Cracking Personal Interviews – The EG way

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Congratulations on your performance in the management entrance tests this year. It is evident from your performance that you are amongst the brightest minds in the country. Now just one more step and you will make it to your dream b school.

But how do we clear this round? Google results are full of questions from the perspective of either job or western business schools, both of which, even though somehow relevant to Indian B-School interviews, cannot be relied upon entirely as they miss out on many of the nuances and subtleties limited to only Indian business school admission processes. This post aims to address just that.

At EG, we recommend that you cover your entire GDPI (or GEPI, or CDPI, or AWT PI) preparation in 5 different phases:

  1. Profile/résumé based questions.
  2. Academia/ Work experience related questions.
  3. Current affairs and general knowledge.
  4. Specialization Based questions.
  5. Guesstimate Questions
  1. Profile/résumé based questions.
    This will cover questions based on your entire profile. Be sure to know everything written on your resume and B-School forms better than you know the back of your hand. This is extremely crucial because the first few questions the interviewer is going to ask you are almost always going to be based on your profile.

However clichéd it may sound, but first impressions matter. A lot more than you think.

  • Walk me through your resume/ tell me something about yourself.
  • Why is there a 1-year gap between your 12th and 1st year?
  • Why did you choose Metallurgy?
  • Why MBA?
  • Questions about your hobbies.
  • Tell me more about your 3rd-year project.

So on and so forth.

  1. Academia/ Work experience related questions:This will cover questions based on your work experience if you have any, or your graduation subjects if you are a fresher. If you are in a weird position where you have less than 12 months of work ex, you can expect questions about your work experience, as well as your graduation subjects.

The interviewers will always know what they are talking about. If you’re a CS/IT engineer, you can be asked anything, from blockchain to 8085 microprocessors. If you are an economics grad, you can be asked anything, from your opinion on Powell becoming the Fed Chair, to the impact of Brexit.

You are obviously not expected to know, or correctly answer everything. But if you are unable to answer the majority of the questions, then that obviously means trouble.

You might even be asked something along the lines of “What was your favorite subject during your graduation?” and you are expected to know everything about that subject.

Questions on your work ex may include questions such as:

  • Why did you leave your 1st job just after 6 months?
  • Why did you go for a job in XYZ sector while your graduation branch was PQR ?
  • How is an MBA relevant to what you’re currently doing? How is an MBA going to help you?
  • What do your superiors think of you?
  • Any ethical dilemmas you’ve faced during your work? How did you resolve it?
  • Details on your work ex, questions about your company, the entire sector you’re working in, etc.
  • How do you think automation and AI is going to affect what you’re doing? Would you stand to get fired from your job if the automation streak continues?
  1. Current affairs and general knowledge:

Rather obvious. You need to be aware of what goes around you. This is extremely important if your interview is in the same city where you’re currently residing.

  • Who’s the MP/MLA in the area you’re living in? Which political party do they belong to? What do you think about that political party?
  • Why is your city famous?
  • Who was the last King of your city/state?
  • Names of ministers of your state.
  • Trade deals with neighboring states.

At the same time, you also need to be aware of the major news headlines that have rocked the nation, and the world in past 1 year. Some of these are:

  • Demonetization and GST
  • Kashmir issue
  • JNU case, and your opinion on it
  • Beef Ban
  • Yogi Adiyanath’s religion-centric policies and orders
  • USA- North Korea tensions
  • Trump and Russia’s election meddling
  • Blockchain and Bitcoin’s surge
  • S&P 500’s rally
  • Major mergers and acquisitions
  • Justice Loya’s death and the recent SC controversy, etc.
  • Ban on suggestive condom ads (particularly because this may make students uneasy)
  1. Specialization Based questions:If you have a specialization in mind, the interviewers are likely to grind you on your choice. Want to go for an MBA in finance? Be ready to face questions ranging from definitions of Repo and Reverse Repo (and the current rates) to how ICOs work.

Want to go for Marketing? What are the 4 P’s? How can you market condoms now?

Guesstimates, Ethical problems, and Puzzle based questions

  • How many letters does this article have?
  • How many pigeons are there in Delhi?
  • How will you slice a cake in 8 equal pieces with just 3 cuts?
  • Why are manholes round?
  • How many points exist on earth where you can walk north, take a left, then a right, and end up where you started from?
  • Trolley problem!

I’d strongly suggest reading “How to move mount Fiji” and “101 ethical dilemmas” to cover these type of questions. Know how guesstimates work. Know the concept of utility.

But most importantly, remember the 3 C’s:

  1. Calm: Always be calm.
  2. Confident: Be so confident that people think you own the place. Maintain eye contact. Shake hand firmly. Maintain your posture. (Read this excerpt of a research paper by Nalini Ambady to know why this just might be the most important thing you can do in your PI: )
  3. Concise: Be concise. Don’t blabber. The more you speak, the higher the probability that you end up saying something that the interviewers will pick up to cross-question you. Steer the interview in a direction you are familiar with.

ElitesGrid Wish you all the best for Interview.


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