July 5, 2012

Common PI questions


The most commonly asked PI questions in almost all BSchools…

Self Awareness

1. How would you describe yourself ?
2. Tell me about yourself ?
3. How do you think a friend or professor who knows you would describe you?
4. What motivates you to put forth your best effort ?
5. How do you determine or evaluate success ?
6. What academic subjects did you like best ? Least ?
7. What led you to choose the career for which you are preparing ?
8. What personal characteristics are necessary for succeeding in the career that you are interested in ?
9. What is your philosophy of life ?
10. Why have you switched career fields ?

Weaknesses / Negatives

1. What major problems have you encountered and how have you dealt with them ?
2. What have you learnt form your mistakes ?
3. What do you consider to be your greatest weakness ?
4. Did you ever have problems with your supervisor ?

Skills / Abilities / Qualifications

1. What do you consider to be your greatest strength ?
2. Are you creative ? Give an example.
3. What qualifications do you have that makes you think you will be successful ?
4. In what way do you think you can make a contribution to society?
5. Why should we take you ?
6. What are your own special abilities ?
7. Why should we take you over another candidate ?
8. What is your managing style ?
9. Why do you want to join this institute ?
10. What do you know about our institute ?


1. What is your attitude towards working hard ?
2. What part does your family play in your life ?
3. What are the most important rewards you expect in your career ?
4. What is more important to you : money offered, or the type of job ?
5. Do you enjoy independent research ?
6. In what kind of a work environment are you most comfortable ?
7. How would you describe the ideal job for you ?
8. What two or three things are most important to you in your job ?
9. Do you prefer working with others or all by yourself ?
10. How do you like to work ?
11. Under what conditions do you work best ?
12. What is the highest form of praise ?


1. In what part-time or summer job have you been most interested ?
2. Tell me about your experience.
3. What jobs have you held ?
4. How did your previous employer treat you ?
5. What have you learnt from some of the jobs that you have held ?
6. What jobs have you enjoyed most ? Least ? Why ?
7. What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work ?
8. Describe your current job.
9. What did you like least about your last job ?
10. What did you like most about your last job ?

Goals / Objectives

1. What are your short-term and long-term goals and objectives ?
2. What specific goals other than those related to your occupation have you chosen for yourself for the next 10 years ?
3. What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now ?
4. What do you really want to do in life ?
5. How do you plan to achieve your career goals ?


1. How has your education prepared you for a career ?
2. Describe your most rewarding college experience.
3. Why did you select your college or university ?
4. If you could, would you plan your academic study differently ?
5. Do you think grades are a good indication of your academic achievement ?
6. What have you learnt from participation in extracurricular activities ?
7. Do you have plans for continuing your studies ?
8. Why did you pick your programme ?
9. What courses did you like best and why ?
10. What courses did you like least and why ?
11. How has your college experience prepared you for this job ?
12. How did you pick your dissertation ?
13. Describe your dissertation process.


1. What do you expect to earn in 5 years ?
2. What did you earn in your last job ?


1. What are your outside interests ?
2. What do you do with your free time ?
3. What are your hobbies ?
4. What types of books do you read ?
5. How interested are you in sports ?
6. How did you spend your vacations in school ?


1. What qualities should a successful manager possess ?
2. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and a subordinate.
3. What 3 accomplishments have given you the greatest satisfaction ?
4. If you were taking a graduate for this institute, what qualities would you look for ?
5. What can I do for you ?
6. Tell me a story.
7. Define cooperation.

Stress Questions

1. What causes you to lose your temper ?
2. How often have you been absent from school, work or training ?
3. Have you ever had trouble with other people on the job ?
4. Can you take instructions without getting upset ?
5. Don’t you feel you are a little to old/young for this job ?
6. How does your family like you being away on business trips ?
7. With your background, we believe that you are overqualified to join this institute.
8. You haven’t had sufficient experience in this field.
9. Our experience with women on this job has not been good.
10. What would irritate you most if I as a manager did it ?

Influencing Others

1. Tell me about the time you were most persuasive in overcoming resistance to your ideas or point of view.
2. Tell me about the last time someone made an unreasonable request of you.
3. Describe the most disappointing and frustrating experience in gaining the support of others for an idea or proposal.

Interpersonal Skills

1. Describe a situation where it was most important for you to display tact and diplomacy.
2. Tell me about the last time you had a clash or disagreement with someone at school/college/workplace.
3. Tell me about a time when you felt most frustrated and disappointed at a person with whom you had worked.

Personal Adaptability

1. Tell me about the last time you were criticized by a supervisor or a professor.
2. Tell me about the time when you felt most pressured or stressed at work/ school/internship.
3. Tell me about the time when you felt most frustrated at your school/workplace.
4. In what aspects of your work/internship do you have the most confidence in your abilities.

Communication Skills

1. Tell me about the time when you felt best about your ability to draw out or solicit information from another person.
2. Tell me about the time when you had to work your hardest in order to fully understand what another person was saying to you.
3. Describe the last time when someone at school/work misunderstood what you were trying to communicate.


1. Tell me about the most long term, sustained extra hours of effort that you put into your work/college/internship.
2. Describe a time when you felt most frustrated or discouraged in reaching your goals or objectives.
3. What do you feel has been your most significant work/school/internship related achievement within the past year or so ?
4. Describe the last time you did something well which went beyond the expectations in your work/internship.

Administrative Skills

1. Tell me how you go about organizing your work and scheduling your own time.
2. What do you do to ensure that your goals and objectives are met in a timely way ?
3. Describe the most extensive planning that you have ever done.

Problem Solving and Decision Making

1.Tell me about the most difficult problem that you faced in your work/school/internship ?
2.Tell me about the last time you made a decision that backfired.
3.Tell me about the time when you regretted most not getting advice before you went ahead ?

Conflict Management Skills

1. Tell me about the last significant crisis situation that you faced in your work.
2. Tell me about a time when you were most persuasive in overcoming resistance to your ideas.
3. Tell me about the time when you had a disagreement with someone at work.