IIM personal interviews are underway, and the aspirants keep discussing frantically about the number and types of possible questions that could be thrown at them. The fervour for IIM personal interviews never die down, and here is an interview experience of a candidate who attended his IIM Lucknow process recently.
To be clear, this post is a constituent of the Interview Experience series we have been publishing for quite a while now. To check the other posts of this series, click on the corresponding links below.
- Great Lakes
- IMT Ghaziabad #1
- IMT Ghaziabad #2
- IIM Rohtak
- S P Jain
- IIM CAP #1
- IIM CAP #2
- IIM Rohtak #2
Moving on to the actual interview experience itself now!
The candidate is a non-engineer male, with a Bachelors in Science degree, having a work experience of less than a year after graduation. The academic track record of the candidate are < 90%, < 80% and < 65%, respectively in the 10th grade, 12th grade, and undergrad.
As has been the case with most other IIM interviews, the process started with the candidate having to show his identification proof to the panelists. After the verification was done, the actual process started.
The questions and answers
Q: So, how do you explain your academic record consistently deteriorating?
A: Gave a prepared answer. The academic record had to do with a lot of factors like having to work simultaneously while studying, due to financial issues. The reasons were genuine.
Q: But, all these could result in one or two semesters being bad. Here everything is bad.
A: Yeah, I agree, Sir. I was a bit of an idiot back then; I was a teenager and of the mentality that grades do not matter, work does and stuff like that. So yes, I agree I could have done better even with my circumstances.
Q: Okay, then how will you assure me that you will not repeat the same things here?
A: I have made the mistake once and understand the consequences now. Me repeating the same mistake again would be very, very unlikely. Also, I was not just studying during college; I was also working and was consistently one of the best employees. Hence, I believe if I focus on one thing, I can definitely excel at it.
Q: Okay. How did you prepare for interview?
A: Explained that the preparation had been done on three prongs – current affairs, newspaper-reading and academic subjects
Q: What was your degree?
There were four or five follow-up questions purely based on the candidate’s undergrad. He was able to answer them all correctly, with a bit of stumbling and mumbling.
Q: What is the minimum support price for wheat and rice?
A: Not sure about that, Sir, but I can tell you what percentage of crops are covered under the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Q: No need. Tell us why the government wants these laws.
A: The Bills are meant to open up markets for the farmers and eliminate middlemen.
Q: If it is so good, why are the farmers against it?
A: Told a long-winded answer about trust issues. Substantiated it with a personal connect, explaining that coming from a rural background, I know how people feel about the central government.
Added the following points to the answer as well.
- The government also did not allay the suspicions by the way they passed the laws.
- It did not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha
- This government has a habit of rushing through things without properly consulting concerned parties.
Q: Since you seem to have such a holistic view in politics, tell me what you think of the Bengal elections being conducted in eight phases.
A: Did not know the exact answer but went ahead with a cliched answer nonetheless – reducing the burden on the Election Commission and making sure COVID protocols are taken care of.
(Apparently, it was because of electoral violence in West Bengal.)
Q: Why are they not doing the same in Tamil Nadu then?
A: Maybe, West Bengal can be the dry run to see how this process works out in order to analyse and infer if the same this can be implemented in the other elections in the future.
Q: So, you think it is not wrong?
A: No, Sir. That was not my opinion, since I cannot change it now. I am trying to look at the silver lining here.
Q: But, you must have an opinion, right? We understand you cannot change it. Give us your opinion though.
A: If elections are being conducted in eight phases at one particular place, and in a single phase in another, there is a lack of uniformity. People are bound to feel like they have gotten a step-motherly treatment.
Q: Alright, that was it, you can log off.
Overall, what can be the takeaway for the IIM personal interviews based on this experience?
If you had noticed, the candidate was honest and upfront in giving reasons for the not-so-great academic performances, and the panelists decided to let go of that topic, after a while.
The second aspect that need to be borne in mind is the importance of current affairs (be it Farm Laws, USA elections, India-China relations, or the National Education Policy). The candidate was able to manage well because he has had the habit of continuously following current affairs and reading newspapers.
The panelists, as can be see, were not too harsh, and were definitely not in the ragging mode.