Personal Interviews


Get your tie ready, wear a crisp shirt, iron your blazer, get your resume ready, pop some breath mints and get ready because we are about to crack the code for a successful personal interview.

A Personal Interview can take two major forms. It can be conducted as a job interview or a college admissions Interview.

In a job interview, the HR panel conducts a one on one interview session with the candidates. The job candidate is asked questions on his/her skills, personal experiences, where they see themselves 5 years down the line, their idea about the company and its works and so on. This gives the company officials a clearer idea of the candidate’s work capacity, personality, and future goals. All these factors are crucial for the company in choosing the right candidate. Simply put, Interviewer meets with the candidate to evaluate their skills, capabilities, and level of experience.

In a college admissions interview, the student is interviewed by say, a diverse panel of Professors or college authority officials to test the student’s knowledge and view on the subject matter.

The hallmark of a Personal Interview is the one to one or direct interaction between the candidate and the interviewer.


  • Look sharp –Wear formals. Iron your attire and look confident. Confidence is the secret ingredient to success.
  • Positive body language –We know that you’ll be nervous but don’t let it show. A firm handshake, eye to eye contact, a smile and positive responses can make the deal. Your body language is important. Sit in a comfortable posture and don’t fidget. Don’t be a sweating mess. Remember, this isn’t the end of everything. So, give it your best shot and hope for the best.
  • Prepare a strong resume –Your resume is a reflection of you. Interviewers also tend to pick questions based on the information that CV/Resume carries. Interviewers expect candidates to be fully prepared with minute details on any information that you provide in the resume or CV.
  • Think before you speak –the key to answering correctly is understanding the question properly. If you’re not sure what the question is asking for or what it means, then politely ask the interviewer to either repeat the question or ask for a clarification.
  • Take a short pause –before answering the question. Think about all the possible answers, take into account all the information given to you in the question.
  • Do your research –Extensively research about the job profile you are being interviewed for, the company profile, history of the company, their achievements, their story of success, their products & services, their target market and so on. A thorough research will provide you with all the necessary information that you’ll need to answer questions based on you on profile and the company. If you’re a student sitting for a college PI say for an MBA institute then do a thorough research on the college, your chosen stream, and the future scope.
  • Drive the interview towards your strength –Different questions will be asked to different candidates applying for different purposes. But the candidate should always aim at driving the interview towards his/her area of strength. Start inviting questions or open topics that you’re confident of getting right.
  • Ask Questions –This isn’t mandatory but is always advised. If you’re joining a new company then ask questions regarding the working hours, pay, incentives, holidays, the company culture and more. If you’re joining a new college then ask about the faculty, the infrastructure, the study hours, the degree, placements, scope of the stream and more.
  • Be Honest –At times, the interviewer may ask certain personal questions. In that case, be frank, be honest about your intentions, your opinions and avoid being too diplomatic in answering the questions.
  • Communication is key –Brush up your communication skills right from the beginning of your career. Lack of proper communication skills is one of the primary reasons why candidates fail to impress the interviewer. If you want to crack any interview, then make sure you focus on the development of proper communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Avoid Arguments –try to avoid having any kind of argument with the interviewer because that can create a negative impact. An argument that you make with an interviewer would certainly lessen your chances to get selected.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice –Practice speaking to your interviewer. Do a few trial runs, prepare your questions and answers before the main interview?
  • End on a positive note


Tell us about yourself

There is particular pattern or structure for answering this question. There is no right or wrong. Simply put here you just give a summary about yourself. Mention 2-3 achievements, something that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. Briefly mention your education history, your career plans, achievements, extra-curriculars, what drives you and so on.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This section plays a major role in the final hiring decision of the interviewer. The trick here is to mention relevant strengths and irrelevant weaknesses. Your strengths should be relevant to the job role and the industry, something the company can churn to boost profits. Mention weaknesses that do not make a lasting impact on the interviewer’s mind and make sure you end it by saying that you’re working on improving them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Be ambitious. Show that you’re able to look and plan ahead. Take this as an opportunity to show that you’re planning on sticking to this company to help it reach greater heights. Try incorporating that you want to work for a company that values you, your skills, and your input. Also, chip in some humorous answers too.

How do you deal with stressful situations?

This is another crucial capability that the company is looking for in its candidates. You have portrayed yourself as being capable of handling stressful situations and making effective decisions. Mention some stress relieving activities that you adhere to. Bottom-line is that you need to make sure that the company knows that you can smoothly handle any stressful situation.

What are your income expectations?

Now this is a tricky one! Talking about monetory compensation can be an uncomfortable subject. But here’s how you can handle it smoothly. Instead of quoting your income expectations, turn the question around to the employer and ask them what they’re expecting to pay to a candidate with your qualifications and skills for this particular job profile. Alternatively, you can research and get an idea of the income range. Once you have a range in mind, state the highest possible income value based on your skills and experience, but be sure to communicate that you are flexible. Make sure the interviewer knows that you want the job, that you’re sure that you’re the perfect candidate for it and you’re willing to negotiate.

Do you have any questions for us?

Prepare 2-3 questions for this section. Stick to simple questions relating to the job profile, the company culture, how you grow and how the company can cater to your career expectations. avoid asking questions about salary or benefits.

In the end, remember that if your confidence is everything. Even if you get some of the answers wrong, if you speak and if your demeanor is confident then that’s a massive brownie point for you.

Last but not the least, if you don’t get this job/college then just chill. It isn’t the end of the road. Keep practicing, keep acquiring more skills, develop yourself and brush up your communication skills. And remember you’ll crack any interview if you put your mind to it. The tips and the prep are just part and parcel of the journey.

