Bold Candidates & Tough Panellists | The Most Interesting IIM Interviews

We keep hearing a lot about IIM interviews – their difficulty and unpredictability. Here is a compilation of the funny or interesting ones I have come across:

I) Candidate – Leki Suam – IIM Kozhikode interview – Converted and a batchmate of mine currently

This candidate has to be the boldest ever.

Group discussion topic: Something on the lines of NITI Aayog vs Planning Commission – Has there been any change or improvement?

So the GD started and people were discussing it calmly in the beginning. I was not sure how to get in.  I kept quiet for 5 minutes. Everyone was going against NITI Aayog; basically, it was becoming anti-Modi.

There were some sweets on the table just a hand’s distance from me. I picked 1 up and started unwrapping it noisily. Suddenly, everybody started looking at me. I then said “ If I eat this sweet, I will keep the wrapper in my pocket and find a dustbin later on. Do you know why? It is because of the Swachh Bharat Mission. I then gave a monologue of 2 minutes mentioning scheme after scheme of the Modi government. (Talk about drama). I personally felt, the selection happened there itself.

Once the monologue was over, I popped the chocolate in my mouth; only to realize 2 minutes later, what a bad decision it was. I had to speak again but I could not do it with a candy in my mouth. So I reached into my mouth, slyly removed the chocolate and put it in my pocket. Half-eaten wet chocolate, in my pocket – that’s right.

Once the GD was over, we all got up to leave. I saw 2 faculties sitting there and asked them earnestly “Can I take 2 more sweets? I am really hungry”. Their reaction – poker face!

Personal Interview

Panellist – Are you nervous?

Leki – Slightly. But people are much more nervous than me. Some guy just left his documents and exited. I guess I willl take up the responsibility and contact him.

Panellist – So you are a Mechanical engineeer with electrical work-ex?

Leki – Yes.

Panellist – Good. I am Mechanical. She is Electrical. This will be fun.

For the next few minutes, only questions related to my field and workex were asked.

Last 3 questions – 

Panellist So when you hear about Kerala what comes to your mind?

(We were buying fruits a week before – in Bangalore. My friend remarked – buy these bananas. These are the best. They come from Kerala.)

Leki – As soon as I heard the question, that incident came to my mind, and I said –  “Bananas and coconuts.”

Panellist – Anything apart from food?

Candidate – No mam I am really hungry. Only bananas and coconuts.

*All laughing*

Panellist – What makes up the economy of Kerala?

Leki – Bananas and coconuts.

They were like – WHATTTTTTTTT

Panellist – Ok, who is the Chief Minister of Kerala?

Leki – I am sorry mam, forgive me, but there is someone whose name rhymes with Biryani.

*All laughing for a minute*

Panellist – You can go now.

Leki – *Got up; shook their hands* I guess I will now have to go back and try to contact the guy who left behind his file.

Panellist – Oh yes, please do that.


II) IIM Kozhikode interview – Brilliant answer by a CA – 

Panellist – Do you know how to play Tic Tac Toe?

Candidate – Yes sir.

Panellist– What is the probability that I will win the match if we play?

Candidate – If you play against me, zero sir!

(Talk about confidence and owning the interview!)


III) IIM Kozhikode interview, Bangalore – Akshay Sriram

Panellist: *looking at the 10th and 12th scorecard* Arre why does every single student from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra have 90+ in academics?

Candidate: (smiling) I guess these state boards are lenient sir.

Panellist: So should I enrol my children into schools from these states?

Candidate: (smiling) Yes, if they want to get into the IIMs!


IV) IIM Lucknow interview

Panellist – What is the probability that this ceiling will fall on your head?

Candidate – *shocked* – There are many variables, like it depends on the material, etc.

Panellist – That’s fine, but give me an exact answer.

Candidate –  I need to look at such events that have happened in the past few years and derive the probability from there.

Panellist – Did you not understand? I want an exact answer.

Candidate – *exasperated* – 1 in 10 million.


V) Snippets from an IIM Calcutta interview of a DTU engineer

Panellist 1 – Give me your file. Glances through it for a minute and nonchalantly throws it on the table. The first statement he makes in the interview – “Why are you even here? You have done nothing in your life.”

Candidate – *Smilingly* These documents are not a reflection of who I am. (And a whole lot of GAS later on)

Panellist 1 – You have played so much cricket in your life. Let me ask you a cricket question. If there is a left arm around the wicket bowler, and the wind direction is from long on to first slip, how will you change your stance as a batsman?

Candidate – Gave the right answer.

Panellist 2 – *Asks a mechanical question*

Panellist 1 – Arey don’t ask him about engineering. Bhai sahib has only played cricket in his life.

Some moments later…

Panellist 2 – Ok, let me ask you an easy question, who is the father of Indira Gandhi?

Panellist 1 – Jante ho na Indira Gandhi kaun hai?

*All laughing*

(Could not convert Calcutta; is a current batchmate of mine at IIM Kozhikode)

Liked this post? You may also like our Re-enactment of Actual MBA Interviews, which includes interview experiences from IIM Bangalore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow, IIM Ahmedabad, XLRI Jamshedpur, and other elite Indian B-schools!

Akshaykumar Sirsalewala

Akshaykumar Sirsalewala is a Chartered Accountant and has cleared all levels of CFA and FRM. He is currently a student of IIM Kozhikode 2018-2020 batch, where he is pursuing MBA finance. When he is not studying, he is either guiding young minds or writing on Quora for CA aspirants.