PI is a do-or-die situation for an MBA aspirant. It is the last opportunity for the aspirant to convince the interview panel that he/she deserves admission to the institution. Therefore, how one presents oneself, or 'markets' oneself assumes critical significance.
Need to sell yourself
Use PI to your advantage
Since the PI provides a forum for personal interaction, it should be used to reveal your strengths to the interviewer. As Gautam Buddha said, "the mind is everything", if you can overcome your anxiety, control the demons of your mind and think of the PI as a brief performance, where you have to put your best face forward and put your preparation into action (as simple as that), you will actually begin to enjoy the prospects of sailing through the PI and use it to your advantage. The PI is, fundamentally, about leaving your best impression on the panellists. The impression should be so strong and positive that the panellists are left with no option but to select you.
How to market yourself?
To market any product, it is imperative that you know the product inside out. In this case, the product happens to be 'YOU'. Knowledge about yourself is, therefore, the primary condition of selling yourself to the interviewer. You should know your strengths, your 'selling points' but more importantly, your weaknesses so that you can cover them up in the interview. Also, displaying skills that are considered a pre-requisite for an MBA graduate, for instance, appropriate knowledge levels, positive outlook, 'can do' attitude, confidence, quick thinking, all of which together constitute brand 'YOU', will play a deciding role in securing admission for you.
Optimum use of the opportunity
Having made it to the interview, be assured that the panellists think favourably about you. But, this favourable opinion will convert into an affirmative decision, only depending upon your persuasive skills. Just as a good marketing executive strategizes and draws up a plan to sell the product, an MBA aspirant, too, should strategize and think of ways to market himself/herself effectively. Knowing when/what to speak, how much to speak, when to listen, when to use which gesture, all go together in creating a good feeling around the product, 'YOU'. Remember, that the interviewers don't know you but if you are successful in developing a bond of trust (so essential for a good customer-product relationship) in that brief period, you would have brightened your chances of selection.