It is not uncommon for candidates to come across introductory questions like 'tell me about yourself' in MBA interviews. Interviewees often seek to judge the candidate's personality with similar questions such as 'tell me something about yourself', 'what is the meaning of your name', 'tell me something about yourself that is not in your CV', etc.
Be it any kind of interview, introduction-related questions form the opening part for it. Though these questions appear quite simple to answer, they can lead to complex follow-up questions in the later part of the interview. Since the question is open-ended, the candidate does have the advantage of directing the interview in your favour. Yet there are also some cautions to be taken. While introducing yourself in an MBA interview, you have the opportunity to link it with your strongest skills and introduce the talking points that will put a good impression. The subsequent questions would be built on your answer and make or mar your chances of clearing the interview.
Need of Introduction Questions
An MBA entrance interview lays a lot of emphasis on your career plans, your interests & hobbies, your strengths/weaknesses, hobbies & interests etc. Knowing yourself will help you to get clear insights with respect to these various dimensions. Further, a management program prepares you for a career where you are required to manage resources efficiently. Knowing yourself will give you valuable insights into your aptitude for managing others. It will allow you to understand how you’re perceived by others, why they respond in that way and how to get the best from them!
Before learning to introduce yourself in an MBA interview, it is important to understand yourself better and be more productive.
Tips for understanding yourself
The following expert tips will help you answer the introductory questions effectively:
Awareness about self is not sudden one-time enlightenment; it will develop over a period of time with a conscious concentrated effort. It is suggested that you reflect on situations in your personal/professional lives and the outcomes of these events. Keep a journal where you can document critical aspects of your experiences. Analyse your progress towards your goals; compare actual results with your expectations.
It is not enough to be just aware of your strengths & weaknesses. You need to know when to reinforce strengths and avoid situations which bring forth your weaknesses. Situation-based conditioning will enhance self-management and bring out the best in you!
Using emotional intelligence (EI)
EI is the ability to monitor and work with your and others’ emotions. It is measured in EQ which is the emotional equivalent of IQ. EI has two aspects: inward-facing and outward-facing. Inward facing deals with your emotional self-awareness and your ability to manage your own emotions. Outward facing deals with your degree of empathy or awareness of others’ emotions. Successful application of EI implies that:-
- You are open to the ideas of others and can build and mend relationships with others.
- You are aware of your feelings and act accordingly, articulating ideas so that others can understand them.
Asserting yourself as and when the situation demands, is a huge positive and desirable trait. The following can serve as building blocks to help you evolve as a more assertive person:
- Make the decision to assert yourself positively.
- Aim for open and honest communication.
- Listen actively.
- Agree to disagree.
- Avoid guilt trips.
- Stay calm.
- Take a problem-solving approach to conflict.
- Practise assertiveness.
- Listen attentively and make notes of the information provided.
- Divide the task into a bundle of activities so that the whole team can work together (plan a work breakdown structure).
- Stay focused on the goal and remember team working skills are being tested.
- Try to create an environment where communicating with teammates, and taking reasonable risks and actions is possible.
How to Answer Introduction Questions?
Your answer to the introduction questions sets up the whole interview. An imprecise response here can do irreversible damage, as this question is the window through which you let the panellist into your life and thought processes.
In this question, you should ideally form a road map with your background information acting as a guide. Make sure the answer is clear, crisp and concise. In this question, you provide a brief introduction about yourself and your achievements, and you should not list every certificate you have won, every competition you have taken part in, your detailed academic performance and so on. All you need to provide is succinct information about your background, academic performances, and strengths and any important activity that you might be doing at the time. You can also provide a passing reference to your hobbies and activities.
The candidates must answer such a question in a way that it brands them and drops innocuous teasers for the panel to ask subsequent questions. This is the perfect opportunity to lead the interviewer into your comfort zone.
Mistakes to Avoid:
- Majority of the students are not sure about this question and can never really nail down the details that they would like to share here.
- Majority of the students suffer from the common problem of being too wordy with this answer.
- Students either provide irrelevant details or they provide opinions that are not justified.
FAQs about MBA Interviews
1. What is the best answer for 'Tell me about yourself'?
There is no one best answer for such a question, as it depends upon your own background, experience, and skills. Ideally, you should give a brief overview of your past education and experience and then about your present skills and achievements.
2. How do you introduce yourself professionally?
You can start with formal greetings and proceed to briefing about your qualifications, experience, and skills. Your introduction shouldn't be too long or too short. Try answering the introduction question in 2-4 minutes.
3. What is the best answer for why MBA?
Well, the best answer for you depends upon what inspired you to pursue management or target leadership positions. Also, you can cite some anecdotes as to why you are suited for MBA.
4. How can I introduce myself in interview online?
The introduction format remains the same, irrespective of the mode of the interview. So, you can give your introduction in the online interview as you would in a face-to-face interview.
5. How do you end an interview?
While this is mostly upon the interview panel, you may put forward the required queries if prompted so. However, you must take care to ask well-thought valid questions only.