GD PI WAT Preparation: Tips from Experts and Toppers

Top Questions asked in Personal Interview round of MBA admissions 
Here are a few of the past MBA Personal Interview Questions asked in IIM MBA Personal Interview round and are the 10 top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview. 

  1. Why MBA: This is one of the top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission that frequently appears in MBA interviews
  2. Tell us about yourself: This is another very popular question that frequently appears in MBA Personal Interview Questions
  3. COVID 19 related Questions: Given the impact, this is naturally one of the popular MBA Personal Interview Questions. Besides, don’t expect simple fact-based questions – one candidate was asked to share his “stance on the conspiracy theory of Covid’s origin.” Another candidate was asked to explain “Hidden Markov Model and R0 model for Covid-19” in IIM Bangalore personal interview.
  4. Past Academic Questions: Your academic profile is an important source of top Questions asked in Personal Interview round of MBA admissions. Nikhilesh N, who scored 98.44 percentile in CAT 2020, was asked questions like UG specialization, how the UG background is related to Business Analytics and the key areas of academic interest in IIM Bangalore Personal Interview round
  5. Previous Work Experience Questions: If you have short or long work experience, it will be the most important area constituting top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission. Shuktisindhu Mondal who scored 93.26 percentile in CAT 2019 and is an IIM Ahmedabad student, has a work experience of 41 months. He faced many questions regarding the nature of his work and shares, “Questions that I faced were based on my work experience and current affairs.” Accordingly, You are should also be ready with some of the such top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview.
  6. Your City/State related question: Interviewers want to know if you have empathy for your roots. So there are also some of the important MBA Personal Interview Questions based on your native place
  7. Why this B-school: This is one of the top MBA Personal Interview Questions for Admission. If you are appearing in IIM Personal Interview round, it is one of the top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview. If you don’t give a crisp and clear answer, you will leave a bad impression.
  8. Which Specialization and Why? Some B-schools want their students to be clear about their career choice post MBA. They also want you to be clear about which specialization that you will select in 2nd year and why. This is a sure shot question in IIM Personal Interview round, if you are applying for an Specialized MBA program.
  9. Current Affair Events & your opinion on them: With lot of changes happening at the national and international level, your updated knowledge on current affairs and what do you think about them is the key area on which a few questions you are sure to face in IIM Personal Interview  round. Nikita Agarwal, who scored 99.22 percentile in CAT 2019 and is a student of MDI Gurgaon was asked questions like Chandrayan-2, Cryptocurrency, Bullet trains.
  10. Questions on Extra Curricular Activities: If you are a sports person, a model or an achiever in some other area, the IIM MBA Interview Questions will be focused on them too. Tanishq Diddee, a national medalist in swimming, a triathlon and marathon participant who scored 99.70 percentile in CAT 2019 and converted IIM Ahmedabad  was asked about how a business model can be made around swimming?, How will India capture the POK? Why Kenyan runners are good at marathon?

Other Top Questions asked in Personal Interview round of MBA admissions
Apart from above, other top questions asked in Personal Interview round of MBA admissions are given below. All of them are the top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview.

  1. Tell us about your Strengths and Weakness
  2. What do you think is your best achievement
  3. Where do you see yourself in next five years
  4. Tell us about your career goals
  5. Why do you want to specialize in marketing/ finance/HR?
  6. Tell us about your hobbies and interests
  7. Who is your role model?
  8. To whom you would give credit for your success and why?
  9. Is there anyone who inspires you? Share reasons..
  10. How would you differentiate between a good manager and a good leader?
  11. Which is your biggest challenge so far?
  12. How do you think you will you contribute to the batch and the institute if we select you?
  13. What expectation do you have with this MBA programme?
  14. What does Criticism mean to you? How do you deal with it
  15. Have you ever demonstrated leadership? Share the situation…
  16. Which other MBA colleges have shortlisted you for final selection? Which one do you propose to choose and why

Why GD round is conducted?
FMS Delhi which did not conduct GD round for 3-4 years started the GD process WEF 2018. It will now conduct the GD round for final selection for MBA Admission 2020 in the month of April 2020. The basic reason behind conducting Group Discussion (GD) round in the final admission process for MBA/PGDM programmes in B-schools is a very important aspect of group communication reflecting the leadership skills and thought process of the participants.

GD: A Creative Activity
Group discussion is a creative and dynamic activity which stimulates reflective thinking among the members. Group discussion is the activity in which a small number of persons say 8 to 12, meet face to face and exchange and share ideas freely on a given topic of a common issue.

GD: Testing Tool of Skills 
Group Discussion (GD) is an important testing tool of participants’ skills in final admission round for MBA/PGDM after getting shortlisted by the B school. Most of the top MBA colleges conduct GD along with Personal Interview in the final admission round.

GD: Less formal than PI: Tests Meaningful Speaking and Listening
Group discussions are unstructured and less formal compared to other components of final admission round like extempore, case studies and PI round where candidates focus only on specific type of questions and respond to them. In the GD round an individual’s thought process is influenced by the views and opinions of the other members.

It can be other way round also that an individual may influence the other group members with his/her views. In the group discussion round, each participant is free to share his/her views. A successful discussion involves both listening and meaningful speaking.

Success in GD: Depends on Active Participation 
The effectiveness and efficiency of the group discussion depends, to a large extent, upon the active participation of the members. The group has to follow a pre-defined and established standards. 

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