Several lakhs of MBA students pass out every year in India. Then, there are MBA students from various categories: full-time, part-time and distance MBA in India from top institutes as well as B or C grade colleges. According to a report, there are 5000 management institutes in India and 2 lakh students cleared MBA in 2016-17. However, only 47% of MBA students found jobs. Then, do not forget the number of management business graduates that pass out every year across the world!
If you are an MBA student looking for a job, you have to face tough competition from your peers in both domestic and international job market. While a degree and necessary employability skills are the basic requirements, your first step towards getting a job is clearing the interview round. An interview is an overall assessment of your qualification, skills and fit for the job.
Here are some useful interview tips to bear in mind for your next interview.
Brush Up Your Skills
The interviewer may ask you questions pertaining to your subject matter expertise. So, whether you have completed MBA in marketing, finance, human resources, operations or any other field, you need to be aware of the fundamentals and what all you studied during the course. You don’t want to fumble when you are asked these questions!
Stay Abreast with Current Trends
The business world is so dynamic that everything changes every few weeks. What they taught you in MBA classes may either be no longer relevant anymore, or some new developments may have taken place in between the time you passed out and appeared for an interview. So, keep yourself updated with the latest trends and best practices in your field. This way, if the interviewer asks you questions pertaining to current developments, you would be able to answer like a pro.
Know the Company
Don’t land at the interview venue without doing some background research on the company. Visit the company website, its LinkedIn profile and other social media handles. Browse through employee reviews and testimonials to understand the work culture. Learn about the product and services offered by the company. Read the job description of your profile thoroughly and try to establish a company’s expectations from you.
Pay Attention to Grooming
If you were the interviewer and a candidate walked-in dressed shabbily, what is the first impression you will get in mind? Now, reverse the roles and think about it. A well-groomed candidate from head to toe creates a good first impression. The interview panel understands that you have made a sincere effort to present yourself. Also, it gives you feel good confidence which you need in heaps before and during the interview!
Body Language and Manners
When sitting in an interview, pay close attention to your body language. Do you have your hand in pockets? Are you fidgeting with your clothes or bag? Is your handshake cold? Are you avoiding eye contact? These all are the signs that you are nervous and send out wrong signals to the interviewers. At the same time, your manners should also be polite. For example, simple words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way in establishing your first impression.
Prepare Your Answers
You can’t predict all questions that would be thrown your way in the interview. However, there are some common questions which may be asked, and you should be prepared for it:
- Tell something about yourself.
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your future plans?
There can also be some oddball questions – they may look out of context, but they actually add context to your profile. Some of these questions you can prepare for are:
- Which business leader inspires you the most and why?
- Which is your favourite book and why?
- If you were an animal, what you would be?
Think through these questions and prepare answers that don’t sound cliché but rather reflect your thoughts, personality and ambitions.
At times, interview candidates tend to speak more and listen less out of excitement and to prove their worth. Hold on. The most important element of good communication skills is how good listener you are. It shows that you are a patient and logical thinker. Before you jump onto giving an answer, listen to the complete question and then give your answer.
It is not rude to ask questions to the interviewer at the end of the interview. Apart from salary expectations and job profile, you can question the interviewers about the company culture and any other factor that matters to you while accepting or rejecting the job. Asking questions only indicate that you have come well-prepared for your job. However, do not overstep the interviewer’s authority by posing too many or irrelevant questions.
Whether you have campus or distance MBA in India, the interview challenge remains the same for everyone. Just follow the above tips, and you would clear the interview with flying colours.