Personal Interview Preparation

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SK Agarwal
SK Agarwal

Call for the MBA Personal Interview from IIMs shows that the selection journey is half achieved. MBA Personal Interview preparation for IIMs and other top MBA colleges is of utmost importance as the maximum weightage is awarded to this round in final selection.


Personal Interview at IIM A, B, C or FMS Delhi or any other top B-school will revolve around your academics, work experience, extra-curricular activities, your hobbies, your surroundings or current events. There can be a few questions on your future plans as well. IIMs also grill candidates on recent industry and corporate happenings. So, your preparation for Personal Interview in IIMs should focus on following steps:

Step 1: Get Ready with your Answers to Expected Questions

The MBA personal interview questions can be classified in six important categories. You need to go through these probable questions, and finalize your answers after drafting and redrafting your answers.


Category 1: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Pre MBA-Academics: Sample Questions & Answers


  1. What is the relationship between demand and supply in a graph, and which factor typically comes first? Can you provide examples?
  2. Define depreciation and amortization. What distinguishes these two concepts, and how do they differ in practice?
  3. Explain the format of a balance sheet, highlighting its key components.
  4. Explore various methods of raising capital. What differentiates raising funds through banks from utilizing share markets?
  5. Define outstanding shares and discuss their significance in financial terms.


  1. Define mean, median, and mode in statistical terms.
  2. Explain the concept of inflation and discuss various causes of inflation. Is inflation generally considered beneficial or detrimental to the economy?
  3. Define Universal Basic Income (UBI) and share your perspective on its implementation.
  4. Discuss the impact of a shift in equilibrium point on an ISLM curve. Additionally, explain the concept of inferior goods with examples.
  5. Define IS Curve and LM Curve, providing an analysis of their implications.

Mechanical/Production/Automobile Engineering:

  1. Derive the equation for a parabola graph and illustrate the graph for x^3.
  2. Analyze the slope of a given curve and provide a visual representation.
  3. Interpret the characteristics of the quadratic equation ax^2 + bx + c = 0 when the roots are imaginary.
  4. Define and provide the equation for a hyperbola.
  5. Explain the thermodynamics and functioning of air conditioning.

Production Engineering:

  1. Highlight the distinctions between production engineering and mechanical engineering.
  2. Define Six Sigma, Process Capability, and Process Capability Index, including their mathematical formulas.
  3. Differentiate between PERT and CPM and identify which one is probabilistic.
  4. Explain the concept of gemba kaizen.
  5. Define lean manufacturing.

Electrical/Electronics Engineering:

  1. Provide the equation for a parabola graph and graph for x^3.
  2. Explain the slope of a given curve with a visual diagram.
  3. Define Laplace Transform and Fourier Series.
  4. Discuss a sum on the Normal Distribution Curve.
  5. Integrate xex using integration by parts.

Electronics Engineering:

  1. Define a neural network.
  2. Explain Y connection, 3 phase and 1 phase electrical systems, electrical sensors, and LED bulbs.
  3. Highlight the differences between Intel i3, i5, and i7 processors.
  4. Explore the distinctions between different Intel processor generations.
  5. Define GPS and specify the number of satellites required for GPS.

Computer Science:

  1. Define mean, median, and mode.
  2. Explain the concepts of type 1 and type 2 errors.
  3. Discuss the longevity of COBOL and its continued existence.
  4. Describe Turing Machine.
  5. Explain sorting and searching algorithms.

Civil Engineering:

  1. Provide insights into the pavement design procedure.
  2. Discuss the conditions for applying pile foundations and their implications.
  3. Differentiate between building and machine foundations.
  4. Describe various types of dams, with a focus on gravity dams.
  5. Explain the concepts of a cantilever and propped cantilever, accompanied by Shear Force and Bending Moment diagrams.


  1. Explain Financial Modelling and describe the process of calculating the terminal value of a firm.
  2. Define the risk-free rate.
  3. Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative research.
  4. Explain the distinctions between need, want, and demand.
  5. Identify the core elements of advertising agencies.
  6. Discuss the differences between a business model and a revenue model.
  7. Define statistical significance.
  8. Explain the differences between spending and investing.
  9. Define and explain IRR (Internal Rate of Return) and NPV (Net Present Value).
  10. Define Green advertising.

Download Complete List of IIM Interview Questions on Pre MBA-Academics

Category 2: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Work Experience: Sample Questions & Answers

If you have work experience, you must be well versed about every nook and corner of your work profile. Below is the type of questions on Work Experience that are asked in IIMs Personal interview. Get ready with answers to each of them.


Workplace Productivity and Quality Practices:

  1. Suggestions to improve productivity in a workplace?
  2. About the quality practices at the workplace and my contribution to its improvement.
  3. What are the challenges faced by you at work?
  4. Can you say you are a good salesman?
  5. How do you measure if your marketing campaign has worked or not?
  6. What does your deliverable contain? Explain me in detail.

