First of all, congratulations on meeting the test’s or SAT’s cut-off. Give yourself a pat on the back. Very few candidates are able to reach the interview stages. Now, there’s only one hurdle that stands in your way of making it to the prestigious Institute of Business and Administration! The interview part of the application is perceived as very tough and rigorous, but it isn’t that hard as you may think. I was able to clear it and, I want you to be able to as well!
Why do so many candidates don’t clear the IBA’s interview? The don’ts!
In my opinion, there can be several reasons for people not clearing the interviews and a few are mentioned here.
- Lack of confidence and self-belief.
Probably, the major reason for so many students getting rejected. As I mentioned earlier, students are afraid when they hear about an interview which results in low confidence levels and, they end up doubting themselves. The first step to achieving anything is believing that you can do it! You need to keep your back straight with your head up portraying a confident and firm individual.
- No clear future ambitions.
Many students are indecisive about their future. They don’t have a vivid picture of what they’ll be pursuing. IBA doesn’t want you if you’re unsure, they need the very best with a clear set of goals. You need to show your interviewers that you mean business and you know where will you stand in the coming years!
For example, you’re asked what are some of your hobbies? You mention book reading just to make a great impression but haven’t read a single book in years. Their next question is most probably going to be what is the last book you read and, what’s the best thing about it? Here you will get stuck, probably you would need some time to think to come up with something. They will immediately know you lied and that is going to make an impression you don’t want. Only speak the truth and what you can defend.
- Getting in an argument.
At some times, interviewers might be trying to test out your patience. They may be inviting an argument or a quarrel. You must not fall for the trap. At most times, you’ll end up creating a bad impact but not every time. In my opinion, you must avoid an argument at all costs because it is not worth the risk.
- Lack of preparation
Some candidates take it easy and plan to just improvise during the interview. This might work for a handful of people but, trust me this is a terrible idea. A little bit of preparation won’t hurt rather significantly increase your chances of getting in!
How do I prepare?
- Firstly, you need to have a clear set of goals. What do you want from your time at IBA and where do you see yourself after 5 years? You don’t need to be very specific, a general idea would suffice.
- Come up with any questions you think can be asked. They may be specific to your background and program. Make a list of all these questions. I will also add a list of commonly asked questions at the end of this article.
- Prepare answers for every question you added to the list you made earlier.
- Have someone ask you these questions and answers. If you have no one to help you, ask yourself in front of a mirror. This will substantially boost your confidence.
- Read the personal statement that you submitted at the time of admission. Make sure there’s nothing contradictory between it and the answers you have prepared.
- Go through your program’s website and acquaint yourself with anything there is.
- Almost always at the end, they’ll ask if you have any questions for us? Do prepare a good question for them. It can be anything related to IBA or program, just make sure that is not very common and, answer to it is not easily available.
Interview Day Preparations
You must wear formal clothing. A suit won’t be necessary but wearing a tie with the formal dress is a must for the lads. Remain calm and relaxed. In an in-person interview, your posture should be straight, if you’re prompted for a handshake, you must do it confidently and firmly. Seek your interviewers’ permission before having a seat. These little things make your first impression which has the greatest impact. Reach well before stated time to prevent any inconveniences. Relax, take long breaths before entering and don’t let the nerves get better of you!
Here’s a list of what is usually asked. This doesn’t mean you will be asked this only!
- Introduce/describe yourself!
- Why IBA?
- Why your chosen program?
- Tell us about your hobbies/extracurricular activities. After this, they will probably be interested to know more details of your one activity.
- Your favourite subject/field of interest?
- Do you read books? If yes, tell us about your favourite or most recent book.
- Do you read the newspaper? If yes, they can ask anything about current affairs.
- What is good or bad about your current school in your opinion?
- Your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Specific questions can be asked if your background doesn’t match the selected program.
- Do you have any backups? What if you don’t get into IBA?
- Where do you see yourself after 5 years?
- Do you have any questions for us?