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MBA INTERVIEW : FAQs

ABOUT YOURSELF ACADEMICS WHAT IF ALL GOES WRONG? WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU DO NOT GET THROUGH IN MBA THIS TIME? WHAT KIND OF BODY LANGUAGE SHOULD I USE? WHERE WOULD YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHAT IS YOUR CAREER PLAN? COMMENT ON COMMUNICATION SKILLS IF WE WERE TO MAKE A CHOICE BETWEEN YOU AND A COLLEAGUE WHO WAS SITTING NEXT TO YOU IN THE GD, WHOM SHOULD WE CHOOSE? WHY DO YOU NOT WANT TO CONTINUE IN YOUR PREVIOUS COLLEGE? CREATIVITY BASED QUESTIONS DO'S AND DONT'S DRESS CODE ASKING QUESTIONS AND THE END HOW DO I GREET THE INTERVIEWER? TELL US AN INCIDENT THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE? HOW SHOULD I HANDLE MYSELF IN A "STRESS INTERVIEW" SITUATION? WHAT IF I CANNOT ANSWER THE QUESTION BEING ASKED TO ME? WHAT SHOULD BE THE PACE OF MY SPEECH IN THE INTERVIEW?
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HOW DO YOU RANK YOUR PERFORMANCE IN THE GD? HOW DO I ESTABLISH A RAPPORT (IMPRESSION) WHY SHOULD I HIRE YOU? ABOUT YOURSELF

