CAT Preparation: How To Nail The Personal Interview Round?

CAT Personal Interview Preparation Guide

Your CAT preparation is marked incomplete if you limit it to the exam while not giving Group Discussion and Personal Interviews the place of importance they deserve. The personal interview round challenges you in many ways, and therefore, walking into a room and just being yourself won’t work if you have not practiced enough to refine your skills and put your best foot forward. 

However, if you have prepared for those challenges by employing the strategies which work for you, you will leave the room with your eyes beaming with confidence. 

CAT Personal Interview Preparation Guide

The skills that matter

Communication Skills

When you are able to choose the right words for your thoughts and say them out loud without making grammatical errors, you leave a great impression. And that is what you need to nail the personal interview round! Your efforts are directed towards convincing the panelists that you are the right fit for a fine institution, a great business school. And your voice has more conviction if you communicate your ideas well. 

Your fluency, grammatical accuracy, and choice of words will make more difference during your personal interview than you imagine! 

Listening Prowess

Saying the right things the right way is essential. However, listening intently and understanding the questions before speaking is also important. During your PI, you are being judged for how good a listener you are. So, fight back the urge to listen to answer and develop the approach of listening to understand. When you are aware of all the components of the question asked, you don’t miss out on any detail! 

Academic Knowledge

It’s crucial to know your subjects well. You don’t want to cut a sorry figure while appearing for the interview that will shape your career due to lack of knowledge. So, don’t miss out on this aspect and ensure that you can answer it all with confidence. 

Confidence

We just used the word, so why not elaborate?! Confidence can become your shield against all challenges in a personal interview. And the lack of it can take away the impact of all the knowledge and skills you have. Confidence building is not an overnight process, and advice like ‘stay calm’ does not work when you feel the pressure to prove yourself during an interview. You must work on staying updated, enhancing your communication skills, and appearing for mock interviews to gain confidence. 

Analytical Thinking

When you walk into a room to prove that you are a suitable candidate for an institution that brings out the leader in you, you are judged for your analytical thinking. Your answers must reflect that you approached things with careful analysis and did not say things that simply felt right in that moment.

General Awareness

You must be aware of the things that are impacting the citizens of India, the developments taking place across the world, and crucial updates from different parts of the globe. Being aware helps you form opinions and express them with confidence. The top business schools are looking for strong personalities with the quality to lead. And staying updated with things is a crucial aspect of that.

Dressing Etiquette 

When you have just an interaction to impress absolute strangers so that they give you the green signal to get admission into one of the best MBA colleges, how you dress up makes more difference than you can imagine. Wear formals and carry yourself professionally. You don’t have to book appointments with makeup artists or grooming professionals; all you have to do is dress to leave a strong impression. Your clothes should reflect your goals and your seriousness towards achieving them.

Some Common Questions for the CAT Personal Interview

Do you think an MBA is essential to becoming a successful businessman?

Why have you chosen this path? Why MBA?

Why do you want to study at this business school?

How will you add value to this institution?

How is the course/field chosen the right one for you?

Walk us through your resume.

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

What are your hobbies?

What did you learn in your graduation?

Why are you planning to do an MBA now?

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Tell us about the things you learned while working at ..(name of the company)?

(If inexperienced) Since many of your peers are experienced. How will you compensate for your lack of experience and compete with them?

Do you think you are a good leader? If yes, justify your answer by sharing an example.

How do you differentiate between a leader and a manager?

Do’s and Don’ts for CAT Interview

  • Practice by appearing for mock interviews.
  • Enrich your vocabulary with good words but don’t unnecessarily insert uncommon words.
  • Maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview.
  • Your answers should reflect who you are.
  • Don’t prepare lengthy speeches. Keep your answers short and crisp.
  • Your answers must reflect spontaneity.
  • Wait for the interviewer to complete the question.
  • If you don’t understand the question, politely ask them to repeat it.
  • Ensure that your resume is well-structured and you know the things mentioned.
  • Don’t contradict yourself.
  • Some interviewers will seem intimidating. In such situations, focus on giving relevant answers and don’t let the intimidation overwhelm you.
  • Work on enhancing your communication skills. When you are grammatically flawless and fluent, you sound confident.
  • Body Language

Maintain eye contact.

Offer a firm handshake.

Avoid fidgeting.

Don’t fiddle with your hair.

Keep your back straight.

Don’t keep your hands in your pocket.

Don’t slouch.

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Ridhima Arora

Ridhima is a Content Writer at PrepLadder. She aims at making a significant difference in the academic journeys of Medical PG, NEET SS, and CAT aspirants through her content.