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Personal Interview Tips For CAT A Complete Guide

Personal Interview Tips For CAT A Complete Guide

Learn about the common questions asked in a CAT interview, personal interview tips for CAT, why is it important, and much more. Developed by our experts at IIM Skills- online CAT coaching




A personal interview can be a very anxious and confusing experience for many, even if you think you have prepared enough. With the personal interview in CAT, you know your future depends on the performance in this interview.


In this guide for personal interview tips for CAT, We help you here to get a clear understanding of how B-schools accepting CAT scores conduct interviews so that you are equipped and ready to face the interviewers.


With stress levels high, an intensely competitive situation, and confused perceptions about this critical interview process, you might need all the understanding you find to get crack this part of the MBA selection process.


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The Importance of personal interview for CAT


A job offer is a point of inflection for both you and your company. Once you start the job you are going to spend a considerable amount of your day in the office and your company will be dependent on you for many tasks.


It is important that your goals and the goals of your company are consistent with each other. You both share the same values and ethics and agree on many issues. It is the same with college.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because an MBA college needs to see if the candidate applying for admission has goals that are consistent with someone who wants to become a business manager.


They need to see if the candidate is suitable for the curriculum the college offers. Will the candidate be able to meet the criteria, and keep up with the coursework. Will he/she be suitable as a manager of a large corporation? Will he/she be someone who is worthy of carrying the brand of the institution with its name?


They also help grade different candidates when there are more applicants than the number of openings or seats. In India, it is a major issue since the acceptance rates of many best b-schools go into single digits. The interview panel needs to grade candidates in order from most suitable to least suitable. They would certainly want the candidate who is the most worthy.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because Often it happens that many candidates are good on paper but not in real life. They are academically superior to others and score high marks on the tests. But tests do not measure everything about someone’s personality. Unless you meet a person you are not going to know the person completely.


For example, written tests do not tell you whether the candidate is going to be a good team player, whether he is good at handling people, what is their leadership style, would he be good at working under pressure, or how he handles crisis situations. These qualities can only be witnessed in real-life situations.


An interview is also good for the candidate. We often forget this aspect that interviews are for both parties to look for whether one will help reach the other’s goals. In this way, candidates can know whether they will get ample opportunities for their growth.


In the case of a college of choice, it is often assumed that candidates have enough knowledge about their college of choice. They must have already acquired it from various sources like past students and online forums.


But the interviewers know more than the candidate. They’ll know if the candidate would be more suitable in some other college. Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because It would be better for both the college and the candidate.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because By asking the right questions, you can learn many things about college life such as what the college requires a candidate to do, how he/she can make the best use of resources, and what is a typical day like.


You can ask where your skills fit in a group. Understanding the campus culture is paramount to the satisfying and positive student experience.


The interviewers will ask you various questions, the answers to which will help them judge you as a person. They examine various qualities that are not visible in a written test.


There is also the added benefit of face-to-face interaction that lets interviewers judge much more about a person than just their words.


Gestures like fidgeting, uncomfortable leg movements, or general body language cues like the position of hands, sitting posture, eye contact tell a lot about the person that he/she lets them know verbally.


The interviewers need to select a candidate that is perfectly suitable for the role for which the candidate is applying for. There are always a few candidates that leave the course in between because they think business school life is not suiting them and they might be better off doing something else.


This causes the wastage of one seat that could be filled by a candidate who was really interested and passionate about the MBA.


This happens because many times people show who they want to be but not who they are. They end up taking roles which they think they should. Something that will get them respect and money.


They do not do it because they really want it. Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because Interviewers need to filter out these types of candidates that are not fit and are trying to convince the interview panel for the wrong reasons.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because Interviewers tend to prefer a candidate who is ambitious and clear about their goals. They want a student who has a plan on what they want to do after the MBA, which industry they want to join, and what role they see themselves working in.


There are many candidates whose goals just finish at MBA and they have no plan for later. This is not a good situation to be in. You must always have a direction if you are working so hard for something. Candidates who are result-oriented, problem-solvers, and motivated in general are preferred over others.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because No matter what questions are asked from you, there are three basic things that the panel wants to know about you:


Do you fit in a management college, or precisely, the specific college whose interview you are giving? Do you think you are the most suitable candidate? Or do you think the course you are applying to is something you’re really interested in?


Will you be good as a manager? Do you get excited when you encounter a problem or do you see it as a tedious chore that must somehow be gotten over? Your way of answering tells a lot about your personality to the interviewers. Most people just want to get over the problem with the minimum possible effort. Are you one of them or are you different?


Will you fit in a team? Are you a team player? Do you have experience being a part of any team? What is your style of leadership? Where do you fit in a team, a leader, or a follower? Do you have a likable personality or are you an arrogant person full of complaints? You should know that not everybody needs to be a leader, it’s fine if you are not.