Tell us something about yourself. --Introduce yourself Why does the interviewer ask you this question? When the evaluator asks you this question, it could be because of several reasons: There is more than one interviewer in the panel and your bio-data is with one interviewer. So, this is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself to those interviewers who have not seen your bio-data as yet. The interviewer would like to put you at ease by asking you a question that he knows you can answer well. The interviewer would like to know you better - i.e. he would like to know more about you than what is written in the bio-data. The interviewer has not planned out the remaining questions as yet - so, interviewer would like to take hints from What you say to plan out his next question. How should you prepare for this question? Your main objective in answering the question is to veer the interviewer to areas where you are most comfortable i.e. to the topics you would like to talk more about. It could be: Hobbies and extra curricular activities. Special achievements Strengths or weaknesses Work experience Academics Family background Usually, interviewers would like to ask questions on topics you are comfortable with, and would like to test the depth of your knowledge in those topics. So, now take a long break and do some Introspection. What are your topics you are most comfortable with?
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Do you have any interesting hobbies (e.g. palmistry, mountaineering, ghazals etc.) which could interest the interviewers? Make a list of the questions that could be asked on the topic you have chosen and be prepared with answers. Poor answer : My name is "...." My father, "...." works with "....", my mother is "...." and my brother is studying in "..." I have done my schooling from "...", thereafter I did my graduation from "...", my specialization being "..." I have also worked for "..." years. with "..." Analysis of the poor answer The above answer suffers from some major deficiencies: 1) The interviewer is interested in knowing more about you, perhaps more than what is given in the bio-data. He is usually not very interested in your family background. Perhaps, you could let the interviewer understand you better by telling him about your hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, special achievements in life, why you are interested in doing MBA etc. 2) The answer does not provide the interviewer with the direction for the next question. The candidate could have easily veered the interviewer to his areas of strength. Some good sample answers 1) (For a person who has reading management books as his hobby) My name is "...." I did my graduation from "...", my specialisation being "..." I have also worked for "..." years. with "..." I first got motivated to do an MBA(Or Engg.,Medical etc.) when my father gifted me "Lee Loccocca's auto-biography." The book was an eyeopener as it helped me get a better understanding of the challenges and responsibilities of a manager. I have since then read books by Tom Peters, Goldratt and Prahalad, which I find to be interesting and stimulating. I feel that a knowledge of different theories of management and different functional areas got by doing an MBA from "....." would help me better appreciate the issues that I have been reading from the management books. Analysis : Now, there is a fair enough chance that any Professor taking the interview would like to dwell at length about Ioccocca, Peters and other management gurus, which is what the candidate has prepared for - it has definitely created a good starting impression
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2) (For a candidate who has leadership skills and teamwork as his strengths) My name is "...." I did my graduation from "...", my specialisation being "..." I have also worked for "..." years with "..." My strengths are being a good leader and team player. In my school days, I was a "school captain...," in college I "...." These strengths I feel would help me become a good manager, because I feel managing people well is one of the greatest traits of an effective manager. Analysis : The candidate has told the interviewers about his leadership skills and the different posts that he held in his academic career. This has definitely created a good impression on the interviewers - moreover, the interviewers would perhaps question him about the extracurricular activities. Personal questions: Personal questions are individual specific. A thorough thought process is necessary to answer the questions. Some questions that could be asked are as follows: 1) Introduce yourself 2) What your family background or parental influences? 3) What is the meaning of your name? 4) Name 3 of your strengths and weaknesses? How do you plan to resolve your weaknesses? Describe one incident which brings about your strengths / weaknesses? 5) Given a choice, if there is one thing which you could change in yourself, what would it be? 6) Who is your role model? Why? 7) Describe an incident which changed the course of your life. What did you learn from it? 8) What was the most embarrassing/ terrifying incident of your life? 9) What is your measure of success? 10) How would you rank your performance in the GD? 11) If we (interviewers) were to make a choice between you and your friend, whom should we choose and why? 12) What would you do to get rid of the weakness you have? ACADEMICS Academics : The evaluators are keen to know your academic performance. Questions in this area are asked to test whether a candidate has been serious in his career. Though, this is not the only way to test an individual , this is one of the commonest way. If this is your area of weaknesses be prepared with supporting reasons . The probable questions in this area are
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as follows: 1) Quantitative/Mathematical Questions 2) Projects done as a part of the curriculum 3) Explain academic performance graph, if going down. 4) Favorite subject and most hated subject with reasons 5) Application of theories and concepts 6) Current happenings in the area of your academics, if any General guidelines: 1) Do not bluff . If you are not sure of the answer, you can always say " I don't know" instead of getting caught . 2) Do not use jargons or technical terms 3) You should be so clear about your subjects that you could explain to a child. 4) Use examples if possible 5) Never lose your calm. Explain academic performance graph, if going down: Why does the interviewer ask you this question? Most of the evaluators look highly upon good academic performance - so, in case you have poor grades, they would like to know the reasons why. The interviewer would be interested in knowing if you are a habitual poor performer, or have done badly for a particular course. The interviewer would be interested in knowing if you are hardworking and ready to improve. How should you prepare for this question? Remember that your main aim is to divert the attention of the examiner from your grades, (Which is your weakness) to your areas of strength (maybe some extra-curricular activities, hobbies, current affairs etc.) The lesser the time spent discussing your poor academic performance, the better. Do not spend more time talking about the poor performance at length and long explanations. Low grades show that you lack consistency, perseverance and the ability to put in hard work. If you could subtly (through your hobbies, extra curricular activities etc.) show that you do possess these qualities, it would be a definite advantage for you. Low grades do not necessarily mean low caliber. You may not be interested in your subject but you could have done a lot of reading on some
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topics that interests you (e.g. astronomy, history, epics etc.) You may also cite the examples of people like Einstein, Edison, Lincoln etc. who were poor academically but were genius in their own right. But be very well prepared, as you will be questioned on the subjects you claim to be good at. Be prepared for the questions on academics that you may be asked. It has been noticed that if the student were bad at academics, interviewers would like to ask some questions to check out depth of knowledge of candidate in that particular area. On the other hand, if you are able to give correct answers, the impact of poor performance is reduced. So refresh your basics If you have a consistent level of good performance, you may be asked what other activities did you pursue. The evaluators want to evaluate your personality as a whole. They are keen to know whether you were stronger only in your studies or you took active interest in some other activities . If you follow certain hobbies and have received awards in some extracurricular activities, be sure to mention them. Good answers ( If poor academic performance) : The answers to this questions are very much specific to the candidate. Following are some answers usually given to explain for bad grades. 1) The examiners understand that comparing across universities, and comparing across disciplines is not easy - 70% marks may be excellent for Orissa Board in English but pathetic for Maharashtra Board exams in Science. Moreover, it is impossible for the professors to know what is the "good performance marks" across different institutes in the country (If possible, you could use this fact to your advantage). 2) If your grades have improved over time, it could be a good indication of the fact that you learn things fast. You could say that "being a slow starter is one of my weaknesses, but I keep improving over time. I hope that I would be a topper in the management institute I join." 3) If you had better grades in school and lower grades in college, you could say "Sir, I have always been a good student at school, and that is reflected by my good grades at school. In college, I did keep up with the studies, but other than studies I also took active part in extracurricular activities like organizing "..." in 1st year, "..." in 2nd year.... This has helped me improve my personality and honed my leadership skills, which I feel would help me become in handling multiple situations." 4) If you have low grades but are confident in the subject, you could say, "I do not believe that grades completely reflect on how well one knows one's subject - even though I might have got bad grades, I am confident about my
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subject. And be ready to be asked the most difficult questions possible in your subject - but if you answer well, it will create a good impression 5) If you have several extracurricular activities, talk at length about your extra-curricular activities,what you learnt from such activities and how that would help you become a better manager.Try to make your answer interesting. In case you are able to interest the interviewers in your extracurricular activities, it is highly probable that they would not quiz you further in academics. 6) If there were some unfortunate events that diverted your attention from studies (e.g. loss of a near and dear one, an illness etc.), you could state those reasons. Interviewers are usually sympathetic towards such answers - we all face those difficult days in life. IF ALL GOES WRONG What if it all goes wrong? You might sense that you are failing to establish a rapport with the interviewer. This is very probable in most interviewers.Reasons could be: 1) Interviewers want to conduct a stress interview: Here interviewers do not express any opinions about what you say and maintain a very straight face throughout - so that you do not know how you are faring in the interview. In such a situation, try to maintain your composure, smile and nod at interviewers. Occasionally, wit and humor in your answers could also help. Never become nervous or think that you are doing badly in the interview. Concentrate on answering the questions asked to the best of your ability. 2) It is possible that you are at fault. Consider the following points : a)Are you talking too much? Pause more often and shorten your answers listen more carefully to what interviewers have to say. b) Are your answers so short that they sound curt? Soften your tone. Show the interviewers, by nods and gestures, that you are interested in the questions and comments. Also,try to answer questions more completely by analyzing issues in greater depth. c) Respond with energy and enthusiasm - speak with clarity and use facial expressions as a visual aid to emphasize your meaning. Don'ts : Don't get irritated or aggressive, give contrary points of view, or give long-winded explanations to cover your mistakes.
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ALTERNATE PLANS What are your options if you do not get through in MBA this time? Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) To know whether you are clear about your other options if you do not get through in MBA this time - whether you have a contingency or alternate plan of action. 2) To see how honest you are in answering this question. They would also like to check out how whether you have the confidence in yourself about getting through in MBA. 3) Gauge your career focus. Good answers : 1) " I see no reason why I should not get through in MBA this time, but I have alternate plans if I am not successful." 2) " I am confident of qualifying in MBA this time. If I am unable to qualify in MBA, then I plan to join in May this year. I believe that a year in the industry will benefit me in the long run. I will be able to contribute more effectively in class and group discussions when I reapply to your Institute next year." Analysis (for 1 and 2 above): The candidate is very confident, but is still smart enough to have an alternate plan. 3) "I have been in the industry for three years, and feel that to grow in the organization and to grow personally, I need to spend two years in a business school. If I am unsuccessful in this attempt, I will return to my work and try again next year. I am confident that the skills I acquire at office will stand me in good stead in the future." BODY LANGUAGE What kind of body language should I use? Why should I bother about body language? Body language is very important in the interview - more than "what you say", "how you say it" determines the success or failure in the interview. Reinforces what you are saying Can distract the interviewer if not well controlled Impressions regarding confidence and honesty can be built observing body language.
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Body language is composition of posture, gestures, facial expressions, voice etc. You can control your movements by following simple guidelines mentioned in the following sections . Breathing : Interviewers know that you may be nervous, but if you are feeling really nervous, you could concentrate on controlling your breathing. The way in which you breathe affects the rhythm and pace of your speech. If you take short, sharp breaths in upper chest, you force yourself to breathe too often to sustain your voice. Unnatural pauses and gasps will punctuate your speech. You should pause at natural breaks to take in your breath. Pausing in these natural breaks provides a further benefit - it gives you some time to think about what you want to say and hence control the content of your speech. Hands : If you do not know what to do with your hands, clasp them or put them on your lap or put your elbow on the table in front of you. Avoid small repetitive movements: if you keep moving your foot, smoothing your hair or nibbling your fingernails, it will distract the interviewer and will give away your nervousness. Avoid any side to side swaying movements. Attentiveness : Make sure your body language is sufficiently receptive. Don't turn away from the interviewer, or wrap your arms around your chest in self-protection. Don't gaze out of the window as that gives the impression that you are not interested in the interview process. Always try to look the interviewer in the eye while answering questions. Preparation : Ask friends to observe you during "mock" interview sessions Record yourself giving an interview to observe subtle movements. Do's Don'ts 1) Use hand gestures to stress certain points 1) Point at some-one (rude) 2) Show that you are listening 2) Shake your feet (nervousness) 3) Smile 3) Move your hands vigorously 4) Show your palm (aggressive) CAREER PLAN

