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How Can I Justify the Gap Years in the Interview?

Half the year has passed, Mock Season is just around the corner and D-day is approaching. That said, the anxiety about the CAT exam is creeping in due to the gap years you may have due to specific reasons. But we heard you. Therefore, we have come up with idea to address this problem that often hinders one’s preparation.

Why the Gap Years are Asked to Be Justified?

Before we begin, we need to understand why the gap years are asked to be justified. First of all, there are students who have gap years because of inevitable reasons. Reasons such as health issues and working upon the things that enrich pre-MBA knowledge. To be more precise, the students who were consistently striving to increase their efficiency and productivity before the MBA program commences.

On the other hand, the same question could be an elimination tool. If you convey that you took a gap for CAT preparation, it may present a poor image of you. The reason here is straightforward. The CAT exam asks for basic aptitude and checks your logical, coherent thought process and inference capability. Some students prepare along with their job and perform with the same excellence as you did; then, who will be more compatible for their academically rigorous program? Without an iota of doubt, the one preparing along with the job and not you.

Indeed, it’s not a good idea; hence not advised to state the preparation reason for your gap years even if you had gap years for the sake of preparation.

How can I justify the gap years?

Alternately, you can prove the time utilization for the courses or internships you did in the domain you wish to pursue MBA in. There are a plethora of courses available on internet. You might enroll for them and enhance your pre-MBA knowledge. But, be well informed about the courses or internships that you take up because every subsequent question arises from what you mention in the interview.

If you had any inevitable genuine situation that made you take a gap year, be honest about it, communicate it and face it with utmost honesty. Being conscious of your decisions and finding firm grounds to prove it will help you sail through provided you are a good fit for every other criterion that that particular B school sets.

Working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) that matches your vision and values would help you justify. However, working with NGO is entirely different from working with corporate. But again, if you worked across multicultural teams, multiple wings, and people with diverse backgrounds, you have certainly come a long way before your MBA journey. Don’t forget to mention it and be well prepared about it.

Moreover, there might be other reasons that have not been stated here. But if it’s genuine and you’re convinced about it, you may convince the panel.

Summing it up, having gap years doesn’t mean the end of the world. Communicating effectively gives you chance to direct your interview on the right path where success is around the corner.

All the best for the preparation!

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