No matter how academically qualified you are and how high you scored in the written test, it is important to know if you get along with others in a team. There are many occasions where a candidate who scored high percentile was rejected for not being someone who could work in a team. The written test is not everything.


There are also a few other parameters that are seen like do you have experience in a leadership role prior to MBA? Do you have work experience or are you straight out of your bachelor’s? Reflect on your own career with these Personal interview tips for CAT.


Common questions asked in CAT interview


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because a Personal Interview is the last and the most important stage in the way of you getting in the top IIMs and B-schools.


It’s important that you treat your interviews important as well as try not to stress too much about it. Do not try hard to be someone you are not but you can try little things. Be confident, be fun and play to your strengths.


You will be confident and much secure if you know you have prepared well.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because It always helps to prepare for a few questions that are almost always asked from candidates.


Here is a list of a few common questions in the CAT personal interviews that interviewers like as they give a lot of general ideas about the candidate.


Top MBA Interview Questions:


Tell us something about yourself

This is the most popular question and almost always the first question asked in an interview. A great answer to this question will play a huge role in the outcome of your interview. Try to be brief but always mention important and relevant details. Be sure to include these aspects of your life:


  • Your educational and professional history
  • Your family
  • Your interests and hobbies.


It’d be even better if you could mention something in your interest that connects you to management.


Why do you want to do an MBA?

You need to show here that you are doing an MBA for the right reasons. Do not show that you were here just because you want higher salaries and respect from society. There are other easier ways for that. SHow that you are really interested in solving problems and working on projects as a team.


Tell them how would be a valuable asset to any company. Show them that you like the MBA for the impact and authority you can have. Businesses are the livelihood for so many employees.


They also have an impact on the surrounding community. For example, a steel or thermal power plant employs so many thousands of people in the surrounding areas. Their family gets income, and as a result, they can afford a better lifestyle and basic facilities like healthcare and education.


Do not appear like you are doing an MBA without any plan or just because someone told you, you should. Show that you understand the role of management in the business and general world. Show how will it add value to your career.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This question is asked by the interviewers to know whether you see yourself in the role of a manager. They want to see if you are ambitious enough and have a plan. Having a plan shows that you understand the role of an MBA in your career. Your answer should be ambitious but also realistic. It should be detailed enough about what you will do and how you plan to do it.


Why should we select you?


Your main purpose while giving an answer to this question is to show how you fit in the criteria of a student profile they look for. Tell them your qualities like you are a hardworking, ambitious person who is a team player and can work in stressful situations.


Questions about your past

This is a good time to tell them about your past college life or work life, your achievements, your challenges, and how you overcame them. Here you can be descriptive. Tell them how you made a decision that attracted you to an MBA.
If you have work experience, you should show total knowledge about your position, your company, and its market.


Your strength/weakness

This is an important one. The answer to this question will show the interviewers how seld-aware and alert you are about yourself and your actions. You must have heard about the SWOT analysis. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

You can structure your answer in this way.

First, tell them your strengths by telling them about an incident that made you come to the conclusion that you have that particular strength. Examples include being hardworking, analytical, time management, communication, or the ability to work under pressure. Accompany it with incidents that demonstrate the strength.

About weaknesses, make sure you don’t say any weakness that goes against or contradicts one of your strengths. If you said you are hardworking, you are not supposed to say that you also suffer from procrastination.

Try not to use any tactics to trick the interviewers because it can be easily detected. Be true. Also if you are telling a weakness, make sure you explain how you deal with it.


Why do you want to join this particular school?

Here the interviewer panel will test your knowledge about the particular school you are being interviewed for. They will want to see if you know anything about the college beyond its ranking and placement.


Read about the college’s history, its alumni, what it does differently. Your answer should demonstrate that you know much more than a regular candidate.

You can talk to previous students and research on the internet about the college to know more about the various programs and activities in the college.


Questions from GD

There is a possibility that some questions related to your GD topic may be asked again. This will show whether you just got lucky or you were really deserving of passing the GD stage.


Your knowledge levels and presentation skills must be consistent with your GD session. Do not change your perspective or you may look it you just said whatever you said just to pass the stage and whatever you said does not reflect your personal views.


Do you have any questions for us?

It’s always better to ask a question in return. This shows that you were attentive in the interview and listening intently. Some good questions to ask would be related to any program of the institute, their ideal candidate, etc. Try not to ask questions about placement and salaries. This will show you are in it just for the money.


These are a few questions you can prepare for. These have a high possibility of being asked however, you may be asked any question based on your answers. Answer confidently. Be a professional.
The interview may take anywhere between 15-30 minutes.


General tips on personal interview tips for CAT


Interviews are a good opportunity to show what cannot be demonstrated in the written tests. Remember that you are there because you passed the written and the GD stages. Be confident and secure in your abilities.