Where would you see yourself five years from now? - What is your career plan? How should you reply? Your answer may include the following components: 1) You are not absolutely certain at present 2) Depending on interests, exposures and opportunities; you hope to be in a position in an organisation where you can make a difference. 3) A position where your education serves you in your role. It allows interaction with bright peers and provides a steep learning curve. For MBA Interviews: Your answer could be structured as: 1) Talk about few industries/types of jobs, which attract you. 2) State why they interest you, and where you hope to be in them. (your previous work experience as a Software programmer could lead to an interest in Venture Capital) 3) State how an MBA would shape you for that role. 4) Conclude by saying that you do not know whether an MBA will reinforce or change your decision. Preparation : 1) Do some introspection and think what interests you at present. 2) Investigate career path in different fields.Meet alumni or people in Industry. Although it's certainly difficult to predict things far into the future, I know what direction I want to develop toward. Within five years, I would like to become the very best _____ your company has. In fact, my personal career mission statement is to become a world-class _____ in the _____ industry. I will work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I will be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities that might be presented in the long term. : CHOOSING YOUR HOBBIES : How should you choose your hobby? Usually people have many hobbies - you have to choose which hobbies are the best for the interview point of view. For this try to find out the depth of your knowledge about your hobby. Once you decide on your hobby, you should try to get in-depth knowledge about the same and also be prepared for questions like how your hobby has helped you in the past and will be
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helping you in the future. Good answers : 1) "My hobbies and interests are "" and "". If you want, I can elaborate on them further. When asked - elaborate on the activities and highlight how you got interested in the hobby and any significant achievements you may have had in the field. The answer must end with how these hobbies have helped you develop certain managerial skills, e.g. leadership qualities, initiative and follow-through and ability to perform multiple tasks. 2) "Cricket has taught me a lot about being a team player and the importance of being good in all aspects of whatever you do. Moreover, there are several qualities I learnt from better cricketers of our times - temperament from Steve Waugh, never-say-die attitude of Javed Miandad and consistency of Sunil Gavaskar." 3) "Right from childhood, I have been exposed to music. I have not only gained an appreciation of classical music, but have also learned to play the suitar. Music helps me concentrate on the tasks at hand, and has been a medium of expression for me. I have won several awards in school and college, and more importantly made lots of friends with similar tastes in music." 4) " What started out as a small interest in junior classes has become a passion for me. I have a huge collection of stamps (now over 12,000 stamps) from all over the world. It has allowed me to make friends from different backgrounds and countries. It is a pity that email has cut down my opportunities of getting newer stamps, but I still the one to maintain constant touch with all my pen friends. Not only stamp collecting, the entire exercise helped me improve my written English. 5) If you have mentioned reading as an interest, make sure you have an impressive list of authors to mention. Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Tom Clancy, Mills and Boons, ShobhaDe are books which SHOULD NOT be mentioned. Also avoid stating names of comics and magazines. Recommended reading: Vikram Seth, P.G.Wodehouse, Ayn Rand, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Dickens, William Golding, Shakespeare, JD Salinger, George Orwell. Hobbies/Extra-curricular activities : Hobbies and extracurricular activities are an indication of a wellrounded personality and highlight certain personality traits like leadership, team-working, managing more than one activity. The activities that qualifies as hobbies and extra curricular are - activities after school years, the more
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recent the better. Ubiquitous activities like reading, films, etc. will require rigorous validation through deep and varied knowledge about the field. Also be aware of the current happenings or events in the area of the hobbies. Being aware is half the battle won, the evaluators may ask your stand or opinion on the same. You have to prepare well for answering questions that could be asked related to your hobby. For e.g. If cricket is your hobby, the evaluators will ask for your opinion on the King Commission? or Do you feel Kapil Dev is guilty? Has the CBI report revealed the real culprits? Another example, if traveling, hiking etc. is your hobby; you should have a good knowledge of different places in the country, the time taken etc. If palmistry is your hobby, then the interviewers may ask you to readtheir palms - you should be confident enough of doing well in that part of it. Other questions which can be asked on your hobbies are as follows: 1) What are your hobbies? Do you participate in extra-curricular activities.? 2) How has it added value? - how has it added to your personality / what have you gained from this activity?. Think on the attributes you developed because you pursued your hobby. 3) Depth of interest and General awareness - Knowledge about the technicalities of the field and famous events/people/places and favorites amongst those. Be aware of recent happenings in your field of interest. 4) Achievements in hobby - Any awards won, participation at renowned competitions, and any post or position of authority held. 5) Future pursuit of hobby - Present a balanced view where one appreciates the demands of MBA life but then still makes reasonable room to continue the hobby. COMMUNICATION SKILLS Comment on the importance of having good communication skills in management : Communication skills consist of listening, speaking and language skills. All of these can be developed by self-training. Listening skills and speaking skills are covered in other sections of this guide. You might not be educated in an English medium school and lack fluency in spoken English. English is the medium of instruction in Indian MBA schools and also the language spoken by corporates, so in case you are not fluent in
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English, it could be held against you. Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) To put you in a difficult situation knowingly, and see how do you handle it. 2) To test how you defend your weakness How should you answer this question? 1) You should practice speaking in English in different forums - practice is very important in spoken English. 2) You should stress that communication is not dependent on the manner in which you speak but on the content - the way Indians speak English is very different from the way in which English is spoken in foreign countries (like US and UK). If you are able to get your points across and communicate effectively, and understand what is spoken to you, then fluency is not a major issue. 3) If you have been to college where English was the medium of instruction, please mention that and also mention t 3) If you have been to college where English was the medium of instruction, please mention that and also mention that you faced not difficulty in studying in those colleges. So, you should not face any difficulty in the present college. How should I reply? 1) At the outset, accept the role of good communication in effective people skills and leadership skills. 2) Importance of communication skills along with that of the content of communication, giving an example where the latter is more important than the former. 3) Refer to yourself (shows humility but can backfire), and at the same time mention how you have improved over time. CHOICE BETWEEN YOU AND A COLLEAGUE Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) To test your team skills - how well you get along with others in the GD and what you feel about your group members. 2) Your ability to prove yourself to be better than your colleagues. Proof can only come by logically stating your criteria. 3) This is a sort of tricky question (note that the points mentioned above may be contradictory to each other). So, the evaluators would like to see how you answer this question objectively while not talking bad about others in your group and at the same time, talking positively about yourself. 4) Testing your diplomatic skills.
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How should you answer this questions? 1) Be objective and reason out the question. Firstly, it is important for you to be a good listener and remember what the other people say so that you can base your answer on facts. Jot down points made by other speakers and remember their names 2) One very good way to answer this question is to say, "My colleague made. points. I believe part of what he says about "." But at the same time, I believe that "", which is quite contradictory to what my colleague said. I feel that both of us have our own perspective about the issue - but I believe firmly in what I said Analysis : This way, it would be possible for you to answer the question without speaking negatively about either you or your colleague, and you will get positive credit for standing by whatever points you made in the GD. 3) Use the following as a criteria (CLASS) to compare your colleague and yourself: C larity L istening Skills A dditional knowledge S ummarizing skills S tructure What if I was miserable in the GD? 1) State you were not comfortable with the topic, or other reasons like a) you felt that you did not want to add to the ongoing confusion, b) you had no additional points to make and gained by listening to other people. 2) State that you are confident that you will perform well in the interview. 3) State that you gained enormously as a listener, and must give that credit to your colleague. However, you are confident that you are a better candidate on the whole (subtly accepting that he was better in the GD). You are willing to move forward and not dwell on the GD performance. WHY NOT CONTINUE IN EARLIER COLLEGE Why do you not want to continue in your previous college? If you are already doing management from one institute, but would like to do from a better place, you will be wasting a year if you change your college of doing management now.