Career Transitions and Decision-Making:

  1. What learning did you take from your work experience?
  2. How would you justify the reason for leaving your last job?
  3. Why leaving job? Would you like to return to your company?
  4. You were working in a big manufacturing company. Why did you quit the company and start working for a start-up?
  5. Why not work for two years and then pursue MBA?
  6. Justify the 7-month gap after Engineering cess.

Financial and Business Acumen:

  1. What should be the ideal savings rate for a person of the middle-income range?
  2. Tell me about your portfolio of investments.
  3. You forecast the prices of commodities? Give examples.
  4. Give us stock tips. Can I call you every night asking for some? Where should I invest now? What is efficient market hypothesis?
  5. How many employees are in your company? What is the revenue of your company?
  6. What is top line and bottom line of an organization?
  7. How do you do vendor selection? How do you negotiate?

Technology and Industry Trends:

  1. So you are a business analyst, what do you do, analysis or analytics?
  2. Can you tell me some competitors of the technology you're working on?
  3. Tell me about the corruption in your job industry.
  4. What is the impact of demonetization on your industry?
  5. What's your take on the IT sector? What exactly is the requirement of R&D in IT?

Career Growth and Development:

  1. Where have you been placed? What profile? Aren't you wasting your engineering degree?
  2. Mention three things that you learned from your work.
  3. Did you get a severance package, a golden handshake? Do you know what it is?
  4. How government is different from corporate?
  5. What has been your growth at the company, and how has the company grown?
  6. Do you feel your experience would be wasted or what would you carry forward from that?


  1. Devise a statistical tool to give a clearer picture of the placements.
  2. If you attend or conduct a meeting in a company, what all will you consider?
  3. If your boss doesn't give you due credit, what will you do?
  4. By what parameters can one measure progress/status of a company?
  5. Whom do you consider the most important person in a company, a finance person, or an operation person? Why?

Download Complete List of IIM Interview Questions on Work Experience


(Questions on Work Experience)

Category 3: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Yourself: Sample Questions & Answers

Your personality is an important area of personal interview for MBA admission in IIMs. You may expect following type of questions and should finalise how you would respond to them:


1. Self-Assessment and Differentiation:

  1. Why should we take you?
  2. What sets you apart from others?
  3. What would your friends say about you? Good points and bad points.
  4. Positives and Negatives about your Leadership.
  5. Tell me about yourself.

2. Personal Life and Values:

  1. What makes you happy in life? And what makes you sad?
  2. Are ethics important for business?
  3. Do you think everyone should fail once in life? How do you cope with failures?
  4. How Indians should be made more disciplined?
  5. Is Parle-G ethically right in reducing the thickness of biscuits in the face of rising costs?
  6. Was Draupadi right in inciting Mahabharata?

4. Career and Education:

  1. You have been good in academics in your school but why a dip in scores in college?
  2. What is the better quality to have? Leadership or being a team player? What among these qualities do you have? Support with examples.
  3. Tell us about your degree college, its founder and establishment year? Any famous alumni?
  4. You have mentioned in the questionnaire that you don't like people criticizing only. But what about a journalist? His job might be to criticize.
  5. How do you find the procedure followed by SP Jain?
  6. Being humble or aggressive- what is better?
  7. What is the motto of this institute? What is the single most Unique thing about this institute according to you?

5. Decision-Making and Problem-Solving:

  1. So you got a call last year. Why do you think did you not get selected?
  2. Tell us about a decision you have regretted making.
  3. You've uploaded a clean-shaved passport size photo, but right now you have come up with a much-grown beard. Why? Didn't you get time to shave?
  4. If I met a person who hated you, what reason would he give for hating you? If I met a person who liked you, what reason would he give for liking you?
  5. So, what all questions were you expecting from us in this interview?

Category 4: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Extracurricular Activities, Hobbies: Sample Questions & Answers

Another important category of questions in MBA Personal Interview is your hobbies like sports, music, social work among others. Make sure that you know all about your hobbies and their latest developments around them. Check questions below, and be ready with your answers:


Hobbies and Interests:

  1. Reading: Favorite books, Favorite authors
  2. Cooking: Favorite dish, recipe, where did you learn from?
  3. Why is volunteering (for any cause) considered cool today? Are people really driven, or is it just peer pressure or a cool thing to do?
  4. About Kathak: What gharana are you from? How many gharanas are there? Name one exponent of each.
  5. Freelance writing: What do you write? Is it online? Can we read it? How much are you paid?

Sports and Games:

  1. Top Table Tennis players, equipment manufacturing companies.
  2. Wrestling: Why WWE is so famous? Why WWE and no other promotions are successful! Compare between WWE and TNA! What is Sumo Wrestling?
  3. Playing kabaddi: What is your opinion about pro kabaddi league? How is kabaddi different from other sports?
  4. Recently there were some changes in the rules of table tennis. What are those?
  5. Tennis: What is topspin?

