MBA interview season is going full throttle, as we near the fag end of February. From this point, it is only going to get more and more intense, with back-to-back interviews, clashing interviews and much more.
A fortnight ago, we had started our Personal Interview series, and have summarized the experiences of a candidate in the following B-schools. Check them out to get an idea of how similar or diverse the questions could be for the same profile across different B-schools.
- Great Lakes PGPM
- IMT Ghaziabad
- IIM Rohtak
- IIM Ghaziabad #2
- IIM CAP
- S P Jain
- IIM CAP #2
- IIM Rohtak #2
- IIM Lucknow
Quite a few of us who did not get where we wanted to be in CAT, started focusing ono the other B-school examinations. One of it was NMAT, which led me to the NMIMS Personal Interview today.
Let us see how the interview progressed!
This MBA interview had two components – the WAT and the PI. Both processes took place on the same day. Before the actual process started, there was document verification, where the NMAT Admit Card (the one that was signed by the invigilator on the day of the examination) and the original ID proof were asked to be shown in front of the camera.
WAT – the interesting round
The Written Ability/Aptitude Test (WAT) was not the typical one, where a topic would be given and then the candidates would be asked to write about it, provided an upper cap on the number of words.
The NMIMS WAT resembled an AWT (Analytical Writing Test).
What did it contain?
There was a long passage, which talked about an employee working at a big bank, after completing his MBA. This bank has a large client base in the Gulf region. He gets an offer from the talent acquisition team of another bank that promises him to pay 2x his current salary. This bank has its presence not just in the Gulf region, but spreads across the entire Middle East as well.
The proposal entices him, but there is a condition given by the new bank. Should he choose to join, he should bring some major clients from his existing employer to the new one. In addition, he should also bring in two more members of the team.
This new proposition interests him because his family could become financially more stable, and he has the opportunity to enroll his child in a top-notch private school. He would not face a problem from his existing employer because there is no ‘non-compete agreement’, but this process of transitioning the client base from one company to another is usually frowned upon in the industry.
In the end, he decides to take up the offer.
Okay, this is the passage. What is the question?
The candidate should analyze this passage and expand on it. The world limit given was 200-300. The time given was 20 minutes.
What was the answer that I gave?
First things first, I decided not to give an answer right away. The situation, as per my understanding, was delicate even if he had already joined another company.
I went about taking five different aspects to evaluate his decision – personal, professional, legal, ethical and moral. At the end, I concluded by saying on three spheres, his decision might be right, while on the remaining, his decision should have been though through better.
There ended the WAT, although I exceeded the word limit very conveniently (which is not good, by the way, if you are wondering).
The long wait – the feature of every MBA interview experience
I had been allotted Serial Number 10 in my group (which was numbered 160 :O). So, it was obvious there would be a huge wait time before my turn came. All the candidates who had their process today were put in waiting, with the moderator giving a heads-up to the candidate who would go next, through the Zoom chat window (two-way chat was disabled).
To give a brief idea, the briefing for the day’s process started at 12.15 pm, and the WAT started at around 1 pm; my interview took place at around 4.45 pm.
The NMIMS PI experience
The panel consisted of three male members, all of whom took turns and asked a bunch of questions.
- Tell us a bit about yourself – the panelists looked exhausted, so I went in detail, covering the length and breadth of narcissism, while answering this question. Took the risk and went quirky, every now and then (“My hometown is not known to everyone, but most people might get an idea if I mention Pondicherry, now Puducherry, known hugely for liquor. If that is destructive, my hometown has witnessed more destruction in the form of natural disasters like the Tsunami and Thane”.) Covered everything from childhood to the professional career thus far.
- Did you score some ranks at the state level or regional level in your schooling or at college? – Answered.
- Your CGPA is good; why did you not do an M. Tech? – Did not think much about any form of post-graduation until recently. Interests have shifted. Now, MBA seems a good idea.
- Anna University. Do you know who the University is named after? – Spoke a bit about Arignar Anna.
- You have worked for over two years in the education sector. Have you read the NEP? – I had, and gave them nuggets on the different parts of the policy.
- You mentioned your hometown is known for getting hit by natural disasters. Can you talk to us about some of them? – Spoke about three – the Tsunami of 2004, the Thane cyclone of 2011, and Vardah of 2015 – the last of which did not have as much damage as the first two. Talked about two District Collectors who did inspiring work.
- What do you think you will bring to an MBA classroom at NMIMS? – Talked about how I come from an academically-stereotyped profile (Male and Engineer), but how the different job roles and organizations I have been part of thus far would provide a professional perspective to the others in the class. There were a couple of follow-ups on the various organizations I worked for and my roles in them.
- You have studied Mechanical Engineering. Would you be comfortable answering questions from your undergrad? – Said I would be lying if I said I am “comfortable”, but added I could try. The follow-up was a question I did not quite expect – “Draw the Iron-Carbon Phase diagram”. Straightaway, I knew this was out of my territory. Told them I do not remember it at all. They were fine with that.
- What do you do in your free time? – Answered. Expected follow-ups on this, but they decided to not pursue.
- Are you aware of what is happening in your state? – Talked a bit about the upcoming elections. Also, touched upon the recent happenings in Puducherry.
Any final thoughts about this MBA interview experience?
It went fine, and the interview was more of a discussion, and did not sound like grilling. I felt at ease, and so did the interviewers. Whenever they wanted a crisp answer, they specifically insisted that, and for other questions, they let me go on. The WAT process was also quite interesting.
The only aspect that tested the patience was the long wait time. It was probably a good substitute for the lack of testing-the-candidate’s-endurance that an interview usually entails.
Stay safe and best wishes for WAT, GD and PI preparation.