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How should you answer this question? 1) Tell the interviewers that you would "like to be amongst the best" and so you want to change to another institute. 2) Be careful that you do not speak badly about the institute where you are studying presently. At the same time, you should mention the good points of the institute where you would like to join.

Key things to state : 1) Start with the existing MBA Programme, and mention its strengths and weaknesses. Compare the existing facilities and with what you can expect in the future. 2) Say that a good institute can make an impact on the candidates personality , talk about: l brighter peer group l greater challenge l superior faculty l case-study method l established global reputation l specialization in strategy l greater opportunities in the future 3) You believe that in the long run, the knowledge gained through in-class and out-of-class interaction will outweigh the loss of one year. 4) State that training for one year has readied you and will help you contribute more effectively in your new Institute. 5) Conclude by saying that the fact that you are willing to give up an entire year is testimony to your commitment and focus on being one of the best. Don'ts 1) Talk ill of your previous institute 2) Talk only about money and opportunities 3) Ignore fact that you are repeating a similar programme CREATIVITY BASED QUESTIONS Creativity testing questions: These questions test the imagination of the candidate. For e.g.: "Name 10 uses of a pen apart from its normal function". The preparation required for these questions is similar to the extempore topics. The key point to be kept in mind in not to restrict the topic to one single dimension. Elaborate on all possible options.
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Q: The candidate was given a photo of a dog and a child sitting on a beach and was asked to come up with as many different advertisements and ideas of different products and captions. Candidates response: 1) TV - clarity of picture 2) Cameras - good quality of photograph 3) Insurance - as a very cozy and secure scene 4) Body care products Analysis: The answer is good because the candidate has talked about varied options. Q: The interviewers gave a photograph to the candidate. The photograph was of two people standing wearing turbans - one with a mobile phone, the other facing him with his hands clenched. The candidate was asked to name five social causes that he could fight for from that picture. Candidate's Response : 1) Dowry - As people are wearing silken dresses, looks like a marriage, the person with the phone is asking for dowry to the person with clenched hands who is the girl's father. 2) Gender Equality - clearly this looks like a male dominated society. 3) Background decoration is very lavish and shows a lot of expenditure for a poor country like India. 4) The expenditure in marriage is too much - so I will try to popularise court marriages. Q: Again look at the picture - now think of other five ways in which you could use the photograph. Candidate's Response : 1) Paper Quality is good - so it could be used by a camera company. 2) It could be used by shops specializing in marriages or functions. 3) Can be used by police anywhere with the caption "Before you get caught for dowry and this happens to you, leave the practice. Analysis: The answer is good because the candidate has elaborated about varied options .

DO'S AND DON'TS Do's when answering Questions :


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1) Do try to veer the interview to the areas where you are most comfortable. So, when you end your answers, try to drop hints that will help the interviewer know your areas of strength. This is particularly important when you are asked standard questions like "Tell me about yourself", "What are your strengths and weaknesses" etc. The more the interviewer asks you things you are comfortable with, the better the chances of you performing well. 2) Do end your answers with positive points whenever you can. For example, if you have made some criticism about the company where you last worked, it is better that you end the answer with a few positive remarks about the company. This will give the interviewer an impression that you are not biased and are making an even-handed assessment of employer's pros and cons. 3) Do keep your answers of an appropriate length (neither too long, nor too short). Once you have completed the answer, indicate that to the interviewer by dropping the pitch of your voice on the last syllable of final sentence. Appropriateness of length is subjective. Look to see if the interviewer is expressing his interest in what you are saying, and decide on the length of your arguments. 4) Do try to be a good listener, especially when the interviewer is asking you questions. Never interrupt the interviewer - allow him to complete asking the question before you speak. You should ask the interviewer to repeat a question if you did not understand it fully. Or you can paraphrase it and ask the interviewer if you have understood the question correctly. 5) Do avoid unnecessary personal disclosures. The interviewer is more interested in you rather than your family background - it is always better to talk less about your personal life unless the interviewer explicitly asks you about it. 6) Do be cautious of using too many jargons to impress the interviewer. You may be a genius in the area of specialisation but while talking to the interviewers who may not too much of the technical details, you should try to avoid too many difficult terms. If you could explain the concepts in simple and easy language, then you will get maximum credit. 7) Do be cautious of using too many clich terms, bombastic words or out of the wayquotations in your sentences. They may make your speech very artificial (i.e. those terms or phrases were not required but you are using them to impress the interviewer) 8) Understand the question before jumping at an answer. If you have not understood or heard the question properly, do not hesitate to ask for
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clarifications. Very often, if you are not sure of the answer, this is a good strategy, for the interviewer will often rephrase the sentence, making it easier. 9) Break the question into logical parts if it is a long question. You may even seek permission to note down the question. Breaking down the question allows you to structure your thoughts and your answer. It also makes sure that you do not miss out on any part of the question. 10) Maintain eye contact while answering. Have Focus: If you are answering about the three most significant achievements of your life, do state them up front (without elaborating each one of them). Once stated, if the interviewer shows some interest in hearing them in detail, then elaborate. Don'ts when answering Questions: 1) Don't make unnecessary comments such as "That is an interesting question," "I was expecting that question" etc. while nodding your head sagely. It will give a negative impression to the interviewer. Answer whatever questions you can. If you are not very sure you could say that "I am nor sure sir, but I could make a logical guess." Or you could say, "I don't know sir" in case you have no clue about the answer. The interviewers are ready to accept that you do not know all the answers. 2) Don't start answering without taking time to assemble your thoughts. At the same time do not take so much time for answering a question that the interviewer becomes bored.However, you must have a general idea about what you want to speak before you start giving an answer. 3) Don't think that you have to keep talking unless interrupted. When you feel you have completely answered a question, stop speaking by yourself. If an interviewer keeps interrupting you, then it means that you are not answering concisely enough. 4) Don't talk in the abstract. Don't use words like 'one' or 'people' etc. Be personal, and use specific examples, "In my experience", "When I was working", "I think that." etc. You might be asked tricky or biased questions (e.g. your views about a political party, women's liberation movement etc.) Try to analyse both the positive and negative aspects of such issues before giving your views on the topic - the interviewers would like you to have views about contemporary issues even though your views may differ from their own - provided you base your views on some solid proofs. 5) Don't dwell unnecessarily on failures and bad-luck. You may be asked questions which probe you about some negative aspects (e.g. "Why are your
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grades so bad?", "What were you doing when there is a break in your career" etc). Here, try to show the positive side of what at first glance looks negative (e.g. "I was concentrating on extracurricular activities which have helped me. ", "I took the time off to do things I wanted to but never had the time e.g.." etc.) 6) Don't undersell yourself by being apologetic. For example, even you have work experience in a small company or too less of work experience, you could still talk about the quality and learning experience from your work experience. 7) Don't argue or get aggressive: Don't lose your cool and let things get to you. 8) Do not fabricate or lie during the interview. Be honest. 9) Never talk about Money in your interview. Even if you mention money as a reason behind pursuing an MBA career or for changing jobs, make sure that it is not seen as your primary motive. You must not sound mercenary. THINGS U OUGHT TO AVOID IN AN INTERVIEW : 1.Poor personal appearance 2.Over-aggressive 3.Inability to express information clearly 4.Lack of interest and enthusiasm 5.Lack of planning for career; no purpose and no goals 6.Nervous, lack of confidence and poise 7.Over-emphasis on money 8.Unwilling to start in a lesser position 9. Make excuses 10.Lack of tact and courtesy 11.Lack of maturity 12.Condemns past employers 13.No genuine interest in company or job 14.Fails to look interviewer in the eye 15.Sloppy application form 16.Little sense of humor 17.Arrives late at interview 18.Fails to express appreciation for interviewer's time 19.Fails to ask questions about the job 20.Responds vaguely to questions & Antagonizes the interviewer DRESS CODE

