ACADEMICScompetitive examINTERVIEW

Preparing for the MBA interviews and the life afterwards:

A small guide to ace an interview

MBA or Master of Business Administration is a course which attracts students and professionals from all walks of life. Not only does it gives us an opportunity, for interaction with people from almost every background, starting from a CA to an engineer, but it also brings us to that common platform and opens our perspective of the various specializations. But, joining one of the decent colleges in our country is an arduous task as more than 2 Lakh aspirants and a very few seats. Therefore, to find your way into one of these colleges not only requires you to prepare for the exams like CAT, XAT etc but it also requires you to prepare emotionally for the interviews. These interviews are the stepping-stones which you must clear to get the green signal. Moreover, these interviews are the places where you will never be able to fabricate your answers and, in some way, or the other, your true personality will always come to the forefront.

Being an MBA aspirant myself, let me share my insights on how to prepare emotionally for this last stepping stone:

  • Focus all your thoughts into this one preparation

Most of us might think this redundant, but from my experience, I can confidently tell you that if you do not put your heart and soul into this preparation, you might as well lose out on a very good opportunity, because not only does the panelist test on your academic knowledge, but they also test on how you perceive anything and everything around you. Therefore, it is very important that you have the right kind of focus to view every small and big events around you (and not waste your time on Facebook and Snapchat) and you can show the same to the panelist as well.

  • Prepare the question: “Tell me about yourself”

As adults, we might think that it is the easiest question to answer but from my experience and the innumerable discussions I had with other aspirants, I have concluded that this question is not only one of the toughest questions of the interview, but it is also one of the few questions which can be the deciding factor of your application. For me, I had to do a lot of soul-searching to get a proper answer, because we might offer so many insights about our life, but to present it in the right order is something which needs a lot of time and patience. For us, something which might seem important might not get the same importance from the other people or the qualities which we think are not that important might seem the exact opposite to our panelist. So, setting the right order and linking one part of our life with the other so that it might seem like they are the pearls strung on the same string requires a lot of time and practice. Therefore, any aspirant reading my article now, I suggest you start on this task from today to save yourself the last hour rush!!

  • Find your passion and develop yourself

I believe, each one of us has a creativity quotient and it is time that we give it some of our attention too because not only does it help us to keep ourselves sane in a completely insane competitive world, but it also helps to develop our personality in a different shade and which can be of great help during this interview season. From my personal experience, I have found people having so many queer passions like gathering information on domestic animals to visiting old ruined houses to map their history. There is so much to do in this busy life and when one can gain a competitive edge from it, why not give it some of our valued time?

  • Form opinions:

According to one of my mentors, it is important for an MBA grad to have an opinion of everything i.e.  from Reliance to Rupani Chappal. I found that applicable not only for an MBA grad, but also for an MBA aspirant as well, because in most of the interviews, you will not be asked about how much you know about a certain topic but what is your opinion on it. Since our childhood, most of us have the habit of developing other’s opinion (which can be of our elders or the media) as our own, but it is important that we change that habit to a more constructive one in which we gather information from all sources to develop our own opinion. This is important because it helps us further in enriching our analyzing power and decision-making capacity.

  • Have a first-hand knowledge of the life inside and after the B School:

This is the most important part of the whole preparation because, although I am yet to experience the MBA adventure but what I have found from my discourse is that, these two years will prepare us for everything except a life of peaceful 9 to 5. So, it is important that we can adjust to a flexible lifestyle and maintainkeep up it as healthy at the same time. Moreover, it is also important to learn time management because that is the most important quality we will need during these two years. Therefore, it is my opinion, that if we can develop these qualities before entering the B school, it will help us to cope with the stress attached with it in the long run.

  • Build your profile; not muscles:

Well I am not saying building your muscles is a wastage of time but building a good profile should be your top priority at this moment because when people from different backgrounds converge on the same platform, it is your profile relevant to the field (along with your intellect to use it) which can propel your forward. But you might question as to how? Well the answer is very simple: there are a lot of online and offline courses available which will not only enrich you with a basket full of information, but it will also provide you with the certification necessary for a relevant profile.

Although I have realized all these quite late, and I also know that many of you are on the same boat as mine, but is it not a popular saying: better late than never!!

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Nandinee Majumdar

Mechanical Engineer from Future Institute of Engineering and Management who has a job experience in industrial marketing and going for an MBA from XIMB

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