How to Ace Personal Interviews for Selection to Undergrad Courses

Personal Interviews (PIs) form an integral part in the selection process to several courses at the undergrad level. This is particularly true for business management, law, media, fashion and hospitality streams. There exist several myths and actual realities on how to crack open this round.

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Eye Contact: Student must maintain proper eye contact with the interviewer / panelists. This shows confidence and forthrightness.

Firm Body Language: The body language is crucial as it gives away signals. Avoid excess shaking of feet or any other excess hand gestures as it shows restlessness.

Dress as per Occasion: Formal dressing is advised for all interviews. However some colleges are stricter on this parameter while others aren’t. The last thing one wants is to be excessively dressed. So do a background check on what the particular college expects as per mandate.

Crisp Communication: The interviewers are senior people with busy lives. They will often appear bored having done multiple interviews on the same day or during a period. So the communication has to be clear and to-the-point without deviating too much into unnecessary details. Try to bring some humour into the discussion.

Background College Study: A thorough study of the college’s background must be done before walking in for the PI. The last thing the student wants the panel to feel is that the only thing he/she researched on the website was its annual placement package.

Avoid any mention of Placements: While it is true that placements form an integral part in judging the standards of any professional institute, as per Indian values 18 year olds aren’t supposed to decide their life on it. So avoid mentioning outright this term. One can mention internships as that is a part of the course. To be more cheeky one can even mentioned some past recruiters and speak about the Exposure the college will give!

Know how to answer specific Questions: There are always a stock full of typical interview questions one must thoroughly prepare on before going for one.

Be Honest: One must be clear that the interviewer is far more experienced and qualified than the interviewee. Also many have been handling young students for years. So don’t try to fool, them, be honest about strengths or weaknesses.

PI is not a GK Test: As with a GD, the very point of having a PI as the second round is because the content has already been tested. This round is there to assess individual composure, personality and clarity of thought towards a career path.

Prepare some questions for them: Most interviews these days end with the panelists throwing it open and enticing the interviewee to pitch questions. A few questions must be prepared. These must not be operational in nature but to do with the academic stream. Questions such as creating new clubs or societies in college could be a good tactic.

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