the more about the skill set of the candidates. Colleges or universities conduct the interview round to select one candidate out of many. They will decide whether to select the candidate or not on the basis of interview questions. Thus it is important for the candidate to avoid dominating the interview. Lengthy answers should be avoided. You may go through the tips provided below in order to tackle this problem.
- Don't ramble or talk too much. Be descriptive, and to the point.
- Don't interrupt the conversation. Even if you have an unfair interviewer, there are no bonus points you will get to antagonise him or her. Wait patiently to state your points.
- Don't ask a personal question to the interviewer.
Unprepared for Answers
It is important to be prepared well for the interview round but most of the candidates appear for the interview round without any preparation. When the candidates show up unprepared for the most common questions, the interviewer will tell them. As no one wants to come across this type of situation, you can note down the tips given below to deal with this mistake.
- Be prepared for the common MBA interview questions. You can refer to the internet to get an idea about the most expected interview questions. You are advised to practise a lot so that you have some idea of what to expect during the interview round.
- You can also research about the type of B-School you are applying for to know about the kind of questions they will ask.
- You can also use the mock interview strategy where you can organise a mock interview with any of your mentor or friend for practice. It is advisable to take some help from the senior students who have appeared for the interview before.
Being Rude or Unfriendly
Being rude or unfriendly is also one of the most common mistakes made by the candidates during the interview. You should be polite and friendly during the interview as it is an important factor which is considered for the selection process. Here are some tips which can help you tackle this mistake
- Switch off the mobile before the interview.
- Avoid use slang or informal communication, even if the interviewer does. (Remember that you are the one being interviewed).
- Dress properly.
- Reach the interview centre at least 15 minutes before the allotted time.
- Don't be too casual. Address your interviewer as "Ms." or "Mr." unless you are specifically asked to refer to her differently (Applicable when your interview is with a board member / seasoned alumni and not a student).
- Make eye contact and listen carefully to show that you're engaged in the conversation.
- Be kind, respectful and polite to everyone(from the receptionist to the person who interviews you).
Any kind of negativity can impact your interview. You should avoid talking about your career, undergraduate professors, boss, colleagues, or anyone else. Criticising others will not make you look better. In fact, the opposite is likely to happen. You might come across as a plaintiff who can't handle conflict in an academic or professional setting. This is not the image you want to project.
It is possible that your MBA interview does not go the way you want. You may have a rough day, a tough interviewer, or you may be doing a really poor job while answering one or two questions. Whatever happens, keep it together all through the interview. You should focus on showing that you are capable of handling situations even on a bad day or bad moment. Check out the points listed below to deal with this problem effectively.
- If you commit a mistake, move on. Don’t walk out, curse, cry during the interview.
- If you have failed in something and that comes up during the interview, share about your experience and what you learnt. You can also share how the lesson helped you grow professionally as well as personally.
- Never criticise someone or complain about something.
Lack of Research about the School
There are many B-Schools in the country and each school offers a different kind of MBA program. You should know about how the MBA program at one school is different from others. You should also keep yourself updated about the highlights of the MBA program of the B-School you are going for admission. The interviewer might ask about the profile of the college too. Here are some tips that may come in handy
- You can do research in advance and make summaries of some points. You can also consider some points including curriculum (flexible vs. the same for all), class profile (representation of different industries, class size, age, etc.), extracurricular activities, clubs and alumni network.
- It is a good idea to have a word with the alumni and students of the college to collect some live experience and information about the MBA program of the selected B-School.
Not Preparing Any Questions
In the interview, the maximum number of questions are from the interviewer but sometimes the interviewer invites candidates to ask some questions. You should be well prepared for this type of situation. Not having any questions planned is also a mistake made by the candidate while appearing for the interview round. You should plan some questions by allotting some days before the interview. Make sure that the questions are not already answered on the official website of the B-School.
The most important thing is practice. You cant crack the interview without practice. Apart from this, you can also take some help from second-year students or seniors to get some important tips to crack the interview.
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