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Even after obtaining a good score or percentile in the MBA entrance exams, attending the business school’s Personal Interview (PI) is daunting for the students. In an MBA PI, the only purpose of the interviewer is to analyze and assess the candidates mainly on the basis of their confidence, presence of mind, right body language and academic intellect. There could be a lot of tricky MBA interview questions along the way.
The PI of top B-schools is generally presumed to be arduous and thus students reach out to the internet looking for frequently-asked MBA interview questions.
With some strategic MBA interview preparation, the students can ace the personal interview. They can prepare for some of the basic and most obvious questions which are asked in the PI. We are here listing the 10 such MBA interview questions which are very common and are frequently asked by the interviewers.
Most Asked MBA interview questions with answers
The Personal Interview of management colleges can easily be the deciding factor that makes or breaks your application to pursue a management degree. Even though the round is personalized to your background and qualifications, a pattern is visible in the types of questions asked. Look through these questions and prepare for the interview with well-thought-out answers. These questions include
- Tell me about yourself
- Why MBA?
- Why did you choose this particular college?
- Can you explain the gap in your professional/academic journey?
- What has been your most challenging/rewarding experience during your academic journey?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your short-term & long-term professional goals?
- What kind of leader are you?
- Describe a professional challenge you faced and how you overcame it?
- Any questions for the interviewer?
1. Tell us about yourself
The above question, as easy as it sounds, is the most tricky one out there. If not answered correctly, it has the potential to trip you into a bottomless pit. But, don’t let it. While answering this MBA Interview question, you have to prove that you’re well-versed and have the capability to articulate and structure your thoughts. Keep your answer around 2-3 minutes, and make sure to focus on your educational background, work experience, achievements, and career goals.
Alternative to this question: Walk Me Through Your Resume
General Answer: Hello, I am <your name> and I'm from Delhi. I have earned my undergraduate degree in <course, college and year>. My father is a retired government servant and my mother is a housewife. I have always been interested in pursuing an MBA and I feel the skills and knowledge that I will learn here will help me progress a lot in my career. Apart from academics, I'm a big fan of football and cricket and try to watch as many matches as I can.
How to Prepare The Answer: The interviewer(s) will have your resume, they know what you have done, but through this question, they want to understand why. The most important part of this question is not what you have done, but why have you done it. You should frame the answer in a way that helps your personality shine through.
2. Why do you want to pursue an MBA?
This is another frequently asked question in MBA PI that gives the interviewer an idea of how clear and serious you are about your career. Hence, you must explain the motivation behind your decision of pursuing a management course.
Alternative To This Question: Why Did You Choose MBA As Your Post Graduate? Or Why Do You Want To Pursue A Degree In Business?
General Answer: I have wanted to pursue an MBA ever since 12th grade. Seeing some of my seniors and cousins do an MBA, I was curious to gain managerial skills as well. While pursuing my BBA, I decided that I will work for at least 2 years before applying for MBA in order to get some experience under my belt and also to decide on the specialization I want to go for.
How To Prepare The Answer: Make sure you highlight the turning point that led you to pursue a career in Business. Talk about which field you want to specialize in and why.
3. Why are you interested in this school/program?
Here you must showcase your research on the college/program. This is a commonly asked question in an MBA interview wherein you get the opportunity to list the reason you feel the school/program is ideally suited for you. Talk about the faculty, facilities, course offerings, student activities, job placement record and networking opportunities offered by the college and how all this is going to help you build a solid career.
Alternative To This Question: Why Do You Wish To Pursue Your MBA From This College/ University/ Institute?
General Answer: This B-School is one of the best MBA colleges in India and after researching the curriculum, placements, faculty, and facilities available on the campus of various colleges, I found that this B-School is offering the subjects that perfectly align with my needs.
With well-known alumni of this college such as <name a few>, I would be honored to pursue my MBA degree from this reputed B-School.
How To Prepare The Answer: You should research everything about the institute you are applying to such as curriculum, faculty, placements, and alumni. You should know the college inside out in order to give a genuine and impressive answer.
4. Why is there a gap in your educational/professional life?
This is a conditional MBA interview question, i.e. this question would be asked only if the interviewers see a significant gap in your resume. The best way of tackling this is, to be honest with the panel. If your gap is between your class 12 and graduation, then you can simply say you were involved with the family business or were exploring your hobbies to find your career path. However, if your gap is after graduation, you can cover up by saying that you were focusing on entrance exam preparation and hence took a break.
Additionally, you can always say that you were involved in social activities near your place, you were involved with some assignments, doing some certificate courses and internships of short duration.