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This section consists of the general doubts that every individual has before facing the interview. They will help to clear the myths as well as boost your confidence. Remember that success in any Interview is all about a positive attitude and approach. All the situations that follow can be prepared and practiced. This section attempts to give some broad guidelines. You should anticipate the setting and think of ways to " turn-around " an adverse situation to a favourable one. What should I wear to the MBA interview? The dress code should be comfortable as long as you take into account the protocol of the interview. Why is it important? 1) First impression is extremely important. As interviewers are normally senior members, one needs to dress conservatively. 2) A comfortable dress gives you the confidence, and allows you to focus on the task at hand. 3) It is a hygiene factor (everyone else will be well dressed) 4) It shows respect to the interviewer. Male Dress Code : For males, the usual dress code is formal shirts, trousers and shoes. A tie is also the general norm in the interviews and should be worn for the occasion. Some candidates wear a suit/blazer to the interviews - this is also preferred but it is important to keep the weather in mind. There is no point sweating outside the interview hall. The tie you wear, its colour, the pattern should suit the protocol of the interview. Please note that wearing slippers, jeans, informal shirts etc. gives the impression that you are not serious for the interview. Ideal Dress for Men: Dark blue blazer, white shirt, red or any dark colour tie, grey/fawn trouser, grey socks, formal lace shoes. Female Dress Code : For ladies, the usual dress code is a salwar suit or a sari with suitable footwear. A formal skirt may also be worn. Here again, it is important that you feel comfortable with what you wear. If you are wearing a sari for the first time, you might feel very uncomfortable, trip over etc. It is important that you do not put too much of make-up and jewellery. Long hair should be groomed or tied and preferably, not left open. Note: The above dress code applies to most interviews in India, but not necessarily to all interviews. For e.g., if you were being interviewed by an advertising institute or for a fashion design course, you should dress 'creatively' and should reflect the 'current fashion.'
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Do's: 1) Carry a handkerchief 2) Wear polished shoes / clean footwear 3) Carry an extra dress in case you have a vehicle 4) Be clean shaven 5) Have your hair well groomed 6) Carry a neat folder, with all your certificates and their photocopies. Don'ts: 1) Wear flashy/colourful clothes 2) Wear loose tie 3) Too much oil in your hair 4) Carry a plastic bag into the interview room. ASKING QUESTIONS AT THE END Do I have to ask questions at the end of the interview? We recommend that you do not ask any questions unless specifically asked to do so. If asked remember the following: 1) It is not necessary for you to ask a question. You should not feel pressurized to come up with something intelligent. The interviewer is just trying to bring a polite end to the interview. 2) Do not ask questions that are too obvious or questions where it is possible to find out the answers through your own initiative. Bad Questions : 1) Questions pertaining to the evaluation process, weightage attached to the interview. 2) Questions which are too detailed . For eg. " What are the books prescribed in the course E-commerce?'' 3) Questions which are too personal. FAMILY BACKGROUND Tell us about your father/family background. Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) In certain colleges, family background may be given some weightage. 2) To know more about you and cross-question on your father's work or profession. 3) To put you at ease. 4) To know how well are you acquainted with your family and the influence
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they have had on your personality, education and upbringing. 5) Check your spontaneity. How to answer this question? 1) Do not boast about your father in case he is in a senior position. At the same time, you should not look down upon your father's occupation. It is important that you be factual about the answer. E.g. (My father is a manager in TISCO, Jamshedpur. My mom is a housewife and my brother is doing his graduation from "") 2) Mention the impact your family environment has had; the values your parents have tried to instill in you, the emphasis laid on personal growth and education. You may be quizzed about your parent's occupation and you should be in a position to answer those questions. If your father has worked with TISCO, then you should have an idea of the Steel Industry, the kind of responsibility he has, etc. If your father is an IAS Officer, you must have an answer for why you are not giving the Civil Services exam. Have a chat with your parents about their profession before appearing for the MBA GDs and Interviews. Don'ts : 1) Don't describe intricate details. 2) Don't undersell your family 3) Don't try to gain sympathy by stating hardships or failures. 4) Concentrate on the strengths. Good Answer : Interviewee: I come for a closely-knit family of four from Delhi. My father works for the government, while my mother is a convent schoolteacher. My sister (who is currently in Stephen's) and myself have both been exposed to an environment of independence. Despite the lose hand, traditional values were stressed on and reinforced by day-to-day activities at home. My father's experience in the government has meant a lot of transfers. This has allowed me to discover different parts of the country. Interviewer: What is your father currently doing? (The interviewee responded by giving an interesting yet incomplete description of his father's education). Interviewee: My father heads the Disinvestment Ministry. It is a critical job, given the fiscal pressures faced by the government. Analysis: 1) The interviewee pointed out the nature of family influence 2) Clearly mentioned the occupation of the father without going into details.
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3) Displayed knowledge of father's occupation and gave a lead for questions about the economic state of India (fiscal problems). GREETING THE INTERVIEWER How do I greet the interviewer? Entering the room : If you are asked to come into the interview room a few minutes after the previous candidate, always knock on the door before entering. Also remember to close the door behind you. Always ask ( in an audible voice) for permission to enter the room. 'May I come in, Sir.' Thank the interviewers after they give the permission. Sitting Down : It is better to keep standing till you are asked to take a seat. When the interviewers asks you to sit down, say, and "Thank you, Sir/Madam" before sitting down. If not asked, seek permission. Inside the room : - Stand with an erect and good posture. You should greet the interviewers by saying "Good Morning Sir/Madam." (or an appropriate greeting to suit the time of the day). In case you are standing close to the interviewers, you should firmly shake his/their hands. - Do look at all the interviewers in the eye and nod to each one of them individually. It is said that more interviews are lost because lack of proper eye contact rather than from lack of ability. A smile in the face really helps. - Remember first impressions, last forever. Exude confidence (loud voice, firm handshake) and show respect and humility at all times. What do I say when leaving the interview room? When interview ends, you should smile and look at all the interviewers in the eye, say "Thank you, sir/sirs/madam." - and through nods and gestures, try to tell the interviewers that you liked the experience. When you walk out of the room, make sure to take your certificates with you and also close the door behind you when you go out. The wrong way : Student leaves the chair in a stroke, as soon as he is asked to leave. While on his way, he wishes the interviewers 'good-bye'.

