Bharath Turlapaty’s IIM Nagpur Interview Experience

It was a hot summer afternoon during mid-April 2018 when I received my first email from IIM Nagpur that I have been shortlisted for stage III process, asking me to choose a slot and location for PI-WAT rounds. After due diligence and considering the fact that I will get a chance to visit the campus and analyse its facilities, I chose IIM Nagpur as my interview location. The interview was scheduled during the second week of May. Nagpur embraced us with 44 degrees Celsius temperature and moderate wind.

As I reported at IIM Nagpur, there were a couple of students who were waiting for the process to start. As the clock struck 2, adhering to IIM’s culture of punctuality, there was a Professor who arrived in the classroom to explain the process of selection of students to the Postgraduate Programme of IIM Nagpur. The process involved a 30-minute session for WAT followed by an interview.

Aligning to IIM Nagpur’s case-based methodology, the WAT had a case on e-pharmacies in India. The case mentioned to thoroughly analyse the e-pharmacy industry in India and propose a suggestion to an entrepreneur duo, whether to enter into the industry or not. The first 10 minutes of the session was allotted to plan the case solution and we were not allowed to start writing here. The next 20 minutes were allocated to complete the WAT essay. After a brief break of 15 minutes, the interviews were planned to commence. I was the first person to be called for interview in that slot. As I entered the room, I observed one of the panellists keenly going through my WAT essay. I greeted the panellists and I was offered a seat. One of the panellists was a Professor at IIM Nagpur (P1) and he introduced the other panellists to be a professor from IIM Ahmedabad (P2) and the other panellist to be an alumnus of IIM Bangalore (P3). As the alumnus seemed to be intense, the Professors looked calm and were giving a sort of comfort to the interviewees.

P1: Tell us about yourself.

Following my pre-conceived reverse chronological idea of bio-data, I started with my job and progressed towards my education, explained about the positions I handled in college and concluded with hobbies.

P2: So, you have been working in the aerospace field for quite some time, tell us the reason why Indigo had to ground its flights.

Since I had a good knowledge of the topic that was asked, I answered the question well and have tried to answer the technical aspects that led to this grounding.

P2: You seemed to be doing good at your job and you seemed to possess good knowledge in your domain. Why did you choose to do an MBA?

I had my answer prepared for this question and followed the flow that I planned for.

P3: Your WAT essay gives me a sense that you have good writing skills, but why is your Verbal score in CAT low?

I was worried inside as I had a feeling that I was being propelled towards the verge of rejection. I gave them the examples of my IELTS score that I have scored, while I was in my under graduation and tried to mitigate my low verbal score in CAT.

P2: Okay. You have cooking as your hobby. Speak about the dishes that you can cook well.

I explained my cooking skills and questions revolved around this topic for approximately 10 minutes.

P1: What do you know about the cashless economy? Which is the first country to progress towards a digital economy?

I spoke about the digital economy, its relevance in the context of India and answered the second part of the question to be Sweden.

P1: In Asia, which is the first country to adopt the digital economy?

I was not sure at this point and asked the Professor if I can guess the question. After his consent, I explained about the advancements and answered the country to be Japan.

P1: Your thinking is on the right line. But it is South Korea that has taken steps to implement digital economy for the first time in Asia. But a good try.

Overall the interview lasted for around 30 minutes. The overall experience was satisfying. The interview experience was almost the same for the next students who were interviewed.

Finally, it was on May 25th 2018 that the first admissions list was released and I was elated to realize that I was selected for PGP at IIM Nagpur. As I complete six months at IIM Nagpur, there is no single day that I have repented to have joined IIM Nagpur.

Finally, a few tips for interviews:

  • Be confident and sincere in your answers. Do not fake in answering. Even if you want to take a guess, it is advisable to take the consent of panellists and then proceed.
  • Do a proper study of your previous organization and the industry that the organization belongs to before the interview.
  • Try to impress the panel in the first few minutes. But do not bluff.
  • Do not plot to ask questions when you are asked to. Be genuine.
  • Remember its not the end. It is just the beginning 😃

Bharath Turlapaty

PGP student, Indian Institute of Management Nagpur

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