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15 Don’ts in an MBA Interview

Generally, interview forms the last stage of MBA admission process. The interviewers tend to check your personality traits and suitability for the MBA programme in their institute. There are certain things you should avoid so as to make a good impression in your personal interview.
  • Don't be late; make sure you are on time for the interview. Punctuality is indicative of your time management skills- one of the core skills for professional managerial competence!
  • Don’t walk in with the file held in awkward ways. Treat the file like an inclined plane and avoid holding it parallel or perpendicular to the plane of the body. A parallel configuration indicates outright vulnerability and a perpendicular one comes across as being too defensive or possessive.
  • Don't be arrogant, overaggressive or vain. Arrogance is demonstrative of negative attitude; over-aggression is reflective of restlessness and anxiety, while being vain is indicative of lack of focus and clarity.
  • Don't show a lack of attention or energy. Energy is the capacity for work and you need to show high levels of energy and initiative.
  • Don't make excuses for adverse conditions in your record, such as below average marks. This shows that you are shirking responsibility and you don’t take responsibility for your actions.
  • Don't condemn past institutions of education; keep comments positive. Blaming the academic system or any organization is an ethical infringement.
  • Don't be uncertain and indecisive in your thoughts. The panel tries to create situations to assess your decision making skills. You are required to demonstrate clarity of thought and sharp focus.
  • Don't glorify experiences dating back to formative years of schooling. This may seem redundant as the panel is more concerned about your recent most accomplishments and engagements, which are more probable to extrapolate your ability to contribute.
  • Don't contradict your own answers. This may indicate that you tend to buckle under stress.
  • Don’t show a visible irritation in case you don’t know the answer to a question. Please appreciate that not knowing the answer to a question is not criminal. Reeling under guilt will only dampen your performance with respect to subsequent questions.
  • Don’t hold the panel at points which require a quick exit. This will only drag you deeper into the mire. Plan an appropriate exit strategy based on area of comfort.
  • Don’t get into unnecessary arguments. Remember that you have limited time to market yourself. The time which you waste in inappropriate arguments will only add to the opportunity cost.
  • Don’t be judgemental about your own performance during the interview process. You need to interact with an open mind and being continuously investigative about your performance may adversely affect your efforts.
  • Don’t blame your parents for career choices made by you. This may be seen as a gross violation of basic ethics/values.
  • Don’t make comments which are politically and religiously sensitive. This may project you as a biased and classist person with dogmatic stands. Further, you don’t know the stand of the panellist on these issues. Hence it is advised to not get into these domains.
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