5. What has been your most challenging/rewarding academic experience so far?
This is one question of the MBA Personal Interview, where the panelists check if you have the presence of mind and the ability to perform under pressure. So think for a minute before answering.
Alternative To This Question: Walk us through an instance where you excelled in a role given to you.
General Answer: If you choose to talk about a challenge you faced, you should describe the challenge, keeping your focus on how you overcame it and turned it into a successful experience. While, if you decide on talking about a rewarding situation, explain how it was rewarding and what experience you gained from it.
How To Prepare The Answer: Widen your view, you can even mention a social service you organized in your locality or society, or maybe an event you organized in your school. And always appreciate the help you received from others, this will help you look like a team player.
6. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is again a trick question asked multiple times in an MBA Interview. The motive behind this question is to check how humble you are. Choosing the strength to talk about is easy. However, you must choose 2-3 strengths that you feel, set you apart from other candidates, and ensure you do not go overboard while describing them. You don't want to come across as over-confident. On the other hand, pick up 1-2 weaknesses and make sure you’re able to heal from the blow by leading the discussion back to a positive.
Alternative To The Question: Tell Us About Your Shortcomings And How You Can Overcome Them?
General Answer: I am not only a hard worker but also a smart worker, I tend to spend my spare time learning new things or new ways of doing the things we do right now through videos and written articles. I am a quick learner and a people person.
Coming to my weaknesses, I would say my relative inexperience is a drawback considering I'm a fresher and don't know how the industry works right now. However, rest assured that I will do everything to learn as quickly as possible.
How To Prepare The Answer: Don't go overboard while discussing your strengths and be honest when discussing your weaknesses. You shouldn't try to disguise a strength as a weakness as the interviewers will be able to tell easily. if you are honest and comfortable with your weaknesses, that goes a long way in impressing the interviewers.
7. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Keep in mind that your short-term goals should be solid and attainable while your long-term goals should match your personality and do justice to your passion. Also, to appropriately answer this MBA Personal Interview question, you must include some business and career-oriented goals to depict that gaining an MBA degree plays a major role to achieve your goals.
Alternative To This Question: What Do You See Yourself Doing After 5 Years From Now?
General Answer: I would like to get placed in a top MNC in their Marketing Department and want to work as a Social Media Marketing Manager. I want to learn skills such as Google Adwords, Affiliate Marketing, and Traditional Marketing to name a few.
Deep exposure to these domains will prepare me for better career opportunities in the next 3 to 5 years.
How To Prepare The Answer: To answer this question you need to be honest with your goals. The goals should be clear and they should convey to the interviewer what you want to do in your life and how an MBA helps you in that.
8. What kind of a leader are you? Can you explain your leadership experience with an example?
Here the interview is interesting to know about your leadership skills-this is common among MBA interview questions. Describe different forms of leadership experiences you’ve had, from leading a team to taking the moral high ground to make a positive impact. But remember to maintain a sense of humility in the conversation.
Alternative To This Question: Walk us through an instance where you led a team.
General Answer: I have been an active participant in the organizing of events at both school and college. I have led a team on many occasions, and my most memorable experience was heading the marketing team in my college fest. With the support of my team, I was able to get a lot of sponsorships from local brands and businesses for the event which turned out to be a huge success.
We also had to manage the celebrity visit for the fest along with arrangements for their hospitality. I'm really proud that we were able to conduct all of this within the deadlines specified. As a leader, I never imposed my ideas on the team, I gave everyone the required creative freedom to be able to implement their own ideas. Obviously, I can't thank my whole team enough for their support and it wouldn't have been possible without them.
How To Prepare The Answer: Try to specify what your managerial or leadership traits are, whether you are a hands-on leading from the front kind of person or a more laid-back person who lets everyone get on with their jobs and manages from the background.
9. Describe a professional failure and how you overcame it.
Whenever you face an MBA Personal Interview Question that needs you to describe a failure/weakness, make sure you pick something that is legitimate. The interviewers do not expect you to be perfect. Mention a failure and then focus on how you overcame it. Make sure you end such questions on a positive note.
Since this is a really personal question, we leave it to you to decide what you want to tell the interviewer. Remember, there is no wrong answer. As long as you are honest and truthful, that is what matters.
10. Do you have any questions for me?
This question concludes the interview. Questions to ask the MBA interviewer include asking about the program, the faculty, any way you can improve, and by when you can expect a reply. Asking questions is a great way to let the interviewer know that you are proactive and have put in the effort to know more about both the college and the program.
Try to ask at least 2-3 questions for the best impression.