Personal Interview Skills

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Personal Interview Skills

In this post I would like to cover some of the basic ideas about personal interviews. Since brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will try to be brief.

Whom do the interviewers select?

The candidate they “like” – so your job is to be “liked” by the panel.

Attributes that normal panels like:

  1. Honesty
  • Be ruthlessly honest with your answers
  • You should know your subject
  • You should understand your immediate environ
  • Your answering should demonstrate analysis
  • Listen to the words and the body language
  • Answer the question asked
  • Panels dislike arrogance
  1. Knowledge
  1. Clarity of thought/ ability to think
  1. Listening skills
  1. Ability to handle stress
  2. Humility

Questions address the following areas:


  • Academic and family background
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Ideal person/ greatest achievement


  • Why MBA? Specialization?
  • 5/ 10 years from now?
  • Current job role/ reasons for leaving


  • Major in undergraduate
  • Emphasis on fundamentals


  • Opinions on reservation
  • Stand on ethics

You can also see: Group Discussion Tips – How to approach a topical Group Discussion

Written Ability Test – Evaluation Criteria and Recommended Background Reading

How to approach a case study based Group Discussion

Essay Tips – Seven Deadly Sins of Essay Writing

How Many Essays You Must Write Before You Write an Essay

What can you do?

Prepare, prepare, prepare

1)      Find out everything about the Business School

2)      Prepare answers to typical questions like

  • Tell us something about yourself
  • Where do you see yourself 5/10 years from now?
  • Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • Why from our school?

3)      Bring yourself up to date on events around the globe

4)      Prepare questions that you can ask the interviewers

5)      Learn to answer open-ended questions in a way that guides the interview to your area o strength

6)      Remember, an interview is an interaction

You don’t want to

  • Answer without letting the interviewer finish his/her question
  • Volunteer more information than asked for
  • “Guess” – this is not a multiple choice situation
  • Get into an argument with the panel
  • Come across as opinionated and judgmental
  • Appear to be in a hurry

You want to

  • Take your time: think before you answer
  • Be pleasant and courteous

You can also see How to Approach an Abstract Group Discussion

Group Discussion – Definition, Tips, and other rules to follow

The Five-step Process of Writing a WAT Essay

The Homework before the Personal Interview

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