Here’s the Secret to Gain the Winning Advantage in CAT Interview

May 31, 2022


 As students, this is one of the skills that we are least prepared for - How to crack an interview.

For most aspirants engaged in CAT exam preparation, the only focus is on cracking the written exam in the initial stage and once the exam date has passed, they let go a little bit and relax, thinking the worst is over.

Do not make this mistake. 

The battle is over but the war is still going on. There are many candidates who qualify for the written exam but get rejected in the interview round even after the interview goes well. 

So where do they go wrong? The most probable answer is that although the interview went well, they did not manage to impress the interviewer.

And how do you impress the interviewer? Keep reading to find out! 

However, before we come to that, let us understand the advantages of giving interviews well and the general structure of an interview.

Let’s begin with the advantages. 

Advantages of a giving good interview

After you have written your CAT exam, regardless of how well or not you perform in your exam, you will always have a top call and a bottom call among B-schools. 

Similarly, when you sit for your placements, among the possible choices you will have a top job and a bottom job as well. 

The ability to perform well in an interview will help you bag that top-call B-school or that top job that you have your eyes on.  

Moreover, even in your professional career, the ability to perform well in interviews will take you further ahead than you would have gone on your skills alone.   

Having said that, let’s look at the structure of an MBA interview.

The structure of an MBA interview

The flow of questions in an MBA interview is structured but open. The type of questions beginning from the first to the last are usually the same for all candidates, however, your answer can differ as an individual. 

If you are new to the CAT exam then you can check out this video on how to prepare for CAT 2022:
CAT Exam 2022 Guide for Beginners

Here is the typical interview process followed in all MBA interviews.

The Icebreaker. 

  • Here the interviewer tries to put you at ease by asking you conversational questions such as about the weather, family, or any random topic. 
  • The objective here is to break the tension and make you feel comfortable.
  • An icebreaker is necessary to start the interview on a good note. 
  • Do not worry in this phase as there are no wrong answers in an icebreaker. 

The Interviewer Tries to Know You as a Person

  • This is where the interview begins. In this phase, you are quizzed about your hobbies, strengths, your weaknesses, and how you overcame them. 
  • This part is where the interviewer tries to get to know you as a person in detail. 
  • You can highlight your relevant interests and accomplishments in this part of the interview.

Convince the Interviewer You Are The Right Fit

  • This is the part where you need to convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate for this position.
  • In addition, you have to explain with concrete reasons why that institute is the right place for you to achieve your dreams.
  • Here, the interviewer tries to judge you based on a number of factors such as moral perspective, honesty, integrity, and discipline among others. 
  • Further, the interviewer tries to clarify your future goals as well. 

Questions for the Panel

  • Last but not the least, the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them. 
  • If you are like most candidates, you might skip this part and tell the interviewer that you don’t have any questions of your own. 
  • That is a mistake. Here, asking the right questions can help you impress your interviewer and give the impression that you are the right candidate for this institution.
  • This part of the interview is another chance you get to turn the interview in your favor and boost your chances to get a seat at the institution. 

The idea behind the opportunity to ask questions in an interview is simple

You are interviewing for a college that you aspire to be in and have been thinking about for a long time. 

If you do not have any questions about the institute, faculty, life on campus, or anything else, the interviewer might think you lack curiosity and the ability to think on a deeper level. 

It gives the impression that you are thinking beyond the good placement opportunities and have clarity about pursuing a career in management. 

If you are still not convinced that asking the right questions in an interview is important, here are some factors that might convince you. 

Importance of asking questions 

The interview might go well but despite your best efforts, you might have done nothing to impress the interviewer. 

You have done nothing to convince the interviewer that you are the right fit for the institution. In this scenario, the interviewer will only keep you as a last option in case the rest of the candidates do not work out.

This puts you in a disadvantaged position because if somebody else, who is going in after you, manages to impress the interviewer, you might lose your chance to bag a seat at the institution.

What the Interview Panel looks For in a Candidate

The faculty members in an interview panel look for candidates who are serious about pursuing a career in management. They look for candidates who are not only the right fit for the institution but also going to be valuable members of society. 

This is why it is important to prepare a few questions beforehand. 

At the same time, you need to be careful with the kind of questions you ask. 

Just as how asking the right questions can help you impress the interviewer, similarly asking the wrong questions can cost you marks in the interview. 

Also, in case you are reappearing for the CAT exam, here are tips on how to reset your mind and start afresh with full focus.

The questions you ask need to be genuine and well-thought-out. You should not ask questions just to impress the interviewer alone. 

Here are some suitable questions you can ask at the interview:

Questions to Ask

  • Can you please tell me more about life on the campus and what kind of experiences can I look forward to?
  • Is there a certain type of behavior expected from management students on this campus?
  • What do I need to do to make the most of my time in this institute or in any other B-school?
  • Should I consider myself a failure if I fail to get through this interview or is there another perspective I can take on this matter? How should I counter negative criticism?
  • Thank you for your interview. If you can, I would be glad to get some feedback from you on how I performed and areas I can improve to make myself a better candidate. 

Questions to Avoid

  • Do not ask questions that are superficial. Do not ask questions just for the sake of asking them. 
  • Avoid asking questions on social, or political issues if you do not have a strong personal connection with them, or if they have no context relating to your personal life. 
  • At last, remember that it is better to avoid asking questions altogether rather than asking the wrong questions. Your job as a candidate is to help the interviewer get a good impression of you as fast as possible. 

It is impossible for the interviewer to understand you as a person in just 15-20 minutes. Hence, it is up to you to present the best version of yourself in every interview. 

At the same time, don’t stress yourself about it. Asking what questions to ask and when is a skill you can easily acquire. 

If you are looking for expert guidance on how to crack CAT, get in touch with India’s leading experts who have already been there and done that! These are CAT exam prep experts who have launched a number of students into successful careers by helping them crack the CAT exam. 

And all of these super-teachers are on PrepLadder!

Download the PrepLadder App now and engage with India’s leading CAT Faculty on how to crack the written exam and interview, both. 

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Auther Details

Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Marketer who looks after the Medical Super Specialty segment, specifically the NEET SS category, at PrepLadder. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.