The college interview process can be nerve-racking. This interview gives the college you're applying to another opportunity to evaluate you and help determine whether or not to offer you admission. The college interview gives potential students a chance to make a good first impression with an admissions counsellor or faculty member— and can be an important part of the admissions process.
Personal Interview (PI) is the most important part of your final selection process. It carries high weightage in final selection process in a range from 30 to 50 percent. Immediately after completion of your written exam, it is necessary to improve your personal interview skills and do away with any type of hesitation that you may face during personal interview round. If you do not get a required minimum score in personal interview, you will not be considered for final selection even if you have scored very high score in your written test.
Understanding the importance of personal interviews in the admission process helps you to put the proper emphasis on preparing to interview candidates. Here are some parameters based on which the interviewers rate potential candidates.
- Analytical Skills
During the personal interview, an interviewer will check the analytical skills of the candidate in ways that cannot be done with a written test. Certain questions during the personal interview are devised to see how the candidate can analyze a situation and create a solution. In the personal interview, the Interviewer can ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into the candidate's critical thinking process, to see if she fits the Institute's profile for a eligible student.
- Communication Skills
When an interviewer is engaged in a personal interview with a candidate, he/she will listen to hear how the candidate gives answers to questions, watch for body language that can indicate the candidate is not being truthful or is uncomfortable; determine confidence by gauging eye contact.
A personal interview gives the interviewer the opportunity to see what the candidate considers to be professional grooming, professional attire and a professional attitude. A candidate's academic performance may be impressive, but if he shows up to the interview 30 minutes late and is not dressed in professional interview attire, then he may not be the candidate you are looking for.
In a personal interview it is not always the answer you give to a question that is important, but how you give that answer. An interviewer is well aware of all the nuances within the industry, and a personal interview gives the interviewer a chance to gauge the candidate's attitude to see if there is a match with the institutes’. Over confidence never reflects in a good way in the attitude of the candidate. Do not enter the room with a bossy attitude.
- Extracurricular Activities
It is important that you highlight the skills that you feel are essential for bring a member of certain club and committee of the college. Research well about the extra-curricular activities and clubs offered by the institution. Carry relevant certificates from graduation or school level, where you had won laurels. This might help the interviewer know better about you.
- Body Language
Your body language is the first thing that comes to the notice of your interviewer. For it starts communicating right from the moment you step foot in the interview room i.e. even before you start to speak. Even your handshake gives the interviewer a basic insight into your personality. For example, a weak handshake and lack of eye contact communicate your numerousness and feeling of under confidence.
Here are some useful pointers below for prepping yourself for the Personal Interview:
- Be your natural self during the interview instead of putting on a mask and trying to be someone you are not. Interviewers are highly experienced professionals and will be able to see right through you. This will count against you even if you have scored high in the entrance exam.
- It always pays to prepare for an interview. This will help you feel more relaxed and give you the ability to muster up confidence.
- Always answer questions, honestly and promptly.
- Think about your greatest strength and look back at examples that highlight this strength.
- Be prepared for open-ended questions that give you an opportunity to lead the interview. A good example of an open-ended question is “Tell me something about yourself” Preparation allows you to be clear about what and how you want to convey the message during the interview.
- Don’t keep rambling to fill in the silence. Not only does it make you look foolish, you will be instantly judged as someone who is very unsure of himself.
- Don’t start your introduction with ‘Myself (your name)’, because they your name. Obviously!
- When asked about you; tell about yourself cutting the unnecessary information. For example; tell your educational background, any important achievement, you can tell about your family (father, mother and siblings) but not the extended family.
- When asked about hobbies; don’t say ‘meeting new people’ or ‘making friends’.
The B-schools prefer candidates who have a well-rounded personality, are confident and knowledgeable, have balanced opinions about the issues facing the country and the world, have goal clarity and are purposeful. Finally, it’s a mind-game at this stage and each of you need to believe in yourself, stay motivated, steer clear of negative thoughts and success shall be yours.
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