We at Collmission have always believed in easing out the nerves of the students and therefore we have shared some very important questions (with instructions and options) that have been asked by the top colleges in one form or another.
Top Questions asked in an interview
Tell us about yourself/Describe yourself/Give us your introduction.
This seems to be the easiest question. After all, if there's one subject you truly know something about, it's yourself. The challenge, however, is that knowing yourself and articulating your identity in a few sentences are very different things. You need to know about what all is worth mentioning and what’s not. You have to make sure you put some thought into what it is that makes you unique.
Why do you want to join our college?
The reason why they ask you this is because they want to know whether you are really interested in their college. They also want to know what you can bring to the campus community and do some value addition to them. You can probably talk about the institution and the reason, why you feel it is the right place for you. It is also advisable to discuss your extracurricular activities so that the authorities feel that you can really blend in the institution’s community.
Who is your ideal person/has influenced you in life the most?
We believe that a student should speak from the heart here. There is no right answer other than a sincere answer. Also, you need to realize that an influential person isn't always a positive example. You may have grown and changed as a result of someone whose mistakes or inappropriate behavior taught you what not to do with your life. But you need to choose your words carefully. It is advisable to frame this answer and keep it in mind so that it may come out naturally.
However, a student has to avoid vague statements. You need to give specific examples of how the person has influenced you. Also a strong answer provides an opportunity for the interviewer into your life and personality. The ultimate goal of the interviewer is to know you better, not the person you admire in your life
What do you want to take as specialization/Major? Why do you want to take it?
Now that is a tricky question, reason being a large number of students have no idea what they are going to choose as a major. Actually there are lot of students who end up taking a completely different major rather than what they had decided earlier. The interviewer knows this and there is nothing wrong with being honest about your uncertainty. You can probably answer that these are my certain strong areas and I am looking forward to something similar which shall help me enhance my qualities and skill sets. Avoid giving materialistic answers or may be like ‘I want to take this major because my parents want me to do this’. Make sure that you are ready to explain the why are you interested in a particular field.
When asked,why now?
Tip You need to answer skillfully by giving strong reasons, like, Immediate requirement, or need for more skills, etc. We recommend you to practice thoroughly before the interview. You must clearly know, what to say, and what not. Answering the questions is important, but etiquettes are mandatory, because along with your intelligence and intent, your entire personality will be judged during the interview. You need to be polite and gentle, and at the start of the interview, you are required to greet the interviewer, and after the interview is done, don’t forget to thank the interviewer.
Tell us about an obstacle/hurdle/challenge that you have faced in life and how did you overcome it?
The first step to answering this question is to identify what challenge you want to share with the interviewer. Challenges may come in form of an academic challenge, an athletic challenge, a workplace challenge, an ethical dilemma or setting up of a personal goal that was really difficult to achieve. A student needs to understand that the interviewer may not be necessarily interested in listening to your nightmares from the past but he actually wants to see what type of problem solver the student is. They want to check that when you face a challenge, how you face it.
Where do you see yourself, 10 years from now onwards?
This question can be asked in number of other ways as well like what are your goals or what is your dream job etc. However, their answers are very similar and the admission team wants to see whether you have given a thought about your future. They ask this question to check how the college fits into your long term scheme of things. However, you need to understand that you do not need to be crystal clear about what do you exactly want from yourself as institution is a place to explore new areas which might shift your interest. All they want to know is whether you have basic idea about where you are heading forward.
Do you believe that your certificates/Grade sheets reveal your true potential and ability?
This is a question where the interviewers want to see that when you are asked about a particular weakness, which is apparent in nature, how you deal with it. It could be that they point out a low grade in a particular subject and ask you the reason behind it. The best way would be to be honest with yourself and the interviewer and not put the blame on any third party. However, one should avoid mentioning things which might raise a suspicion on your tendency of repeating mistakes. Further you can also mention what steps you are currently undertaking or have undertaken to ensure that you cover up for that particular weak area. Make sure you don’t come across as a whiner.
If you could change one thing in your school life what it would be?
While answering this question make sure that you do not make the mistake of mentioning things that you regret. You can add a positive touch to the entire story. For example, you can mention that probably you should have participated more actively in sports and extracurricular activities. Do not talk about your failed relationships, your issues with drugs or alcohol or a particular teacher that you hated. A personal response is appropriate as long as it presents you in a positive state and frame.
What can you contribute to our college campus and community?
We believe that it is a very important question as they want to see how your productivity can be synchronized with the overall campus community development. You stand a fair chance if you are able to convince the admission team that you can handle work well and shall contribute in enrichment of the campus. this question is not about good grades, the interviewers want you to share how exactly you are going to make the campus a better place to study and live. Better be prepared with something which suits their need and requirements and you can definitely check out their community programmes before you apply for a particular college. That shall make your job much easier.
What are your weaknesses?
It is one of the most dreaded questions of the college interview process and probably one of the most difficult one for the student because students believe that interviewers screen out candidates based upon how bad their weaknesses are. This is actually not true. The question asked to assess whether you can remain calm and confident while discussing a negative aspect of your life. Often the question is asked to see whether you answer it honestly or not. The best way as per us is that you state a true weakness but also show how you are working to take care of that weakness. However never state a weakness which is directly related to the program that you are applying for.
What is your favorite book?
We suggest that the admission team wants to find out what is important for you. You need to find out why a particular book is your favorite because your choice of books reflects your personality, your thought process and your taste as with it helps them to understand the kind of topics that you love dealing with and what interests you most. Do not take up the name of a book which you have never referred to because if they probe further, you may be left wanting. This shall create a negative impression about you. Religious books should be avoided until and unless you are very sure that you can discuss thoroughly if the interviewer happens to read the same book. and even if you do mention this , stick to the positive aspects that you feel are worth mentioning so that you do not project yourself as a hardliner.
What do you want to do after you graduate from our college?
They ask this question to understand whether you have got a clear picture in your mind about your career aspirations once you are through with this entire program. They basically want to understand the reason why you want to pursue a program and how you are going to be benefitted by that.
If I give you 500 dollars, what are you going to do with it?
The basic agenda of asking this question is to see how quickly you can think on your feet and whether you are a careful or logical thinker or not. It helps them to understand your thinking process and whether you can set your priorities right or not
What is your opinion on Immigration policy of US?
The admission team at the institution wants to see whether you are an informed about the current happenings around you or not. The best way is staying up to date about the current news and events. They want to check whether you have strong opinions for a particular topic or whether you can explain your position with respect to the topic. In addition, they might also seek to challenge the debater inside you.
What makes you think that you can successfully complete the program?
The reason this question might pop up is when the admissions team starts doubting about your intentions to genuinely complete the program. This can happen because of certain answers prior to this question, which tends to make the interviewers believe that probably something is fishy. You need to convince the admission authorities, that learning and contributing to the campus is the desired short-term objective. Also project a keen interest towards the program you are applying to, and connect it with your future goals. In short, you have to convince them that you belong to this place and you are here to stay and actively participate in the community of the college.
Related Topics about Interview
B-School Admission Interview
Types of Interview
The Great Personal Interview
Do's and Don’ts for the Interview
Gearing Up for the Interview
Students’ Universal Dilemma – Preparations for the Interview
Other lessons on MBA in US