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The correct way : Student rises and thanks all the interviewers. He pushes the chair back, stands erect and says 'good bye'. INCIDENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE Tell us an incident that changed the course of your life? Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) They would like to understand you better - to know more about you than you have mentioned in the bio-data 2) The interviewers would like to know how u coped with an important event in ur life & what effect did it have on you 3) To check what is your value system - to see what things you consider important. 4) Test your emotional quotient, or your ability to empathise with people. What are the different incidents you could talk of? 1) You could mention a personal loss (example the death of a near or dear one, an accident in which you were badly hurt) etc 2) You could mention a positive achievement in your life (example qualifying in an important exam, doing well in a particular competition which increased you confidence in yourself etc.) 3) You could mention an incident that gave you an insight into life (maybe got by helping somebody e.g. being part of a flood relief/famine relief activity, etc.). Key Points : 1) Try to involve the interviewer with interesting examples. 2) Try to relate an incident that brings out learning, ethics, value judgements 3) If the incident was a negative one, tell them how you overcame it. It you narrate a positive incident, point out how it helped build you confidence. How should you prepare for this question? 1) Do some introspection - think of the important events in your life and the way in which they had an impact on you. 2) It is perhaps better that you speak about some positive achievements in your life (in which you proved yourself through hard work and perseverance and how it helped in improving your confidence on yourself).

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Tip: It is better to narrate a positive incident, you make an impact on the interviewer and also veer the interviewer to your areas of strength. 3) You should be honest and speak from the heart when you answer this questions. If no significant event has changed the course of your life : State at the outset that ' while no event has changed the course of my life, I would like to mention something which I rate the most significant event in my life' and continue from there Good example : I come from a business family, residing in Nagpur. A few years back, our family was forced to relocate from Madras, causing us tremendous financial problems. I realized then that over-dependence on material-based business is risky and decided to go for further studies. With an MBA degree, I hope to be in a position to run my business more effectively and at the same time develop the skills to work in other organizations to safeguard against uncertainties. MANAGING STRESS INTERVIEW How should I handle myself in a "stress interview" situation? Why do the evaluators conduct a stress interview? This type of interview puts you into difficulties. Remember this is a part of the selection process. The interviewer is judging you on tact, cool temper, courage, self-command or control. More importantly such interviews reveal whether you can take logical decisions under demanding circumstances. Stress situations may occur when The interviewer : 1) Bombards you with meaningful or nonsense questions 2) Cuts your answers repeatedly 3) Expresses doubts on your caliber and integrity 4) Accuses you of bluffing 5) Laughs or mocks at you 6) Looks disinterested (yawning, looking to the ceiling, talking to the cointerviewers while you are answering a question) 7) Shouts at you 8) Two or three interviewers asking questions at the same time. Do's :

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1) Maintain your cool. 2) Establish and maintain eye contact 3) Exude confidence from your body gestures and arguments. 4) In case interviewers are asking several questions at a fast pace, you should try to answer one question at a time. 5) If interviewers do not show any emotion, do not be hassled by that - just concentrate on the content of your answers. 6) The interviewers may oppose a stand taken by you, you should be able to appreciate their point of view also i.e. you should be able to appreciate the pros and cons of any issue. You should be ready to take a stand and hold onto it, and you should be convinced about it. You could always say that "sorry, we have a difference of opinion but I firmly believe in what I have said." 7) Maintain a smile on your face - a little bit of humor at times helps. 8) You may close your eyes for a few seconds to feel comfortable in case, you are heavily bombarded with questions, showing that you are trying to concentrate. Don'ts : 1) Show your anger or get agitated under any circumstances. 2) Show signs of nervousness like no eye contact, mumbling, clasping hands etc. 3) Try to create unnecessary humor. MEANING OF YOUR NAME What is the meaning of your name? Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) This is usually an introductory/filler question to put the interviewee at ease. Everyone usually knows about what his or her name means. 2) To test the presence of mind and wittiness of the interviewee. 3) To test the reasoning ability. 4) If you have complex or unusual name. How should you answer this question? Be aware that this question could be asked, especially if you have a different or complicated name. Then, you could prepare well for this question. To make your answer stand out, you could recite a few stanzas in Sanskrit, which explain what your name stands for. (Most Indian names have their origin in Sanskrit) You can relate the meaning of your name to some of the qualities you have or values that you believe in. For example, if your name is "Dheeraj",
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"Satpathy" or "Ajay" you could relate these to some qualities that you possess ('patience', 'truthfulness' or 'confidence to win' respectively). Key Points : 1) Show full confidence in answering this question. 2) Work out in advance the meaning/ reason for your name. 3) You can personalize the interview by narrating story of why were you given this name. IF YOU CANNOT ANSWER THE QUESTION What if I cannot answer the question being asked to me? Ask a candidate who was unable to clear that important interview and the usual reply is "Well, I could not answer the initial questions asked, and became very tense and nervous". Not being able to answer the questions could affect your performance in the whole interview. Quoting Dale Carnegie, "Interviews are only 20% based on facts, and 80% based on perception and communication skills" Do's : 1) Give it a sincere effort (and it should be reflected). 2) Request the interviewer to rephrase the question in case it is complex or break in parts in case it is lengthy. This will give you additional time to rethink the answer. Example : "Sir, can you rephrase the question so that I can understand it completely and accurately" or "I could not completely understand the question". 3) If you are sure that you can not answer the question, admit it humbly. 4) Ask the interviewer if you can give it a try later. Don'ts : 1) Try to fool the interviewer by giving vague answers (time is precious!) 2) Try to confuse the interviewer. 3) Ask the interviewer to repeat a question more than once. 4) Get nervous or agitated, in case of a difficult question. Recommended routes : At all times, do not lose your clam and be nervous. This may block your thought process even further. A question or two answered wrongly does not spoil your chances. You can take the following routes: Tell " I don't know sir"
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Never be afraid to admit the fact that you do not know. You are not expected to have knowledge of everything. Very often, in stress interviews, the interviewer will give you a series of questions he is confident you would not know the answers of. In this case, think about it, take your time and frankly state that you are not aware of the topic/answer. Be prepared for the easy question he throws at you at the end. He is testing you confidence and your ability to maintain a cool head in face of a lot of difficult questions. Tell "I am not sure, but I would like to take a logical guess" Stating it clearly in the beginning will lower the expectations the interviewer has about your answer. In this case, even getting close to the answer can be looked upon positively. Your ability to arrive at the answer logically shows that you can think on your feet. E.g. What many people pay income tax in the country? Ans: I am afraid that I am not aware of the statistic. I can, however, try to arrive at a rough estimate using some other figures I know. I understand that the total income tax collections last year were Rs. X crore. Given the fact that people over the income of Rs.1.5 Lacs per annum pay income tax, and on average pay 30% of around 1.5 Lacs per annum (or Rs.50,000 approx.), the total number of income tax payees is X crores/50,000. (All figures given above are only illustrative) Ask the interviewer to repeat the question The interviewer will often rephrase the question, and even may give a part of the answer he is seeking as he repeats himself Tip : Some intelligent candidates use the "Sir, I am not very certain of the answer, but I would like to take a logical guess" even when they know the answer to the question pretty well. This has a two-fold effect: First, there would not be much of pressure from the interview panel to probe deeper into your understanding of the subject. Second, when the candidate "guesses correctly," it creates a very good impression on the evaluator. Preparation : Do practice and brush up the basic of your field of education. Also, remain abreast with the current happenings in your field. Allocate a day or two in your schedule of preparation. Example : Interviewers have asked you a couple of quantitative questions which you could not answer: Sir, I have not been in touch with Mathematics for about ".... years" now - the last time I read mathematics seriously was in "College or Class - XII or....". However, being a quick learner is one of my strengths and I know that I will be able to learn mathematical concepts if needed in the MBA course at ".......". Since I am "an Arts, Economics...." student, I have been studying "..........." for the last few years.
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Analysis : This is a very good way to evade the questions you are not very comfortable at answering - The candidate is trying to point out the following to the interviewers that 1. He was not well prepared for the question being asked, 2. He can pick up the concepts quickly if required, 3. Try to veers the interviewers to the areas where he is more comfortable. OVERCOMING WEAKNESSES What would you do to get rid of the weakness you have? Why do evaluators ask you this question? To judge your ability to make up for your deficiencies and your efforts to overcome them. Do's : 1)Admission of the weakness and that you are already trying to cope with it, having made substantial progress. 2)Describe the need to overcome the weaknesses. Have an example of where it has worked against you. For e.g., come up with a story of how your poor handwriting has worked against you in exams. 3) You must tell the interviewers how the positive side of your weakness has helped you. 4) You must tell the interviewers how you plan to tackle the negative connotation of your weaknesses. Don'ts : 1) Don't underplay your weakness, or claim that it will not matter, or you have not given it any thought. The interviewer is testing your desire to improve. 2) Talk at length about the weakness or justify the weakness. 3) Attribute or blame the weakness on someone or the circumstances. PACE OF YOUR SPEECH What should be the pace of my speech in the interview? Pace : This is a question that always haunts amateur interviewees - should we speak fast or should we speak slowly and think before we speak. It is important that you speak the way in which you feel the most comfortable 29