Follow these pointers for the interview day:


  • Be confident. You cleared all the previous stages. You deserve to reach the interview stage.
  • Be aware of other examiners who try to make others insecure with their behavior.
  • Be perfectly dressed as per the dress code.
  • Bring some questions you need to ask the interview panel when it’s your turn to ask questions. Be creative. Be well-researched about the institute. Look at their website, you may come up with some questions.
  • Practice your interview skills multiple times with mock interviews. Ask a friend or your teacher to help you. Keep practicing your language skills and communicate all the time in English, days before the interview.
  • Read the newspapers and keep yourself updated about the happenings in the country and your area.
  • Be prepared for the common questions asked. The list is mentioned above.
  • During the interview, Keep smiling and maintain strong eye contact.
  • Greet everyone on the panel and shake their hands before sitting. Be respectful.
  • Be a professional. Take the interview seriously.
  • Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Be yourself. Play to your strengths. Put your best foot forward.
  • Do not worry about the time. Your interview will go just as long as it needs to. Do not lose heart if your interview does not go long.
  • The interview panel has to meet deadlines too. There are many interviews scheduled in a day. Give your best and do not think about the outcome.
  • After the interview is over, thank them for the talk. Shake their hand and walk out confidently.

Why Personal interview tips for CAT are important?


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because the CAT percentile is required for admissions to almost all management schools in India. CAT is intended to examine the candidates’ abilities in many areas and measure how suitable they are as managers.


Almost all MBA schools in India call students for GD and interview based on their CAT scores. If an MBA from a notable college is what you want, CAT is the exam you should focus your efforts on.


CAT is an online test. It has 3 different sections:

  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
  • Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC)
  • Data Interpretation(DI) & Logical Reasoning (LR)


The Quantitative Aptitude(QA) section consists of basic 10+2 level arithmetic. Questions come from various topics such as number systems, Geometry, trigonometry, Algebra, profit and loss, probability, simple and compound interest, and Word Problems. The purpose of the questions to use basic maths to find solutions to real-world difficulties.


The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI-LR) section consist of questions that come in sets. Each set has common data and the data is followed by 3-4 questions. Data Interpretation questions test how the candidate makes use of the available data to understand the situation. Logical Thinking problems check the candidate’s capability to use logic and evaluate problems.


The Verbal Ability (VA) section tests knowledge of rules of grammar and usage of the standard English language. Verbal Ability questions examine skills like the candidate’s linguistic knowledge of arranging words in proper order, deciding the type of given statements, completing the sentences.


All sections carry almost equal weightage but there is no specified rule.


Personal interview tips for CAT are important to know because A good score in CAT is required for a seat in the most desirable management colleges in India. Why you want to be in the best B-school has already been discussed.

A great CAT score guarantees an unmatched learning atmosphere at whichever college you choose to go to. You get a great corporate network lasting a lifetime. You get to meet and talk to industry leaders and notable economists. You get great inception in your management career. The top B-schools provide great internship opportunities even have a 100% placement record.


Why is an MBA important?


  • MBA has many benefits. It is not just for your career but also you as a person. Let’s discuss them one by one.
    It enhances your personality: As you work on projects with great teams, inside the institute and outside, you generate confidence and discover that you are valuable and you are a vital part of the team. You become a professional.
  • It provides credibility: An MBA from a top business school provides you credibility in your work. Your skills are trusted and you are expected to solve business problems successfully.
  • By working in a team, you learn skills like communication, time management, convincing skills, and so on.
  • MBAs are needed in every industry like technology, commerce, start-up, media, arts, sports, or even politics.
  • Strategic thinking is another important skill that you learn. This ability is valuable not just in your professional but also in your personal life. You learn to see the implications of the decisions you make today. Both big and small ones.
  • You develop communication skills. Management is entirely about communication. Effective communication is simple and clear. It gets the work done. As a manager, you will discover what is the meaning of communication.
  • Time management. There’s so much stuff to do-assignments, classes, extra-curricular, projects, internships and so on that you learn to optimize your time and become more efficient and active.
  • Broadens your point of view. MBA provides you with a window to the real world. You learn to see the bigger picture and your place in it.
  • MBA is the best place to network. You get to meet many business leaders, economists, researchers, and distinguished fellows. Even the classmates you have today are going to be in important positions in the future.
  • MBA sometimes can boost your stuck career. It happens often that a firm does not promote employees to a higher role, with a better salary, just because they are not an MBA.
  • Creative thinking is another value you learn. This is not talked about often but you need to be creative when trying to find solutions to different problems.


Gaurav is a Content Writer at IIM Skills. He has a B.Tech. degree but then he switched to the creative side by doing his master's in advertising and public relations. Gaurav is also a part-time blogger and graphic designer currently living in Mumbai

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