In your quest to impress the evaluator, dont give the wrong answers. It’s best to be honest in an interview, said Ankur Jain, chief knowledge expert, T.I.M.E. Education. He was holding a session at a jam-packed hall in Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Vivek Vihar, Delhi, on acing the CAT group discussion and personal interview rounds. This was one of the sessions organised last week by HT Horizons in collaboration with www.mbauniverse.com for B-school aspirants. Other speakers included Amit Agnihotri (MDI alumnus) and Satwinder Singh Saimbi (alumnus of University Business School, Punjab University).
Among the several valuable tips Jain shared, one of the most interesting ones was that a candidate should make no bones about admitting his ignorance.
“If you are not aware of the answer, you should say so instead of giving a wrong answer. Some students think they can get through the interview by making wild or wrong guesses. The evaluators are very experienced people and the candidate is normally too young to fool them,” said Jain. Even if one had a few weaknesses, one should not be afraid to face them or talk about them, he added.
A number of students who thought otherwise asked Jain to elaborate.
“Can you think of one person in this world who doesn’t have any weaknesses? You will sound pretentious if you try to impress upon others that you are perfect. On the other hand, your weaknesses will reveal your personality to the evaluator, who can discern your strengths alongwith the weaknesses,” Jain said.
Jain explained that, for example, if an interviewee admits he has difficulty concentrating, that itself highlights many personality traits. One, he has the ability to analyse himself. Second, it speaks of his courage, thanks to which he has been able to admit to a shortcoming, in what is certainly a tough situation. It also proves that he is not complacent. Instead, he strives to improve his personality by identifying and working on his weaknesses.
Saimbi, the other speaker, shared his views on ‘What top B-schools look for in you’.
A ‘smart’ tip offered by Saimbi led to some laughter in the hall.
“While a GD is in progress and you are running out of substantive points, you can save time by turning to a dumb-looking participant and ask, ‘what do you think, my friend’. That will help you in two ways. You will get time to breathe and also rethink your strategy for the time ahead,” suggested Saimbi.
Another session on GDs and PIs took place at Dyal Singh College on Thursday last week, where Sidharth Balakrishna (alumnus of IIM, Calcutta) and Saimbi were the main speakers.