Jan 27, 2018

What B-schools look for in a candidate?

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Top MBA institutes like Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) get lakhs of applications every year, however fact remains that these top B-schools offer only a couple of hundred seats for MBA aspirants. No wonder that these coveted for B-schools set up multi-layered selection method to pick best quality students suited to their particular basis.

So, what they are, what are the qualities that the top B-schools search for in a candidate? What distinguishes selected candidates from rest remains of the candidates, etc?

What B-schools look for in a candidate?

The admission offices of various B-schools recommend that MBA entrance exams like CAT and XAT are only a tool for primary level filtration process for B-school applicants. The final selection of a candidate majorly relies on upon the next phases of admission process which include group discussion (GD), Personal Interview (PI), Written Ability Test (WAT) or related tools.

According to admission officials at top B-schools, the core qualities that a MBA must have includes an high  level of confidence, great communication abilities, some amount of value involvement and potential to exceed expectations as expert in the management domain. Further, Dr T J Kamalanabhan, Professor and Head at DoMS, IIT Madras includes that a couple of different qualities that the B-School admission boards searches for in a candidate include attitude, business aptitude and general knowledge; and relevant work experience.

Passion and Thought clarity:

Your passion and clarity of thought towards pursuing after a MBA degree can take you closer to your dream MBA institution. Dr Gautam Sinha, Director, IIM Kashipur says "Inspiration, and Maturity" is the main variables at the final stage.

Adding to this, Mareena Mathew, Admissions Coordinator, Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), says that candidates are also evaluated on the basis of their " Attitude, Outlook, and Commitment" alongside their "Learnability and creative thinking ability ".

Many institutes first look at the integrity and mental soundness of the candidate and after that particularly looks for a guarantee to learning and a passion to accomplish. The hopefuls are additionally assessed on the basis of their vision in life. "A competitor is assessed for his/her educational aptitude, inspiration as far as what the applicant plans to achieve from pursuing and how he would fit into the requirement and rigour of the program, maturity that is required to study a post graduate program and what value addition the student is looking for and what he could bring to the program," says Dr Anil J Pinto, Registrar, Christ University.

Check also - Top Questions to prepare for Personal Interview rounds

Communication & Creativity Skills 

Communication skill is the way to convince the admission panel on your ability to pursue management education and accordingly, MBA hopefuls need to express their passion in a way that influences their chances.

 As per B-school admission officials, communication ability impacts your admission chances to all things considered. Presentation style and the capacity to analyze given situation are also important qualities basis which applicants are assessed at the final selection stage. Prof Arun Kumar Paul, Faculty, XIMB says, among other key qualities, "The ability to think and communicate (both verbally and non-verbally) and handle stressful situations is essential for final selection stage."

Group Discussion and Written Ability Test are the tools which B-schools like to prefer and analyze students’ verbal communication, analytical thinking pattern, and creative writing aptitudes. In this manner, at GD-PI stage, Dr. Sanjay Dhir, Coordinator - Stakeholder's Engagement, DMS, IIT Delhi, says that "The student must have the ability to present himself in the best way he can with suitable communication abilities and confidence."

Dr Raghu Raman, Chairman, Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore includes that admission boards also look into reading habit and grasping ability of students while evaluating their communication abilities.

Also, demonstrating your abilities and achievements before the admission committee is essential. It is similarly important to not just brag your resume, rather reflect what you have gained from every experience and your experience for pursuing an MBA. Unless you can exhibit your vision for pursuing a management program you won't get the management of the board and that lessens your chances of getting selected.

Leadership and Team skills:  

Leadership quality and ability to adjust to the group to deliver a collective result is also the key parameter for admission officials. Many B-schools give unique emphasis on group discussions just to see how applicants act, impart, and show team spirit while aligning the group towards a specific direction.

Personality traits

B-schools do also lay emphasis on the personal qualities and they also trap candidates to come straightforward on their own character and honesty. During personal interviews, admission panel exhorts applicants on past academic background and work experience to expand discussions on life. Specific emphasis is also given to extra‐curricular activities that the competitor has been involved in, indirectly related to whether or not a student will adapt to the institute culture.

The top IIMs or B-schools can read your CV, yet what they need is to know how you know yourself, your education, and your work experiences. Dr. Pratima Sheorey, Director, SCMHRD says, "The focus during a PI is on the competitor's self-awareness about his work experience / academic background and general awareness."

"During such assessment admission boards also look for candidate's perspectives on current events in his general vicinity of intrigue, and check whether the perspectives are affected by facts and logic or a position taken without relation to reality," Ravi Shankar, Training and Development - Programs Officer at IFMR.

Extracurricular excellence

According to Dr Raghu Raman, Chairman, ASB, Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore, extracurricular excellence is one of the criteria for admission which brings out of knowledge on the differing qualities of applicants' identity. Other than this, all established business have their own unique culture. So, their take on admission also relies on upon how you fit into their way of life and broad vision.

Read Also:-

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