The Final Question

“A panel interview is also an opportunity to get to know more about the programme, and show that you’ve done your homework”

Many candidates prepare for questions commonly asked by panels during admission interviews. There are a plethora of websites offering insights into the kind of questions asked and their probable answers. Usually, there is one question asked at the end of the interview, and that is, “Any questions?” We never prepare for this. After all, we are not interviewing the panellists, are we?

We ask questions like “How did I do?” or “When will I get to know the results?” which are really of no consequence. The interviewer is not going to tell you about your performance and the question about results can be answered by the support staff.

The Right Questions

So, what questions could you ask which would make an impact on the panellists’ decision?

First of all, be familiar with the institute’s activities. You do not need to meet or search for people who know about the institute. The institute is as keen to sell itself to outstanding candidates, as you are to sell yourself to them. They would have showcased the things they are proud of on their website or in the brochure. You should have gone through this material in detail. Your questions should reflect that you are serious about joining this institute.

The seven questions to ask:

  • Sir, going through the website I noticed that there is focus on industry interaction. Do the students also have a role to play in engaging with the industry or is it institute-driven? — This shows proactive nature as well as enthusiasm for taking part in the institute’s functions.
  • There appear to be many activities during the year. Given my background, what kind of activities should I participate in, to develop my personality? — This shows your knowledge of the activities and desire to do something apart from academics.
  • Is there a formal mentorship programme to guide us in your institute?
  • You can discuss special interests or community activities, and ask how the school could help you pursue them. For example, I am an avid ( ), will there be an opportunity in your institute to showcase my talent?
  • You could ask about faculty research or the school’s approach in an area that concerns you – I am a keen (), will there be an opportunity in your institute where I could contribute?
  • What courses or activities should I engage in before joining your institute, which would enhance my learning experience? – This would showcase a keen interest in improving yourself and using the time between selection and start of the programme in a constructive manner.
  • What are the student bodies that I could join to contribute to the institute’s legacy?

Originally Published on The Hindu

Author: Dr Poornima Gupta

Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Mangement

Great Lakes, Gurgaon.

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