the way in which you usually talk with friends and the way which is the most comprehensible by others. Seek feedback on the speed of your delivery. Do you talk too fast? A rapid speaker should concentrate on correct breathing and pausing. Moreover, he should be very articulate (i.e. he should not mix up words or speak in a blurred way). He should pause at natural breaks (e.g. where there are commas and full stops in written English) to take in his breath. Don't worry, this gives the interviewer some time to assimilate whatever you have said. Being too rapid in your speech is not good - if you usually speak too fast, try to find out why you do so. Is it because you have too many ideas at the same time or are you uncomfortable with silence and so chatter to maintain a continuous flow? If you are a natural fast speaker, practice to slow down your speech, also try to tape what you say and see to it that you pause at natural breaks. In an interview, it would be better for you to speak a bit slowly so that you can think before saying, or else you may become muddled and confuse or irritate those listening to you. Too slow? Too slow a speaker can be even more irritating as he bores the audience. He should practice to speak faster and with more articulation. Usually, people who are not very confident in English tend to speak slow as they compose their words before speaking. For such people the advice is to start practicing to speak faster and in small sentences. Also be prepared with answers to commonly asked questions. Preparation : 1) Read the newspaper loudly. This will help to improve your vocabulary as well as lessen the fear of communication. 2) Interact with people in English. Keeping your audience in mind : Always keep the interviewers in your mind. If the interviewer looks bored and his attention starts wandering, maybe you are speaking too slowly - speed up your speech. If the interviewer looks a bit annoyed and makes gestures as though he does not understand what you are saying, maybe you are speaking too fast - slow down a bit. Pitch : While pace is all about clarity, pitch is about audibility and substance. One should make sure that all interviewers are able to hear the answers. Additionally, modulating one's pitch and pace can help lay stress on important points.

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YOUR PERFORMANCE IN THE GD How do you rank your performance in the GD? Why do evaluators ask you this question? 1) The evaluators would like to find out how objectively you can answer this question. The evaluators have formed a view about different people in the GD and they would like to see what your evaluation is vis--vis the interviewers 2) If you were too quiet or spoke a lot, is that what is your normal self? 3) If the GD was disorderly, how you went about it? 4) To check what standards you have for yourself. How do you answer such questions? 1) Be a good listener in the GD. Jot down the important points made by you and made by others in the group . This will help you to answer questions related to GDs. 2) Try to remember the names of other people in the GD - you can impress the interviewers if you can state that "Mr. A." made " this point" but I had a different perspective about the issue 3) Be objective about others in the GD - you need not speak negatively about other members in the group and at the same time you need not speak negatively about yourself also. Be objective and be positive when you answer this question. 4) Keep in mind your role as a listener, and rate your listening skills as well. Poor answer : "I was satisfied with my performance and I spoke all I wanted to on the topic."

