So you've done with your NMAT and the finish line seems to be in sight. However, one final hurdle stands in the way- the dreaded interview. If you did your NMAT well, this interview threatens to wipe the grin off your face. If you feel your NMAT could've gone better, this is your final shot at redemption.
By following the 3 steps mentioned below, I was able to clear my interview successfully, without coaching, and secure my admission into NMIMS Mumbai. In fact, the following tips will help you convert all your b-school calls, so thank me later ;)
It isn't rocket science, and if I can do it, you most definitely can!
Step 1: Read the newspaper daily, from this day forth
Begin your day by reading the newspaper thoroughly, cover-to-cover. Be well-versed with the facts surrounding all the current events populating the news. But it is not enough to just know the facts. Form opinions, and be able to defend them. In fact, it helps to know convincing arguments for both sides of a particular topic, so that you are prepared for any circumstance (a GD for example).
Note: It would be wise to note down important facts and figures in a document, that you'll be able to refer to quickly. Infographics are also great for this purpose.
Step 2: Read your own CV, ask yourself questions and form structured and interesting answers
We often get so carried away in trying to form sophisticated answers to questions we searched up on the net, that we forget to put ourselves in the eyes of the interviewer, and what they are looking for in a potential candidate. What interviewers are looking for, are enthusiastic, teachable and hustling individuals, who are ambitious and have a positive attitude. This is what you should be trying to highlight in your answers.
Take time to read your own CV from the eyes of an interviewer. I cannot emphasize enough how well prepared you should be with your CV. You should be able to back up each point mentioned in your CV and each of your qualities, with real-life examples. Have both a short answer (1 liner) and long answer prepared for each question, so that you can adapt according to the situation in the interview.
It goes without saying that you should also be well prepared with standard questions like "Tell me about yourself", "What are your strengths and weaknesses?", "Why MBA?", "What are your short-term and long-term goals", and so on.
If you are well prepared with answers to these questions, and critically evaluate yourself and your answers from an interviewer's perspective, you are a stone's throw away from success.
Note: Structure your "Tell me about yourself" in such a way that you leave nuggets in your answer for the interviewer to pick up on, to ask you further questions. Keep doing this for all your answers. This is how you can lead the interview where you want it to go.
Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Preparing answers for questions is one thing, but saying those answers with confidence in a pressure situation, is a different ballgame altogether. Once you have the basic skeleton for your answers prepared, start saying them loudly to yourself, again and again, in front of a mirror, till you are able to say the answer comfortably. Ideally this should take around 10 attempts. Don't be satisfied with good enough; always go for great.
Keep refining your answers (both the short and long versions) every time you say them, and try to pay attention to your body language and non-verbal cues as well. The panelists are quite capable of reading your body language even through your computer screen.
Once you're confident in front of yourself, take a mock interview with trusted elders or friends. This will give you useful feedback and a different perspective.
If you were expecting some cheat code or mantra for cracking the interview, you may be feeling a tad disappointed right now. But don't be. There is no alternative to good old fashioned preparation, and preparation really shows. The panelists for the interviews are experienced faculty, who can easily read through duplicity.
All that is needed is a thorough and systematic approach. Remember that at the end of the day, they are just trying to get to know you better, and that is not something you need to be worried about.