My personal interview round for IMI Delhi was held in Kolkata. A detailed questionnaire about my profile, personality, interests, etc, had already been mailed to me and I had to carry the completed form along with me for the interview.
The PI round was almost a day-long process. It began with the 20-minute essay writing wherein we were given the option of discarding the topic given to us if the majority was not comfortable with it but in that case the second topic allotted would be binding for all with no option of reverting to the first topic. This was followed by the document verification process where every piece of relevant document was strictly scrutinized. Simultaneously, personal interviews were conducted. There were multiple interview panels. The panel that interviewed me consisted of two members. The personal interview also included a short extempore speech.
My PI experience was pleasant. The initial bit of nervousness soon disappeared as the interview progressed. The interviewer questioned me on my personal and professional goals and how would an MBA help in that. I was asked several situational questions and also about my work experience. In fact, my extempore speech was about describing the work I actually do. Most questions were centred on the questionnaire I had filled. Towards the end, I was given the chance to seek any clarification I needed about the institute and I received patient replies to all my queries. Overall, my interview lasted for around 15-20 minutes.
Q. What were the toughest and the easiest question in your PI?
Easiest questions were related to my work experience (my roles and responsibilities, actual job, etc). I had mentioned about maintaining work life balance in my form. The toughest questions were related to this and also the ones like ‘Why MBA’ and ‘Why HR’.
Q. Any specific suggestions to aspirants on personal interview
Make sure you mention only those things you are sure of. Interviewers generally derive their questions from your answers. So, know what you are talking about. Don’t guess answers or make up stories. Be clear in terms of your goals and decisions. Situational questions are often meant to check for consistency. Make sure that you don’t pretend to be someone else or write anything in your form that is drastically different from your real self. Brush up your current affairs (would help you not only in the PI but also in the essay writing). Be calm and confident. Have faith in your abilities. Remember MBA is not the end but the means. They are not looking for someone who knows it all but someone who wants to learn.
Q. What was your strategy for the PI?
I didn’t have any strategy as such but I did try to steer the interview to my strong areas and make sure that I supported my strengths (those I mentioned in the form) with relevant examples. I had clarity about my decision to go for an MBA and hence I could tackle those questions well. I feel it’s all about believing in what you say. The conviction shows in the way you deliver your answer. I was genuine, honest and confident with my answers.
Q. What was the topic for essay writing?
“Who should India be more concerned about – Pakistan or China?”
Q. What was the strategy you kept in mind while writing the essay?
I ensured that my essay reflected my general awareness. I jotted down every piece of information I had read about Sino-India and Indo-Pak relations, especially the recent developments. Based on these facts, I derived my conclusion.
Q. Any particular tip for aspirants for PI and essay writing
For essay writing, read newspapers regularly, keep abreast of the current affairs, use Internet to read extensively on important topics.