Analysis : 1) Too smug and satisfied 2) No appreciation for others in the group. 3) Nothing additional to add, nor any lead by which the interviewer can continue on the topic. Good answers : 1) " I enjoyed the discussion thoroughly. The topic was a challenging one and could be viewed from multiple angles. I was personally satisfied that I
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could lead the direction toward "" and was able to back my views with some concrete examples. I was, at the same time, impressed by the perspective offered by the other candidates and was glad that I could build on their arguments near the end of the discussion. I am sure I will go back more knowledgeable on "" than I was in the morning." Analysis : The candidate has managed to show his appreciation for the topic and his colleagues. At the same time, he has highlighted his role in the discussion and laid stress on the importance of knowledge. The candidate could have also impressed the interviewers by stating names of the people and the good points they mentioned. 2) If you spoke very less The topic in the GD was something I was not very familiar with - since I am from an Arts background and the topic related completely to the technicalities of Engineering; I could not contribute much to the GD. But, I did make some good points namely "" and "". I also provided some moderation and direction to the group when the GD was disorderly at a point of time. CREATE TOUR RAPPORT ( IMPRESSION ) WITH THE INTERVIEWER How do I establish a rapport with the interviewer? Initial Contact : A good first impression can be built with: 1)Confident and cheerful greeting. 2) A smiling face 3) Eye contact 4) Taking of permission for entering the room. The Interview : Helping him relate : 1) Use examples in your answers, especially those will be interesting to him. 2) Make sure that the interviewer has understood what you are trying to say, ask for clarifications. 3) Ask him questions at the end of the interview, about his thoughts on an MBA, his career at the institute, etc. Listening actively :
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Interviewing is based on taking turns - the better you are at listening, the better you will know when and what to speak. You must show the interviewer that you are listening carefully and pause when answering to his responses.Tune in to the interviewer and show that you know who is in charge. Do not start responding before the interviewer finishes his question. This can distract or irritate the interviewer and indicate that you are impulsive. More on Listening : Listening does not mean just hearing the words of the interviewer, it means making an effort to understand the full meaning. Besides the meaning of the words, the choice of words, tone, gestures, expressions are significant in indicating the interviewer's meaning. Understanding the meaning is one aspect , another being retention. The candidate should be able to recall it at appropriate time. In case, you have not understood the statements of the interviewers, ask them politely to repeat the question. This will firstly, give you adequate time to think and secondly, give you a clear picture of the interviewer's statements. If you are not in a situation to respond immediately, ask for a second, assimilate your thoughts, frame your answers and then speak. This creates an impression that you are a thoughtful person. Feedback : You should always try to interpret the interviewer's response. You can reframe the later answers for a favourable feedback of the interviewer. Observe the facial expression of the interviewers, it will indicate whether the interviewer has understood what you are trying to communicate or whether he is happy with the response. A positive response like nodding the head, eye contact, smiling can encourage the interviewer to ask for clarifications if he is not happy with the response. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES What are your strengths and weaknesses?Give instances. Why does the evaluator ask you this question? 1) To find out how well you understand yourself. 2) To find out how your strengths are related to your past experiences and to future expectations. 3) Every person has some weak points. The evaluators would like to know whether you understand what your weaknesses are and how you plan to remove these weaknesses.
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Most stated "Strengths": Operational Definition Long hours, emotional attachment, physical energy, self Hard work discipline. Clarity of thought, ability to see relationships among Analytical Strength diverse concepts. Initiative Ability to be a 'self starter'. Attention to Detail Thoroughness, orderliness, self-starter Vision, communication by example, consistency Leadership between action, thoughts and deeds,personal sacrifice. Logical, oral and written communication skills, Persuasiveness negotiation skills. Ability to seek opportunities and enlist support of lowEntrepreneurship cost resources, creativity and business acumen. Value for 'Values' Desire for qualitative upgradations, missionary zeal. Influencing without Positional Political acumen, social sensitivity. Power Self-confidence(not dogmatism), managing Perseverance disappointments, innovation Ability to manage and work in group and with Team skills individuals from diverse backgrounds. Sensitivity to the needs of group members. Good Ability to put points across in a manner that others Communication understand, fluency is important. Skills Most stated" Weaknesses: The weaknesses that you state should have a positive connotation. Negative Connotation Do not understand limits Over-Confident of my capability Do not understand limits Set Very High of goals my capability Stubborn in Do not consider ground implementation realities, difficulty in of rules, dealing with bureaucracy regulation, and real-life
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Attribute

Attribute

Positive Connotation Believe in what I do Ambitious Have good value system

values etc problems Procrastination Fall behind time - put off things schedules etc. to a later period Slow Starter

Take time to analyze problems, consult with others before taking decisions Take time to analyze problems, Take too much time to consult with others before decide on ideas and plans taking decisions - so that in the long run better implementation

Weaknesses (additional points) : 1) State those weaknesses that do not really effect your capability as a manager. 'Bad handwriting' is something you can consciously work on, but it is not a fatal error if you fail to correct it. On the contrary, you do not want to state 'poor memory' or 'no awareness of computers' as weaknesses in an MBA interview session. 2) Simply stating those weaknesses that are necessarily strengths can be a problem at times. The interview may turn around and say 'I asked you for your weakness, and you are telling me about your strengths'. In this case, it is critical to have examples or instances where your weakness has let you down, or held you back in some way.

How do you decide on your strengths and weaknesses? Consider the following points when you decide on what strengths and weaknesses you have: 1) Past Experience - You should be able to justify your strengths and weaknesses by stating past experiences and examples. Examiners usually ask you instances where you demonstrated a particular strength or where a weakness landed you in problem. 2) Future Expectation - You should be able to justify how your strengths and weaknesses are going to help in achieving your future expectations. For example, if you would like to specialize in finance, good analytical skills would be an advantage. If you would like to specialize in HR, team skills and values become important. For a person interested in marketing, 'getting along well with people', 'leadership skills' etc. become important. Interviewers would ask you questions on how your strengths and weaknesses can help in achieving your future expectations.
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* How convincing you are in what you say - You may be asked questions on your areas of strengths - for example, if you say that good analytical skills is a strength, expect some puzzles to be asked. In case you say that 'good communication skills' is your strength, then you should demonstrate it through the way in which you speak. What other questions could be asked related to your Strengths and Weaknesses? 1) How will your strengths and weaknesses help you in your MBA course? 2) Could you tell us some instances to demonstrate your strengths and weaknesses? 3) What have you planned to overcome your weaknesses? Some questions where you could state your strengths and weaknesses? 1) Tell us about yourself. 2) What are your ambitions in life? 3) Why do you want to do an MBA? 4) What are your hobbies? How have your hobbies helped you? 5) What subjects do you want to specialize in? A good answer : "I attribute my key strengths to the environment I have grown up in. My family, as well as my school laid emphasis on personal growth and academic performance. This dual focus has led me to being a) balanced b) motivated c) willing to learn new things. At the same time, this focus has demanded an extra effort from my side, and has readied me to face the pressures and challenges of IIM". I, however, tend to jump into things too quickly. I am curious by nature, and while spontaneity helps, it often pays to wait before leaping. I remember accepting the responsibility of hosting a school charity event in my house without asking my mother. She had to bear tremendous pressure, as our help was away that week. Since that incident, I have worked actively to think through the consequences of any activity." Key points to remember : 1) Interviewers often ask for more than one weakness and even pause in order to make you nervous. Do not blurt out a series of weaknesses just because there is an uncomfortable silence in the room. 2) You should always try to mention ways in which you have worked in getting rid of your weakness.
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3) Attributing your strengths to your environment is a humble way of stating that you are extremely gifted. WHY I SHOULD HIRE YOU? Because I sincerely believe that I'm the best person for the job. I realize that there are many other college students who have the ability to do this job. I also have that ability. But I also bring an additional quality that makes me the very best person for the job--my attitude for excellence. Not just giving lip service to excellence, but putting every part of myself into achieving it. In_____ and _____ I have consistently reached for becoming the very best I can become by doing the following . . . become by doing the following . . .

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