My best interview experience ever in my life was the IIM Bangalore Personal interview for PGP 2019 -21.
For the best part, I had my interview in IIM Bangalore itself. I got the 10 AM slot. There were about 16 candidates divided into two panels of 8 members each. Each interview panel had three interviewers (2 professors and 1 alumnus).
The WAT topic for our panel was - Is it required to privatize Agricultural sector in India? I was very familiar with the topic as I had been reading the newspaper regularly and there were a lot of discussions happening regarding the problems faced by Indian farmers. The best part is that I was aware of the statistics related to the topic ( percentage of farmers in the workforce, GDP of the agriculture sector etc.)
After a very satisfying WAT, I felt an increase in my confidence and a decrease in my stress and tension.
After a one and half hour wait (I was the 6th person to be interviewed), one of the professors came out of the room and called my name.
The panel consisted of one male senior professor P1 (assessed by his looks and he was sitting in the middle), one lady professor P2 and one alumnus P3 (a young man).
P1: So Akshay, where do you come from?
Me: I belong to Mahe, which is politically a part of Puducherry but geographically located in Kerala.
P1: (excited) Yeah I know the place. It's in North Kerala.
P2: Where did you do your graduation?
Me: NIT Puducherry.
P3: Isn't it a new NIT? When did it start functioning?
P2: Why did you work in the management position of a school after completing electrical engineering?
Me: Told them about my drive for innovation and my exposure to management activities from my college.
P3 asked me about the school, my role and some follow up questions all of which I answered.
P2: What will you do after your MBA?
Me: I want to become an Entrepreneur in the Food and Beverages sector.
P2: Okay then, what is your take on today's WAT topic?
Me: I told them that I support privatisation of the Agri-sector in India as it can boost productivity and the use of modern technology and resources. Explained the problems faced by the agriculture sector in India and the causes. Also told the disparity that 47% of the Indian workforce depends on agriculture but only 15% of the GDP is shared by the sector.
P1 explained a case in Australia where advanced technology is used for agriculture. He spoke about a vast field which is completely automated, starting from sowing to harvesting.
P1: So do you support the same in India?
Me: Yes, sir. Absolutely
P1: (mockingly). Then what about the 47% of the workforce. What they will do?
Me: The primary purpose of technology in business is to reduce cost price and to improve productivity. Thus the cost price of products will decrease, which increases the purchasing power of the customers thus creating more business opportunity. I included an example that the advent of computers actually improved the number of jobs despite apprehensions.
(P1 seems impressed)
P2: Why is the price of tender coconut comparatively high in Kerala despite being enormously blessed with coconut trees?
Me: Told that the labor price in Kerala is high compared to other states. Told a few other reasons too.
P1: What is all about surgical strike 2.0? Why do they name it so (interview date was 27 Feb, a day after the surgical strike incident).
Me: A surgery is removing or correcting only the affected part likewise surgical strike is destroying only the cause or the terrorist group associated with.
P3 asked me to share my views on that and a few follow up questions.I answered all.
P2: That's all Akshay. Do you have any questions for us?
Me: Shared my apprehension on a potential threat in IIM-B selection process.
P2 cleared that doubt for me.
I came out of the hall with a smiling face.
Verdict: April 8, 6 PM.