Personal Interview for MBA

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Amit Agnihotri
Columnist & Author,

Personal Interview format could be different for different types of personal interviews at different places. However, the personal interview format at IIMs and at other top B-schools means that there are 3-4 panelists who are experts and ask penetrating questions to you on your academics, work experience, current affairs, social issues, about your personality, your native place, on technical issues related to your academics and work place.

Online Personal Interview Round For IIMs

Whether it is the personal interview for freshers or from second timers, the personal interview format implies personal interaction session of 10 to 20 minutes before the experts. Apart from the one to one personal interaction session of 10-20 minutes, the PI round for MBA admission may consist of other different components also. This may include GD, WAT, Extempore speech, Group Interview, group exercise, psychometric tests among others.


MBA Colleges Using Personal Interview
A few of the top MBA colleges using PI round before preparing the final merit list of the candidates are:


IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta & Other Old IIMs
IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong.


New IIMs Conduct Common Admission Process (CAP) with PI round
9 to 11 new IIMs now conduct Common Admission Process (CAP) in the month of February which include the personal interview (PI) for MBA admission. One of the IIMs coordinates the PI round which is common to all these participating IIMs

The participating IIMs are – IIM Kashipur, IIM Raipur, IIM Ranchi, IIM Rohtak, IIM Tiruchirappalli, IIM Udaipur, IIM Amritsar, IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Jammu, IIM Bodhgaya, IIM Sirmaur


Other Top MBA colleges Using PI round for MBA admission
Other top MBA colleges like FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, XLRI Jamshedpur, MDI Gurgaon, IIFT, IMI New Delhi, IMT Ghaziabad, NITIE Mumbai, SIBM Pune, GIM Goa, IRMA, MICA conduct their PI round separately post declaration of CAT, IIFT, XAT, SNAP exam result.


Important Guidelines for Personal Interview for MBA Admission
Every B-school conducts the Personal Interview (PI) round to get the best talent in its class rooms. One of the key tips to crack the PI round is that the further questions arise out of the answers given by you. So it is advisable to be careful while responding to questions and avoid any sort of bluffing.


To be successful in this round, no doubt, you have to be well prepared for the volley of oncoming questions. These are not the questions that are tough or out of this world, but your approach to answer them in a witty, positive and subtle manner gives you an edge over your peers.


So, let your Personal Interview in IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, XLRI Jamshepur, IIFT among others become a discussion giving you an opportunity to enjoy the same instead of feeling a pressure of torturous question answer session.

Getting Ready for Interview session
A few things an IIM, FMS, XLRI, MDI, or other top B-school aspirant should remember before proceeding for interview session are:

  • Gather all the required documents, their copies and each and every thing that is desired for verification
  • The copy of write up that you have already sent to the B-school
  • Get dressed formally and neatly but not elegantly
  • Arrive at the PI venue few minutes before the scheduled time for verification of documents

Facing the panelists
Enter the Personal Interview room by taking permission of the panelists and greet them when you reach near the table behind which they are sitting. You must have been preparing for the PI round for last few months and by now should be well prepared and must have also gone for versatile reading and mock personal interviews. Please do not forget to go through the morning news paper especially of the day when your personal interview is scheduled.


Avoid Irritation during PI Round 
Don’t get at all irritated, come what may. Your interviewers have the capability of assessing you with your gestures, postures and the response you come with, to their very first question. The saying ‘First impression is the last impression’ is true to a large extent when you face the interview. After The first few minutes the interview board is simply confirming itself of the first impression it formed of you.


Be Yourself Through out
Be natural and don’t go for copying someone. If you do, it will be like a mask through which your interviewers can very well judge you. Please do remember You are you, you cannot be he. So please don’t try to change your DNA. 

GD PI WAT Preparation: Tips from Experts and Toppers

Amit Agnihotri
Columnist & Author,