What do MBA institutes look for in a candidate?
Why is excelling in written exam so important? A good MBA course is so rigorous that if the candidate is not academically sound, he won’t be able to cope up with the pressure.

While talking about the qualities looked for in a candidate during the Personal Interview session. They usually check whether the candidates have proper knowledge, interest moreover depth of the subject or not. Also tests whether the candidate is genuinely interested in doing MBA or is just following the common trend.  Certain personality traits in the candidates are also checked like qualities which a manager must have, such as communication skills, leadership qualities, and awareness, to name a few.”

GD-PI assess a candidate’s personality
The purpose of GD is to measure the quality of a candidate on parameters like content and knowledge, rational thought process, communication skills, group behavior and leadership skills. “GDs are conducted to test managerial attributes like interpersonal skills, leadership, analytical and rational thinking, and knowledge and personality traits. Communicating in a clear and fluent manner is a must,” Jaya Desai of IMS Learning says.

A personal interview is aimed at knowing a candidate more intimately, assessing the clarity of thinking process, future goals and how much is the candidate fit for the MBA institute. Desai tells, “The personal interview aims to assess the skills, attitude and personality of the aspirant. The MBA institutes check if the candidate is fit for their courses.”

Work experience matters, but not essential
Apart from the MBA entrance exams and GD & PI performance, MBA institutes include work experience, academic record and extra-curricular activities in their selection criteria. Usually work experience is given weightage only if it is a full-time experience after graduation. In most cases, any work experience of less than six months is not considered during selection process.

In past few years, top MBA institutes are admitting more number of candidates with work experience. For example, according to IIM Ahmedabad, among the 310 students admitted in the batch of 2009-2011, 57.42 per cent have an average of 23 months of work experience. IIM Bangalore admitted a total number of 354 students for the Post Graduate Program (PGP) of 2009-2011. Of them, 241 students have work experience ranging from 12 to more than 48 months, while the average experience is that of 29 months.

Whereas MBA institutes offering one year MBA programs like ISB Hyderabad, and Great Lakes School of Management, Chennai, require a minimum of two years of full-time work experience.

Complete package matters!
While selecting candidates, the selectors always look for special qualities which will justify the MBA institute as well as the courses offered by them. “They should be innovative and creative. We are looking for candidates who has out of the box ideas,” says Dr. Venugopal. Dr. Anwar Ali, Director of IMT Ghaziabad, says, “The candidate should have ‘fire-in-the-belly’ and zeal to achieve something big! We look out for achievers.”

“An aspirant should first qualify as a good citizen and then strive to become an MBA executive. And above all think about the society as a whole, besides your own career,” says Dr. Sahay and adds, “An aspirant must have passion for pursuing an MBA. They must have the quality to be become global managers.”