Creative Pursuits:

  1. Photography: What is ISO? How do you control the image properties in a camera?
  2. Tell me about the last screenplay you worked on. Further discussion.
  3. So trekking is your hobby...which forts have you visited?
  4. Name a song written by Javed Akhtar and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.
  5. You have mentioned about your interest in psychology. Elaborate.
  6. Tell us about the layers in painting.

Learning and Academics:

  1. You love participating in debates? Where do you participate and how often do you participate in them? When was your last debate? What was the topic given? Did you win the debate?
  2. So you like to solve puzzles. What kind of? Tell me the constraints you face while solving a Sudoku.

General Interests:

  1. Why do you feel everyone should travel more? Benefits of it.
  2. You invest in the stock market. How do you select stocks? Do you know about the settlement period?
  3. What articles and short stories did you write in your magazines?
  4. What do you like to play then? (Candidate answered TT). Tell me the dimensions of a TT Board.
  5. If you have to conduct IPL in TT, how will you do that?

 Category 5: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Your Career Aspirations: Sample Questions & Answers 

You must be joining MBA with well-defined career goals. So, you would be grilled with questions on your career goals in MBA PI round. You need to be very clear on this aspect and need to very carefully prepare your answers.

  • Can you share the rationale behind opting for an MBA instead of continuing with the family business?
  • What motivated you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
  • In comparing MBA and MS, why did you choose the MBA path over a Master's in Science?
  • From your perspective, is an MBA essential for those aiming for entrepreneurship? Does the CEO of your current company hold an MBA?
  • Considering your current well-paying job, what drives your decision to take a risk, leave the job, and pursue an MBA with a loan of 20L?
  • How do you perceive the impact of an MBA on your long-term career goals?
  • What specific skills or knowledge do you expect to gain from an MBA that your current job doesn't provide?

Category 6: MBA Personal Interview Questions on Current Affairs: Sample Questions & Answers

Current Affairs is the widest area of questions in MBA personal interview round. For this you need to remain updated with latest developments in your City, State, National as well as global developments. The type of questions asked on Current Affairs in PI round are shared below:

  1. Differences between life abroad and in India - pros and cons.
  2. What is a current issue with the judicial system of India?
  3. What was the last movie you watched?
  4. You studied Gandhian thoughts? What is one thing you like most in Gandhiji? By whom was Gandhiji inspired most from?
  5. Views on software engineers being called 'glorified typists'.
  6. Which government is better previous or current? Why?

Step-2: Practice Delivery of Your Answers, Improve Communication Skill

Once you go through the questions, the next step is to practice with following:

  • After you have written answers to relevant questions posed in above section, practice the delivery of your answers -- before the mirror, with your peers, or your faculty/family members.
  • After you have done basic practice at home/college, you should then attend Mock Sessions offered by different GIPI coaching institutes/ mentors. Take number of Mock PIs, find out mistakes, analyse them and rectify. These steps will help you get ready to deliver well during PI round.

Step 3: Get Interview Etiquettes Right – Know how to present yourself during MBA Personal Interview

  • Dress for Success and Present Your Best Self: Step into your MBA interview with confidence, dressed in a formal and neat attire. A welcoming smile can set a positive tone. Basic etiquettes like knocking before entering, seeking permission, and greeting the interview panel showcase professionalism. Remember, a well-dressed and composed appearance makes a lasting impression.
  • Stay Positive Throughout: Approach your interview with a positive mindset. Even when discussing critical matters, maintain balance and focus on constructive suggestions for improvement. Avoid excessive criticism of government policies, B-schools, or corporate practices. Instead, offer thoughtful suggestions for enhancement.
  • Speak Thoughtfully: Practice brevity and clarity in your responses. Avoid unnecessary elaboration and stay on point. Use simple and effective language to convey your thoughts. Be cautious of figurative language that may lead to misunderstandings.
  • Lead the Interview to Your Expertise: Guide the interview towards your areas of knowledge and skills. Craft responses that pique the panel's interest and align with your comfort zone. Use language and examples that showcase your expertise and steer the conversation in your desired direction.
  • Exude Positive Body Language: Your non-verbal communication is as crucial as what you say. Maintain an upright posture, avoid clenching your fists or teeth, and keep a neutral facial expression. Lean slightly forward when speaking to convey engagement. Your body language should reflect confidence and professionalism.
  • Avoid Bluffing: Honesty is key. Never fabricate answers or provide misleading information. If you don't know the answer, admit it politely. Attempting to bluff may backfire, eroding any positive impression you've built. Be genuine and transparent in your responses.
  • Be Your Authentic Self—No Imitations: Embrace your natural self and avoid imitating others. Authenticity is a valuable trait that interviewers appreciate. Remember, you are unique, and trying to be someone else can be easily discerned. Stay true to your identity and let your genuine qualities shine through.
SK Agarwal
SK Agarwal