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How to Ace CAT Personal Interview?

Rini Maria
Rini MariaUpdated On: January 16, 2023 05:32 pm IST

Looking forward to the CAT 2022 Personal Interview round? Here are some helpful tips to crack CAT PI and make a lasting impression on the admission committee.

How to Crack CAT Personal Interview?

How to crack CAT PI (Personal Interview) is one of the basic queries of MBA aspirants. Many candidates get anxious and nervous and have multiple questions in their heads about the Personal Interview rounds. Appearing before a panel of judges can be a little intimidating, but with just the right amount of confidence and preparation, anyone can easily ace it. Although all institutions and MBA colleges in India have different formats, yet Personal Interview is an integral part of the admission process. Therefore, one must be well-prepared.

Now that the CAT 2022 Result has been announced by IIM Bangalore, students must start preparing for CAT Personal Interview. CAT 2022 test-takers can check out more details about the CAT 2022 result, CAT 2022 score vs percentile analysis, CAT cutoff 2022 for IIMs, and other related information in the links below.

CAT Result 2022 LinkCAT Cutoff 2022 for IIMs
CAT 2022 Toppers' ListCAT 2022 100-Percentile Scorers
CAT 2022 Score vs Percentile

Read below to understand how to appear for the personal interview round. Know about the etiquette, some tips, and tricks and how to handle any unfamiliar or uncomfortable questions.

Overview of CAT Personal Interview (PI)

  • All leading colleges, institutions, and top B-Schools conduct Personal Interview rounds for admissions to the MBA courses.
  • Personal Interview is an essential part of the admission process. It is held to understand the candidate better and their motivation and dedication.
  • PI rounds are conducted by a panel of judges. It is a real-time interaction between the candidate and the interviewer.
  • The interviewer observes both the responses and behavioural conduct of the candidate during the Personal Interview.
  • Based on a total of the CAT percentile and all other stages inclusive of the Personal Interview, the final merit list will be declared.

Also Read:  How to Prepare for PI/ WAT Rounds for MBA Admissions at Top B-Schools

How to Crack CAT PI: Know the Questions Asked in CAT Personal Interview

Interviews are held in order to learn everything about the candidate. And, it all depends on the candidate to guide the flow of the interview. The interviewer is curious to know about the different factors and opinions of the interviewee. Therefore, no matter what the question is (Positive/Negative), always have a positive opinion of it. Some questions do not have right or wrong answers, they are simply tricky. So, in order to crack CAT PI, make sure to handle such questions with confidence and positivity. Some of the questions will be based on:

  • Personality
  • Interests
  • Psychological Behaviour
  • Work Style
  • Work Experience
  • Opinions on Social Matters
  • Political Views

Important Questions Asked for MBA Admission

Given below are the top questions to prepare for the CAT Personal Interview:
  1. Tell us about your Strengths and Weakness
  2. What do you think is your best achievement
  3. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
  4. Tell us about your career goals
  5. Why do you want to specialize in marketing/ finance/HR?
  6. Tell us about your hobbies and interests.
  7. Who is your role model?
  8. What is your biggest challenge so far?
  9. How do you think you will contribute to the batch and the institute if we select you?
  10. What expectations do you have with this MBA programme?
  11. Have you ever demonstrated leadership? Share the situation…
  12. Which other MBA colleges have shortlisted you for final selection? Which one do you propose to choose and why

Questions Asked to Candidates with Work Experience

The following subjects are the ones that are most frequently brought up while interviewing candidates with work experience:
  • Roles and responsibilities for the position and job description
  • Your relationship with your managers and coworkers, as well as the environment at your workplace.
  • Accomplishments and workplace strategies you encountered.
  • Plans for progressing in your career—both short- and long-term objectives.
  • Instances of innovation, leadership, dealing with a difficult situation in a very direct way, and fraternisation should be encouraged.
  • Company's target market, the current market, and its competitors
  • Be well-informed about your profile, your competitors, and the company's history.

Questions Asked to Candidates Who have Little or No Work Experience

These candidates are asked other questions covering a wider range of topics instead of questions on specific situations where they would have shown their managerial abilities. Therefore, to crack CAT PI, candidates must be able to answer the following questions promptly:
  • Questions regarding your undergraduate courses. When taking UG classes, be incredibly meticulous. The interview panel at the IIMS will quiz you on elementary statistics, number theory, and some basic geometry and trigonometry concepts.
  • An inevitable question could be why you are opting for an MBA rather than gaining work experience.
  • Your opinions on Current events and how to change them or improve the scenario, including questions on general awareness.
  • Questions on your interests and extracurricular activities, if you have mentioned any.
  • Do not discuss your hobbies unless you have extensive knowledge about them.

Candidates must always have an upper hand while answering any of the questions. Be specific with the answers and have dominance over the response.

Key Points for the CAT Personal Interview Rounds

Here are some of the important pointers on the CAT personal interview rounds:
  • Avoid answering unfamiliar questions instead of answering wrong answers.
  • Only speak for factual numbers. Do not try to presume and respond, it may lead to an opinion of bluffing.
  • Make sure not to use any informal or indecent language (Slangs).
  • Always be dressed in formal attire.
  • Be witty and quick in responding to the questions. Avoid taking long pauses.
  • Stay on the tip of your toes. Prepare well to respond to each of the questions put forward to you.

