Been There, Done That – Cracking IIM Interview

Ridicule the randomness, or abuse the way it is conducted, Common Admission Test for this year and its other relatives are done away with and the season of auditioning before the best of the intellectuals in the country has just begun. Yes it is the time to appear for those nervous interrogations and take one step closer to your dream of becoming an MBA. To some it may appear to be a Herculean task and to some it is like a result of years of penance, but having been there and experienced it all, take my word that it is actually not that tough.

Without beating around the bush, just a few tips which may propel your confidence a bit if not magically get you into an IIM:

i) If before your interview you find yourself in a room with few others like you where you are ready to take everybody head on (that’s a GD), be sure to take initiative and start the discussion (always works). Be polite, especially to any ladies in the panel, and remember discussion is about discussing your view and not forcing it down someone’s throat.

ii) In some cases you may have to face this ordeal where you have to summon your Shakespearean skills for half an hour. Common people may term it as WAT. To be victorious in such high tension war, you need to be equipped with what’s happening around in the world. Remembering some of the sayings and idioms would provide you with extra weaponry to have an upper hand in this battle.

iii) When it comes down to that final battle, although you are the one who will be the punching bag, enter the arena with such exuding confidence and beaming smile that as if you were born for this day. Take all the strikes, be wounded, let your ego get trampled in the panel, and still emerge with that openness and confidence in yourself. Thou shall emerge victorious my friend.

No matter who you are facing, no matter what kind of war you are heading into, the following ammunition in your armoury will always help :
a) “InfoBombs” : related to you native place – monuments, geography, bit of history (a wiki page has all these info), current happenings in your state, you may need them in any situation.
b) Advanced weaponry level : knowledge about workplace/grad college subjects, a must for these battles.
c) The Stun Ray Gun : If you have a hobby, know each and every thing related to it. This can change the course of the battle completely.
d) The Medikit you would need every now and then, current affairs and macro-economic factors running in the country, about repo rate, reverse repo rate, SLR etc.
e) The Trump Card : the budget has been presented in the parliament, study the budget at a glance which will be handy. Current issues like revision of GDP rate etc should be expected to be asked. Figures like GDP, CAD should be on fingertips.

iv) Have an opinion of your own on every matter rather than quoting someone else and presenting their view. It is YOU and YOUR opinion who matters the most not somebody else who said something at some corner of the world.

v) Finally the attire also matters up to some extent. You don’t go to war without your kevlar and helmet, same is the case with an MBA interview. Be dressed in proper formals, plain light coloured shirt and dark trousers. A suit is anyday preferable.

The butterflies will always be there fluttering inside the stomach but believe in yourself. If you yourself wouldn’t do, then why else would anybody else? Hence be confident, be happy from within and CRACK IT.


(This is Smruti Ranjan Samal, a freshman at IIM Bangalore. Graduated from NIT, Rourkela as an Electrical Engineer, worked in NTPC and cleared IIM Bangalore and XLRI in 2014 among the major institutes.)

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