Posted on

Your PGDM Admission Interview: Nab it in 10 Steps to Get into a Top B-School in India

Interviews have always been an aggravating and trying experience. Everybody gets jittery when it comes to interviews. Top B-Schools in India typically interview only those applicants whom they’re seriously considering for MBA or PGDM admission, so the biggest hurdle is cleared when you get a call from a top b-school in India because it means they are offering an opportunity. Relax! Don’t panic! You need to overcome the nervousness. Yet remember the first impression is the last impression. You only have one chance to leave the first impression when you meet someone for the first time. Take heart from the fact that esoteric topics will not be asked and neither questions pertaining to management disciplines. The majority will pertain to your life and experiences—so saying that the questions will be about you—and surely you can answer those. Demonstrate your capabilities and qualities and how well you can serve them. Just like studying for your last final exam being prepared will ensure your success in the interview

Irrespective of which one of the top B-Schools in India you choose, the ten Interview Tips given below will help you understand and prepare for the interview process.

As your first step

Try to reacquaint yourself as you have represented yourself in your application. Revisit what you have done, what you have achieved, contemplate pivotal moments in your life and bring forth your major achievements and failures. In doing so, you shall refresh this basic knowledge in your mind and can perform at your very best during your interview.

Though most of the interviews at top b-schools in India are clear opportunities for their representatives to learn more about a candidate’s personal background, his aims, reasons for selecting a specific school and experiences, general awareness, interviews can vary in their difficulty levels dramatically. So prepare yourself best about what you know about yourself.

Prepare your portfolio

You should invest in a good quality folder which can hold your documents, like copies of your resume, references, list of questions, awards, and a notepad. In most cases, a copy of your resume will be with the college but it will speak well for you and show them you are an organized individual when you come ready to supply it. Ensure that each document that you carry is systematically filed so that when asked, you can quickly reference it during your conversation. Otherwise, the anxiety to locate a document can cause nervousness when you find yourself fumbling through your portfolio to extract the necessary documents.

Go through common interview questions and prepare accordingly your responses

One more key to success at interviews for PGDM admission at top b-schools in India is preparing responses.  Your aim should be to try to find out what you could be asked and to compose concise responses which focus on certain examples and accomplishments.  For remembering your responses you can put them in a story form, which proves to be a good tool at the time of interview. You don’t have to memorize responses (in fact, it’s best not to), but do develop speaking points. Give examples to prove your strengths. Acknowledge your weaknesses when asked. Not being able to describe your weaknesses, signifies that you lack self-awareness. Do not worry, everyone has a weakness. Brush up your communication skills. Remember without effective interpersonal skills, having only a good technical knowledge, will not take you anywhere. Be a good conversationalist. Use eloquent speech to dazzle the interviewers with.

You have to prepare well for a MBA/PGDM admission interview. Make notes of interview questions which are most likely to be asked. Practice makes perfect so practice your answers. This will raise your confidence.

Be confident, candid, authentic, upbeat, focused, and concise

The quality and delivery of your responses is the key to your success. Your aim should always be to be authentic and respond truthfully. Provide examples of accomplishments in focused concise responses. This preparation will help you to ideally avoid long, rambling responses that bore interviewers.                                                                                    Though the content of your responses is paramount, an uncouth, uncultivated body language can be a reason not to take you on. Smiling, solid posture, eye contact, active listening, and nodding are effective forms of body language. Unrefined and unpolished forms of body language include fidgeting in a chair, slouching, mumbling, playing with a pen, touching your face, brushing back your hair, chewing gum, or  looking off in the distance

Overlook the interviewer’s lack of emotion

Some interviewers can be stoic and refuse to give the candidate any inkling as to whether he/she is making a positive impression. In such cases, it is best to tune out the interviewer’s lack of emotion and focus on your answers and not allow yourself to be distracted aiming only to answer the questions posed. Concentrate on showcasing your abilities…

Never assume the interview questions will always be experiential

Some B-schools, in particular, like to understand applicants’ motivations and tend to ask questions like “What motivates you? “What are values? and “What gives you purpose in life?” The key here would be to expect and prepare for them in advance.

Handling Persistent questioning

At times you might come across a tough interviewer who will be pretty persistent in getting to the bottom of how much you know. He will continuously go deeper into a subject, asking you to be specific. Remember you have studied it. Do not give way. This pressure tactic can be disconcerting but if you know the trick it would be to simply stay on topic. Take heart from the fact that he is essentially asking you about a subject that you know quite well—you! You will be fine.

What should you wear?

Ensure that you look presentable while dressing for the MBA/PGDM admission interview. Your attire should reflect your best self, behoving a management student. Other than the instructed specifications, a professional outfit is appropriate for almost every situation. Avoid tacky and brash clothing and accessories Refrain from using strong colognes, perfumes, hair sprays, and other fragrances. These should be used sparingly as to not distract the interviewer. Important details like shoes being dirt-free and your clothes ironed and laundered should not be overlooked. Jewellery and makeup should be kept to a minimum. Being well groomed will keep you calm and not allow you to look fidgety and nervous

A thank you note?

You could send across a brief thank you note after your interview, the same day or the next is ideal—and you could mention specifics from your conversation or your visit. Sending it by email is fine.

Asking for feedback?

No! Never do that! It will show you in a poor light. Anxiety is natural but asking for feedback proves you lack good judgment and confidence.  Be patient and leave the rest for the admissions committee.

Calling the admissions office and asking if they have all your files or if an interview decision has been made might create a negative effect on your candidature framing you as belligerent. Do your best to remain calm as interview decisions begin to unfold. Do not try to second-guess your status. Have faith in yourself and patience

Be calm and collected. Do not compare yourself, as you are special, go with that confidence and preparation. It’s just an interview.

Good Luck!


Associate Dean ABS