Also Read: IIM CAP 2023 - Registrations, Dates, Centres, Personal Interview

Tricks to Ace CAT PI 2022

Here are some of the necessary key points that one must keep in mind before appearing for the Personal Interview round:

Detailed Research

Before appearing for the Personal Interview, candidates must research in detail the institute or college they are appearing for. It will help in building confidence during the interview. Some companies or institutes tend to ask questions about themselves, to know whether the candidate is interested in joining them or not. There may be multiple questions about the organization as well, therefore always be prepared.

Carry Necessary Documents

Candidates should ensure they carry the necessary documents. The interviewer may want to know about the educational qualifications or other information. So always carry original documents while appearing for an interview. Carry class 10th, 12th, Graduation Certification, Resume/ CV, notepad, or any additional certificates (as per requirement).

Basic Etiquettes

Before entering for the interview, check through this list of some basic etiquette:

  • Reach on time. Do not get late.
  • Preferably, Switch off the mobile phone. Avoid using a mobile phone during the Personal Interview.
  • Carefully listen to the interviewer before responding.
  • Only speak when necessary. Do not talk unnecessarily or out of context.
  • Do not speak ill about any other institution or organization, it only portrays your image.
  • Sit upright and maintain a proper posture during the interview.

Maintain a Formal Dress code

Candidates must dress to impress. But that does not mean the candidate can wear anything. Apart from the actual dress, they should appear confident while presenting themselves. Also, avoid wearing heavy makeup or strong perfumes.

Always be Confident

Confidence plays a key role in the interview process. Candidates who speak loud and clear are confident. Always look confident during the interview. Never let the interviewer sense your distress. Even while you are not speaking, always carry a positive and confident personality. It portrays good behaviour and manner.  

Listen Before Speaking

Always let the interviewer finish their question. Do not interrupt in between. Candidates must show patience and listen carefully. Before responding, candidates must show that they are active listeners as well.

Prepare for Behavioural Interview Techniques

During an interview, the behaviour of the candidates speaks a lot. Hence, try to learn about behavioural techniques. Additionally, there may be some questions based on behavioural techniques, for which one must prepare well and respond carefully. One of the ways to prepare for such situations is to make a list of the strength and weaknesses of the candidates. Then, while answering, focus on the strengths and respond quickly.

Use Examples

Attempt to respond to any questions the interviewer may ask by providing examples in addition to your answer. Emphasize the question's positive aspects whenever possible. Exaggerating examples will only confuse the panellists, so refrain from doing so. Think of a scenario and get some examples ready in advance. Above all, express it with confidence while giving it a genuine aspect of reality.

Be Elaborate and Open to Communication

During the interview, it should not look like a closed-ended interrogation. Answer the questions with examples and also ask questions. The easier it is for the interviewer to communicate with the candidates, the easier it is for them to judge the candidates. Therefore, instead of being defensive, try to make it interactive and interesting. It will keep the interviewer interested in you.

Ask Questions to the Interviewer

Interpersonal communication is used to conduct a personal interview, and therefore, the interviewee will give the candidates the chance to ask questions about the institution or organization. Ask whatever you believe to be pertinent and will help you in your decision to join that group or institution, without holding back.

Be Prepared and Stay Motivated

Candidates must look motivated and speak with eagerness and actively. If necessary, try to freshen up using the washroom. But during the interview, you should not let the interviewer feel that you are nervous. Stay on the A-game and respond to each question with confidence and calmness.

Also Read:

IIM Bangalore Placements 2022IIM Ranchi Placements 2022
IIM Trichy Placements 2022IIM Indore Placements 2022
IIM Kozhikode Placements 2022IIM Udaipur Placements 2022

How to Answer Popular CAT PI Interview Questions?

Candidates who are wondering how to crack CAT PI must go through the following questions asked in the PI round for MBA admission:

Tell Us Something about Yourself

It is one of the most typical opening questions in any interview. Always keep it short. Ensure that you address the following aspects of your life in an innovative way:
  • Your background in both academics and employment
  • Your family
  • Areas of your interest and passion
  • While mentioning the third aspect, don't forget to link it to your interest in management courses.

Why Did You Opt for MBA as a Career?

Whether you're a working professional or a recent graduate, your response should reflect that. Never give the impression that you took it because you were curious or bored. Make sure to incorporate the important aspects of management in the contemporary environment and how they will benefit your career ambitions.

Where Do You See Yourself in 5 years?

Remember that the interviewer is asking this question to determine whether or not you would be a perfect fit for an MBA programme. Avoid lying and giving outdated and monotonous answers like "professional advancement" or "career kickstart." Instead, discuss your areas of weakness and how an MBA will provide you the skill set employers are looking for.

Why Should I Select You?

You should emphasise how well you suit the student profile they are seeking in your response to this question. Show them that you are reliable, diligent, and capable of dealing with stressful circumstances.

Your Strength/Weakness

This would be a good opportunity to conduct a SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Confirm that your areas of strength and weakness do not conflict. Stay away from the outdated strategy of making your strength appear to be a weakness.

Now, following these tips and tricks, candidates must start to prepare for their PI rounds. After the declaration of the CAT 2022 results, the shortlisted candidates’ list will be declared soon. Therefore, without losing any more time, candidates must start their preparation for their desirable institutions, or companies.

Related Articles:
CAT 2022 Result Released; Check What's Next?
CAT 2022 Expected Cutoff - Check the CAT Cutoffs for IIMs HereIIM Cutoff 2022: CAT 2022 Cutoff for IIMs Section Wise & Category Wise

For more information and tips, reach out through the student helpline number 1800-572-9877. Candidates can also write through the Q&A zone or fill out the Common Application Form (CAF).


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